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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Defining Undergraduate Student Leadership Development through Practice: A Case Study of A Rural, Midsize, Public Institution
by Moran, Lauren E., Ed.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2019, 178; 22620011
Abstract (Summary)

The rapid growth in efforts to support undergraduate leadership development over the past twenty years, coupled with the complexity of institutions of higher education, has led to a fragmented approach to undergraduate leadership education. Yet, we know that institutions have a greater impact on student leadership development when a strong, collaborative effort between co-curricular leadership programs and academic programs is evident (Seemiller & Murray, 2013). Employing an embedded, single-case study design, this inquiry study sought to explore: (a) how leadership was defined, and (b) how undergraduate leadership education was implemented, within both curricular and co-curricular contexts at a rural, midsize, public institution. The single-case study involved a comprehensive examination of interview data from 12 participants who influenced undergraduate leadership education at the strategic level, and 139 program-level documents used to inform practice of undergraduate leadership education at the case institution. Through an in-depth analysis, using inductive coding methods along with code mapping techniques, study findings indicated that how leadership was defined at the institution was greatly influenced by individual definitions of leadership as put forth by leadership educators, as well as institutional context and culture. Furthermore, leadership educators and administrative leaders revealed a heavy reliance on student leadership positions and high-impact practices as a means to teach leadership, particularly to specific populations of undergraduate students. In sum, the study confirmed that although a variety of leadership development experiences existed at the institution, efforts towards leadership education was not institutionalized, generating a need for a more collaborative, institutional approach between leadership educators. This study concludes with a discussion of implications for practice intended to influence the work of leadership educators, and to suggest intentional efforts in creating a common, institutional approach to leadership education at the university.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perry, Jill A.
Commitee: Tananis, Cynthia A., Clevenger, Aaron D.
School: University of Pittsburgh
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education, Educational leadership
Keywords: High-impact practice, Leadership, Leadership competencies, Leadership development, Leadership education, Undergraduate Leadership
Publication Number: 22620011
ISBN: 9781392462485
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