A longitudinal examination of structural environments within U.S. college and university leadership development programs

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Steven M. Mencarini (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Laura Gonzalez

Abstract: This study sought to examine the structural elements of leadership development programs (LDPs) within U.S. colleges and universities. Much research has been written describing individual student effects of LDPs, however there has been a dearth of literature related to institutional mission alignment, theories utilized, targeted populations, financial and human resources, assessment and evaluation, and institutionalization of such programs. Utilizing the 2009 and 2015 Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership – Institutional Survey (MSL-IS), a quantitative analysis of the above and other elements was conducted on the two time points. Results indicate that LDP institutionalization in 2015 had a positive significant relationship to an institution having a leadership center, programs primarily focused on leadership education, and programs incorporating mentoring relationships, and a negative significant relationship to programs primarily focused on individual skill building and development and level of LDP institutionalization in 2009. Leadership educators believe their LDPs to be more institutionalized in 2015 compared to 2009. In evaluating variables related to LDP institutional and programming changes from 2009 to 2015, the following conclusions were reached: (a) there was no difference in the number of institutions that incorporate student leadership development as an aspect of their institutional strategic plans; (b) more institutions have their primary co-curricular leadership program informed by a clear definition of leadership; (c) more LDPs are open to all students rather than to students with leadership roles or specific populations; (d) a higher number of LDPs are concentrating on leadership training and leadership development than leadership education and individual skill building; (e) LDPs are focusing on mentoring relationships, socio-cultural conversations, and community service “to an extent” or greater; (f) greater funding, but no additional staff, is being allocated to LDPs; and (g) LDPs are incorporating more sophisticated assessment techniques (such as pre-/post-tests and rubrics). Implications for theory include the creation of a definition of institutionalization for LDPs and consequences for practice include aligning LDPs with high-impact practices and other published research.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Higher education, Institutionalization, Leadership development, Leadership programs
Leadership $x Study and teaching (Higher) $z United States
College student development programs $z United States

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