Student Leadership Development: A Closer Look at Student Gains


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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this study is to investigate student leadership development. This study will investigate if there are any differences in the estimate of gains from attending college between students who participated in a Leadership Community and a sample of non-participants. In this study, estimate of gains is defined as students' progress toward educational goals, as reflected in the College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ). The estimate of gains represents a measure of growth in college.

The participants in this study were recipients of a first-year $1000 merit-based scholarship. Recipients of this scholarship earned a 3.75 grade point average and were ranked in the top 10 percent of his or her high school graduating class. One hundred and seventy-two students received these scholarships in the 1998-1999 academic year. Seventy-nine of these students chose to live in a Leadership Community their first-year in college. Ninety-three of these students chose to live else where on campus.

Specifically, the study is designed to examine the following hypotheses:

Null Hypothesis: There will be no difference in the mean scores of the CSEQ scales (a) Estimate of gains; (b) Student acquaintances; (c) Experiences with faculty; (d) Clubs and organizations; and (e) Course learning, for LC students as compared to NLC students.

Research Hypothesis: The LC students will have higher mean scores on the CSEQ scales (a) Estimate of gains; (b) Student acquaintances; (c) Experiences with faculty; (d) Clubs and organizations; and (e) Course learning, than the NLC students.

This quantitative study uses the College Student Experiences Questionnaire. The participants of this study will be in their fourth semester of college. The researcher will collect data from sections of the CSEQ that correspond with the hypotheses. This study isolates the variables that are associated with student leadership development to explore student leadership development within a specific population of students.

The researcher will analyze the data using descriptive statistics, as the study measures the characteristics of a population at one point in time. The researcher will determine if there are differences between scores from students who participated in the leadership community and those who did not.

The researcher anticipates this study will benefit educators in evaluating the leadership development efforts on their own campuses.



Theme Housing, student leadership, student development