An Outcomes Assessment of a Leadership Development Program

Higher Education    Students

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TITLE An Outcomes Assessment of a Leadership Development Program
RESEARCHER Francis J. Felser
University of Phoenix
Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation: November 2005

The purpose of this study was to discover whether there is a positive relationship between a university’s leadership development program and measures of leadership competence assessed approximately 10 years after graduation.

The study population included 95 students who completed the Advanced Leadership Seminar at a northeast university over the 1993-1997 time period and a random sample of 304 students who had not completed the program over that same time period (from a population of N = 13, 905 students). Surveyed by mail, they were asked to complete the Leadership Practices Inventory, of which 37 responses were from program graduates and 83 were from non-program graduates (39% and 27% response rates respectively).

The average scores from program graduates were all higher than those from non-program graduates, although none reached levels of statistical significance. The rank order of the five practices were the same for both groups, with Enabling being most frequent, followed by Encouraging, Modeling, Challenging, and Inspiring.

“The study casts doubt that higher education leadership development programs have been successful in the absence of program and student outcomes assessment. As a result of this study perhaps other colleges and universities will assess their leadership development programs to determine their program’s effectiveness” (pp. 97-98).