Examining the (Lack of) Effects Associated with Leadership Training Participation in Higher Education

This study examined the differences between a multi-campus sample of university students who reported consistent participation in formal leadership development programs (n=414) and a comparison sample (n=153) with no prior experience across three diverse post- secondary institutions in the United States. Both samples were matched with regard to gender and racial identity, prior self-reported high school leadership training experience, and self- reported possession of formal leadership positions in co-curricular student organizations. Results suggest that students who report past consistent participation in postsecondary leadership training report levels of leadership capacity no different than those with no training. In addition, like their peers they also possess a cognitive model of leadership capacity that fails to differentiate leader self-efficacy, motivation to lead, and leadership skill.