Volume 12, Issue 2 – Summer 2013

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Courage. It was the first thing that came to mind when I sat down and started conceptualizing what my firstFrom the Editor’s Desk commentary would look like. Looming like a big billboard in my head; white background, black block letters…COURAGE. Not one to look past inspiration when it’s granted, I decided to spend some time thinking about courage.

Recently, in our house, courage has been a pretty hot topic. I have a five year old daughter about to start kindergarten, and she’s the only one from her pre-school class to go to this particular elementary school. We get lots of questions as her start date draws closer, “How will I know who my teacher is?”, “How will I know where my classroom is?” “What if I get lost going to the bathroom?”, “Will the other kids like me?” And each time, we sit her down and gently try to allay her fears with both facts and the things you say when kids ask you questions that you hope you know the answer too, but can’t say for certain. As much as we are talking about having courage with our daughter, mom and dad are also learning a lesson in courage as we tackle a new school, teacher, system, rules, policies and more “growing up problems” than we’ve ever had before. It is an almost daily reminder that change doesn’t come cheaply and courage is easier talked about than practiced  

If I’ve learned anything taking this journey with my daughter, it’s that courage comes in many forms. Certainly courage to change, to risk and try new things, to believe in yourself, are all themes we talk about in our house as our daughter prepares to head off to “big kid school”. I believe, however, there is more to courage; the willingness to stand for something, to align with something, to work passionately for something. No more so than now can we see in our world, people exercising courage in these ways, and it’s inspiring.

In my courses, I find that I tell my students that I don’t care what they think, I care that they think. I want them to find the courage of conviction- to believe in something that they are passionate about. To do so opens a world of possibilities! Can it be scary? YES!  But in being scary, it can also be exciting or encouraging! As I sat, reflecting on this first Editor’s Desk commentary, I found myself embracing that dichotomous feeling, scared and yet excited about the very possibilities that lie ahead and finding courage in our foundations, our supporters, our readers, authors, and reviewers, and the very exciting future that lies ahead as JOLE rolls head long into our second decade.

Over the past several months, JOLE has made some changes that will position it to be recognized as a high quality scholarly publication in a variety of arenas. We know what kind of great work is being recognized in our publication, and you deserve to have a wider and deeper exposure for that work. While many of the changes will have little tangible effect on our authors and readers (they are administrative changes, new process software, etc.), some of those changes are important to note: JOLE now has a rolling submission/acceptance instead of static deadlines, page limits versus word count limits, and new evaluation rubrics. While each of these, on their own, may seem quite small, together, they are substantial steps forward. In the coming months, move changes will be rolled out, as we continue to work to solidify JOLE as a top tier scholarly publication recognized as such in many venues. Change doesn’t come cheaply, but I take courage in the strength of the foundation we are building upon, the enthusiasm of our authors, the wisdom of our editing managing board, the passion of our review board members (now numbering more than 200), and the conviction of the JOLE support staff.

The second decade of JOLE is BRIGHT! I’m excited for what the future holds. I look forward to working with the authors and readers of our publication and sharing the amazing work happening in leadership education.

Despite widespread acknowledgement of the importance of leadership education, undergraduate leadership degree programs in Canada are limited and, in some cases, struggling for survival. This case study examines the ways in which competing discourses of careerism, corporatization, liberal arts education, and business education impact an undergraduate leadership program’s sustainability.

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No statistical differences were found in the perceptions of dues paying and nondues paying members related to the climate of ALE as measured by the Team Climate Inventory (TCI); however, perceptions of both groups were fairly neutral. Five themes emerged as successes achieved by ALE including the members, the ALE annual conference, information and idea sharing, networking, and the Journal of Leadership Education. Five themes also emerged as challenges facing the organization including a lack of direction or identity, recruitment and retention issues, lack of cohesion, lack of communication, and lack of participation.

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This exploratory study examined informal learning opportunities that exist within student organizations. Findings indicate that 81% of participants experienced interactions with faculty within the context of their academic organizations and students who hold leadership positions are more likely to experience interactions with faculty compared to general members. The results suggest that informal learning opportunities do exist and can be identified by using the Informal and Incidental Learning Model (Marsick & Watkins, 2001). 

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This study examined the incoming leadership-oriented differences between students (N=166) enrolled in either an elective leadership studies course (n=50) or an elective team-based engineering projects course (n=116) to determine significant predictors of transformational leadership behavior. Participants completed measures of leadership-oriented behaviors, self efficacy, and motivation. Students enrolled in the leadership studies course scored higher on measures of both transformational and transactional leadership behaviors, as well as motivation to lead based on affective identity and social-normative motivation. For students in the leadership course, the only significant predictor of transformational leadership was leadership self-efficacy score. These findings suggest the importance of self-efficacy in predicting behavior and the need to attend to students’ internal and external motivations in creating pathways to leadership practices.

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Research examining multicultural competence among higher education professionals responsible for leadership education demonstrated significant correlations with racial identity and multicultural education and experiences. The Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs-Preliminary 2 (MCSA-P2) scale was used to measure multicultural competence. Variances in multicultural competence scores were significant in relation to racial identity and select multicultural education and experience measures, above and beyond controlled for demographic variables.

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The Honors College program prepares leaders for the 21st century to become forces for positive change through problem-solving, scholarship, service, teamwork, and leadership. Its structure involves nine sequenced courses familiarizing students with challenges facing communities. Courses are team-taught by professors in different disciplines to highlight the diversity in applying concepts across contexts. This paper offers an examination of the connections for cultivating self-awareness through team-teaching in the classroom and experiential learning.

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This study examined the relationship between extracurricular involvement and leadership outcomes among traditional-age college seniors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. Authors collected data related to quantitative and qualitative  aspects of involvement in extracurricular organizations. Further, they measured leadership, as an outcome, using the individual values scale of the Socially Responsible Leadership Scale (SRLS-R2). The number of clubs in which a student participated and served as an officer was associated with higher leadership scores. Findings identified a threshold of involvement that suggests the optimum number of clubs or organizations to be actively involved in is three to four.

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We read and hear frequently about the role of vision in leadership. Standards for leadership education programs typically emphasize vision as a core component of leadership education and published accounts of successful leadership usually extol the leader’s vision. Given the prevalence of this term in discourse on leadership, it is surprising how little literature exists with specific discussions of how to teach it. In this article I discuss the potential of problem-based pedagogy for teaching the concept of vision. This paper draws on literature, theory, and the author’s professional experience as a faculty member for 20 years in a graduate-level education leadership program.

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A recent study of the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (MARL) program set out to determine the relationship between andragogical program design and increased levels of emotional intelligence (EI). Members of two cohorts in the MARL leadership development program received different levels of focused effort, peer coaching, individual action plans, disorienting dilemmas, self-reflection, and training in the area of emotional intelligence. We examined four years of data, including participants’ results on the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) before and after undergoing leadership development training, as well as their individual reflections on the EI components of their training. The intention is that this research will encourage practices that seek to increase emotional intelligence in leaders.

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Authors  provide a brief description of a leadership-oriented short-term (nine days) study abroad program offered in May 2012. The program centered in Rome, Italy, combined classroom curricula with field experiences in the city as well as in Bologna and Florence. Initial quantitative and qualitative assessment suggested the program helped student development both in their leadership practices as well as their personal development.

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