Volume 16, Issue 1 -- 2017

The leadership capacity of resident assistants can be impacted by many experiences, including involvement in mentoring relationships. The purpose of this study was to examine if and how resident assistants’ leadership capacities are influenced by participating in mentoring relationships. Additionally, mentor-protégé race and gender pairings were explored. An adapted version of Astin’s Inputs-Environments-Outcomes college impact model was used as the conceptual framework; the Social Change Model of Leadership was used as the theoretical framework. Overall findings included that resident assistants with a race match or gender match did not exhibit significantly higher leadership capacities than those who did not. The researcher also included implications for practice and future recommendations.

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Finding strategies to increase the motivation of students, their connection with the material, and retention of the content, has been very important within leadership education. Previous research studies have shown that personality traits can predict desired outcomes, including goal orientation or motivational disposition. However, there have not been any studies which have specifically analyzed how personality predicts goal orientation in undergraduate leadership students. The results of this study found that between 15% and 28% of the variance in goal orientation dispositions was predicted by personality factors, confirming the predictive nature of the relationship. Based on the observed results leadership educators are recommended to include personality and goal orientation discussions into their leadership curriculum and to create a learning environment that accommodates all learners.

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The researchers employed qualitative methods to evaluate first-year female students’ definition of leadership through involvement in the Women’s Learning Circle. The findings revealed that students defined leadership in two dimensions: traits and behaviors. The qualitative findings explore a multidimensional approach to the voices of 54 female students.

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This qualitative study explored the leadership development outcomes associated with specific experiences in a one-year, intensive leadership development program at a large northwest research university. Students highlighted three programmatic experiences for their effectiveness: (a) faculty mentoring, (b) participation in a weekly seminar, and (c) experiential learning through sustained community involvement. As students discussed these experiences, they identified building relationships, gaining a deeper understanding of leadership, exposure to new experiences, and increased communication skills as outcomes associated with having a mentor. When discussing the interactive seminars, students articulated collective growth, increased self-awareness, improved reflection skills, and a deeper understanding of leadership as outcomes of seminar participation. For the experiential learning component, students identified outcomes associated with being pushed out of their comfort zones, improving networking skills, awareness of the value of community involvement, and relationship skill building. Conclusions and recommendations are discussed for the application of these experiences in leadership education.

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Developing undergraduate student leaders who are authentic in their leadership and who have a drive to serve and support those around them is not only good for the students and their host schools, but arguably good for students’ future employers and even the future of our society. Our goal is to determine how such student leaders could be developed within higher education programs or courses. We take a multi-disciplinary approach and examine the research on leadership development with both student and employee samples, framing the review in authentic and servant leadership theories, integrated with best practices in learning and training. We then build from our review of the literatures to provide concrete recommendations for student leadership development founded in authentic and servant leadership principles and utilizing experiential learning.

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Values clarification is a dynamic process in which people come to understand what they individually view as important in their lives by placing a name or label to what one values. This process commonly occurs during the traditional college years and is a critical component of leadership education. This qualitative study examined how junior-level undergraduate students clarify their values in the environment of a series of leadership courses at a large, Research I institution in the southeastern United States. Two major themes emerged including course curriculum and structure, and leadership learning environment. Findings from this research helped to explain the experience of how junior-level students clarify their values in their collegiate experience and inform the practice of leadership curriculum development in colleges and universities.

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This paper describes the practice of students enrolled in an undergraduate Global Leadership course taking a Cultural Intelligence (CQ) assessment. The results of the assessment provided insight into the students’ development across various dimensions of CQ, as well as their scores relative to their peers and global averages. This information was incorporated into the course instruction to assist students in developing a more concrete understanding of their own capacities in otherwise ambiguous or abstract behavioral dimensions. Results of the practice indicate that it is beneficial to the students, particularly from a self-efficacy and motivational standpoint. A sample lesson plan and debriefing questions are provided to assist educators desiring to incorporate a CQ assessment into their teaching.

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Leadership Studies courses often face challenges of educating students for a focused area of specialization. We challenged this by offering an innovative leadership course whose aim was to socialize graduate students into their discourse communities. In this paper, we describe a course and the study we conducted to learn from the process and reflect on the implications. During and after the course, we gathered data through interviews and document analysis. The findings indicate that students can benefit from experiential courses that expose them to their discourse communities where they explore career opportunities and engage in higher-level conversations that address contemporary leadership issues. In general, such courses present authentic opportunities where theory and practice converge.

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The Voss Advanced Undergraduate Leadership Experience (VALUE), is a student cohort program with a competitive application process. Students must have a prerequisite level of leadership education and self-select into one of three designated tracks. Students are paired with faculty and community mentors to learn about operations and collaboration in today’s organizations. The program culminates with students developing an e-Portfolio, which is evaluated to measure student learning outcomes.

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Linking specific learning experiences to leadership development has the potential to enhance leadership education. In this study, we sought to link student growth in 13 leadership areas to specific learning experiences within a leadership development program. We measured development within the 13 areas by comparing the perceived needs of students before and after engagement in the program. Evidence of connections between leadership development and specific learning experiences emerged as program facilitators documented the leadership areas addressed within the learning experiences utilized in this program. Evidence indicated students experienced the strongest growth in understanding leadership, commitment to serving, enhancing communication, ethical behavior, and valuing diversity. These areas of growth were linked to specific learning experiences, including program seminars, book readings, working with a mentor, and participation in a community organization. While this research is only an initial step in definitively linking specific learning experiences with leadership development, the results provide leadership educators with important considerations to enhance their practice. Additionally, this research provides a viable method for linking learning experiences and leadership skill development that, if replicated, could support the continued, positive impact of leadership education.

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The linkages between interventions and outcomes of leadership initiatives have been insufficiently studied. To better understand these links, the Virginia agricultural leadership program conducted a pathway mapping session to investigate the program’s theory of change. In this novel process, program participants engaged in collaborative brainstorming to identify outcomes and connect them to program activities. This process helped participants reflect on their learning and helped program staff identify the mechanisms (i.e., learning activities) that led to desired outcomes. The group produced a visual model that represents the program’s theory of change depicting how the program develops capacity for leadership. Using program participants to identify the connections between pedagogy, practice, and outcomes can inform the evidence-base and development of evaluation plans for leadership development programs.

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This article begins with a review of the current higher education landscape, focusing particularly on a number of leadership challenges that are most germane to colleges and universities across the globe. The article continues with a review of the existing literature on higher education leadership needs and competencies, and current approaches to providing leadership education. Authors then present a case study of a leadership development framework and a portfolio of programs designed to address knowledge- and skill-development needs within higher education that has been developed by the Center for Organizational Development and Leadership at Rutgers University. The framework has led to the creation of a portfolio of programs for academic and administrative leaders in varying stages of development that will be described in the article. The key concepts raised in this article may prove useful for those involved in the design and delivery of leadership education programs for higher education, healthcare, and other large institutions with multiple audiences, needs, and goals. Furthermore, the differentiation of the conceptual, strategic, and operational dimensions may be a useful framework for those interested in the study and practice of leadership education.

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In this Idea Brief, authors review the literature on shared leadership (SL) and provide specific ideas for including SL in curriculum. SL is an emergent team property whereby leadership functions are distributed among the team’s members. Though relatively new to the groups and teams literatures, its strong and positive impact on performance has been well established in extant studies. To encourage and enable its inclusion in future leadership courses, authors first provide educators with key information regarding SL conceptualization, measurement, and findings. Next, they offer specific classroom recommendations, including the administration of a SL assessment tool with reflective discussion prompts. Authors conclude with the anticipated outcomes of implementing our recommendations.

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The purpose of this review is to examine theoretical connections between adolescent leadership education and problem behavior prevention. Both the problem behavior prevention literature and the leadership education literature were reviewed for studies pertaining to the development of psychosocial traits. In the leadership education literature this research focused on the development of leadership potential, as this was considered most closely linked with leadership education for adolescents as opposed to leadership education focused on honing skills in established leaders. Because the purpose of this review was to determine if a theoretical connection exists between two previously unconnected fields of literature, a thorough literature review was conducted as opposed to a systematic review because it was deemed too cumbersome. Instead, salient studies from both fields were examined for their applicability to the other field and the analysis as a whole. The research found significant overlap in psychosocial protective factors for problem behaviors and the psychosocial traits developed through leadership education. Given that a theoretical connection between leadership education and problem behavior prevention seems to exist, the author recommends empirical research to determine if leadership education is an effective and efficient vehicle for problem behavior prevention. 

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This article advocates a new approach to how we work with the millions of student-athletes in schools by examining a more holistic model of player development. Rather than assisting students in separate silos and initiatives, the argument is made for integrating the areas of leadership education, performance psychology, and personal development into one unified model. Suggestions are made for how appropriate assessment and learning designs could lead to enhanced player and team success. The significant implications for athletes, coaches, parents, athletic department personnel, and schools is explored as well as the possibility for redefining what it means to participate in sport.

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