Higher Education Students
This study examined the relationship between leadership behavior practices of entering students and at specified intervals of development using different student involvement instruments over eight semesters.
The population of this study was two groups of students from one small, private liberal arts college. The students selected to the school came from home schooling backgrounds and passed rigorous testing. A cohort of 126 first-time full time students completed the Cooperative Intuitional Research Program (Pryer et al. 2008) assessment in their first and second years. Then 98 students completed the Student Leadership Practices Inventories as juniors and 78 as graduating seniors. Finally 120 students completed the Global Influences Matrix, an institution-specific instrument at the end of their junior and senior years.
No significant differences were found between men and women on any of the five leadership practices at either time 1 or time 2. Between the two time periods the use of the five leadership practices did not significantly vary except for the increase in Enable Others to Act. No significant differences were found between the leadership scores of leaders and observers, and this was true for both time periods.
The author points out, “The lack of significant change between SLPI 1 and SLPI 2 scores over a time of four semesters indicates that without intentional instruction, leadership development is, at worse, accidental, and at better, inconsistent across the institution… Leadership development opportunities are unevenly distributed when left to students’ choices. A leadership development program that impacts all students is necessary to address an institutional level mission outcome of leadership” (p. 142).