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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Student and Faculty Perceptions of Elements of the College Experience that Foster Students' Leadership Development: A Case Study
by Vasbinder, William K., Ed.D., University of Hartford, 2012, 121; 3507364
Abstract (Summary)

There is evidence in the literature (Komives, Lucas, & McMahon, 2007, Cavico & Mujtaba,2010; NACE, 2010; Garvin and Datar, 2008) suggesting that employers expect that business school graduates who they consider for employment possess foundational leadership content knowledge combined with some application experience. This study was conducted to reveal the elements of a four-year business program's academic preparation that help first time job seekers meet employers' expectations for leadership abilities. These elements were revealed by examining the self-reported leadership behaviors of students along with faculty interviews at a four-year college in a northeastern state. The Student Leadership Practices Inventory (Kouzes & Posner, 2002), or S-LPI, along with additional interview questions, was administered to students enrolled in the final year of a traditional college program that leads to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. Faculty members responsible for curriculum design and implementation in the same business program were interviewed with the intent of revealing the elements of the program intended to foster students' leadership development. In addition to questions about the curriculum, questions regarding instructional strategies and extra-curricular activities were posed to both groups to determine their role in fostering students' preparedness for leadership.

Students in their final year at the participating school of management had opportunities to perform most of the leadership behaviors identified by Kouzes and Posner (2002). Students reported superior recall of content knowledge that was delivered during the program via application exercises rather than by passive learning strategies such as lecture. Recommendations for practice include incorporating additional opportunities for students to apply leadership content into the curriculum, and correlating the application opportunities afforded through extra-curricular activities with the leadership content delivered in the program's diverse courses. Students' responses were consistent with reports that active learning within the classroom provided acquisition of content knowledge, students indicated that extra-curricular activities involving leadership were especially valued in fostering content learning.

Recommendations for future research include using alternative research methods to potentially uncover additional elements of the college experience that foster students' leadership development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Weinholtz, Donn
Commitee: Intriligator, Barbara, Kenary, Judy
School: University of Hartford
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Higher education
Keywords: Business, College, Education, Leadership, Leadership development, Management, Students
Publication Number: 3507364
ISBN: 978-1-267-32352-1
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