Numerous studies have provided evidence that interracial interaction can contribute to the development of leadership skills and behaviors for university students. Yet, little empirical research has been dedicated to understanding the effects of structural (compositional) racial diversity within leadership programs on program participant outcomes. This study examined the impact of the structural racial diversity of 50 leadership program sessions on student leadership capacity gains over time. A total of 667 participants in sessions coded as either “High,” “Moderate,” or “Low” with regard to racial diversity within the session served as the sample. Results from data collected immediately prior to, directly after, and 3-4 months after program participation suggest the training effects of a leadership initiative may be augmented by the recruitment of racially diverse participants.

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© 2015 Association of Leadership Educators

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