Leadership Development: The Effects of Service-Learning Programs on Adult Learners’ Success

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TITLE Leadership Development: The Effects of Service-Learning Programs on Adult Learners’ Success
RESEARCHER Richenel M. Martin Jr.
School of Leadership
University of Charleston West Virginia
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: April 2019

The purpose of the study was to examine the leadership development of students participating in two unique leadership programs: a curricular one, consisting of the Nursing Program and a co-curricular one, Hospitality Management & Tourism/Culinary Arts.

The target sample were adult learners, aged 25 years and older, who participated in leadership development for at least 2 years or more and enrolled for at least two years are more and non-participants who have been enrolled for at least 2 years. The sample included 123 participants from the two unique programs and non- participant group at the two-year institution located in the Midwest. One hundred percent completed the pre-test and 94 percent the post-test. The typical respondent was Caucasian (77%) and female (63%). They completed the Leadership Practices Inventory.

Enable was the leadership practice most used, followed by Encourage and Model, then Challenge, and then Inspire at both the pre and post-test administrations of the LPI. Inspire was the only leadership practice that showed a significant increase following the class, although the other four did show an increase in frequency. No significant differences were found between participants in the two groups/programs and the control group.

The author notes:

The researcher posits that the change in (ISV) scores were not a statistical fluke and may be due to participants not feeling comfortable with the notion of actually inspiring a shared vision if they were in a position of leadership. As the intervention progressed through time, participants felt more confident that they can be a leader and inspire that vision in their subordinates (p. 112).