In conducting a multi-disciplinary, multi-degree study of all 83 higher education accrediting organizations in the United States and the 605 academic programs associated with them, our goal was to uncover patterns in the presence of leadership and general workforce competencies identified within the stated learning outcomes employed by these accrediting organizations. Our findings suggest strong variability across categories of leadership competence related to workforce competencies, where skills related to reasoning and communication were emphasized much more heavily than others such as intrapersonal development. These findings emerged across all postsecondary degree levels, from pre-baccalaureate to graduate programs, raising important questions for the leadership development of post-secondary students. Keywords: outcomes assessment, student leadership, professional development, leadership education, workforce development, competencies
While colleges and universities often make the case that preparing students for future career success is critical, studies that examine the empirical support for the assertion curiously lag behind the advanced rhetoric. This paper will showcase research findings based on an analysis of 36,327 learning outcomes addressed within all 83 higher education accrediting organizations in the United States, representing 605 distinct postsecondary academic programs. Our goal was to uncover any patterns of emphasis in particular workforce and leadership competencies embedded within those learning outcomes and examine the extent to which those competencies are represented similarly across postsecondary degree levels.