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College Student Leadership Development: Program Impact on Student Participants

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TITLE College Student Leadership Development: Program Impact on Student Participants
Graduate School of Education
University of Georgia
Doctoral Dissertation: May 2000

To examine the impact of the University of Georgia’s campus-based LeaderShape Institute on student participants.

Fifty-five students were selected for the program and 51 (93%) agreed to participate in the study. Each completed the student version of the Leadership Practices Inventory at the beginning and at the completion of the program. Nineteen of the participants were interviewed about their experiences upon completion of the LeaderShape (6-day) program. Participants also completed several "artifacts" of the program which allowed for some assessment of program effectiveness as measured by participant accomplishments. There were 23 men and 28 women in the sample, with most being either juniors (23) or sophomores (18), and participants were equally divided between greek and non-greek affiliated. Nine were non-Caucasian.

Test-retest reliability of the Student Leadership Practices Inventory was statistically significant (p < .001) with correlations exceeding .51 over the ten-week interval. Three of the five leadership practices were statistically greater at time two over time one: Challenging, Inspiring, and Encouraging. The differences for Enabling and Modeling were in the right direction, with Enabling approaching statistical significance (p < .09). "These findings were not explained by demographic variables" (p. 58): year in school, family cluster affiliation, gender, GPA, greek affiliation, or race.

The author also noted that "participant’s prior conceptual understanding of the importance of integrity in leadership was reinforce rather than increased" (p. 85). He also noted that "the use of Kouzes and Posner’s Student Leadership Practices Inventory (S-LPI) was the appropriate instrument with which to conduct the quantitative portion of this inquiry: (p. 88).