Date of Award

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Educational Leadership PhD

First Advisor

James A. Tucker

Second Advisor

Duane M. Covrig

Third Advisor

Karen Stockton-Chilson

Abstract

Problem. Among the wide spectrum of definitions regarding the meaning of leadership there are also themes regarding a critical need for leadership-development, and the belief that leadership can be learned and should be available to all. Therefore, it can be said that higher education has both a responsibility and an opportunity to purposefully develop this a new generation of leaders. This study explored the potential of Andrews University to foster a culture of leadership-development that will transform students who will work in collaborative spheres of influence around the globe.

Methodology. I used an exploratory, mixed-methods design. Data from an electronic survey were gathered from 418 undergraduate students. Thirteen Andrews University administrators, faculty, and staff were interviewed from a purposive sample selection process. Their responses were analyzed, clustered, and presented in 24 themes.

Findings. Students showed a high level of agreement and support that Andrews should offer a variety of leadership-development programs. Students with higher levels of agreement that Andrews should offer leadership-development and believe that leadership-development will help them Seek Knowledge, Affirm Faith and Change the World will likely participate in the higher levels of leadership-development programs. The discriminate analysis showed that other demographic variables are not predictors of likely participation. The lack of characteristic predictors may be due to the generally high interest in leadership-development found in every demographic group. Most interview respondents expressed that leadership-development is a worthwhile and attractive prospect for Andrews University and that students, staff, and central administration will be highly supportive. They also noted that while many faculty are already supportive of leadership-development, that resistance should be expected, especially related to curriculum changes. Concerns regarding the busy lives of students and faculty, lack of collaboration, further proliferation adding to the financial constraints, and too much talk-too little action emerged as challenges.

Recommendations and conclusions. The data and findings that emerged from this study provided a framework to identify 13 best practices for Andrews University to consider. As a microcosm of the international community,Andrews University has the potential to be a nucleus of learning in fostering a global undergraduate leadership-development culture.

Subject Area

Leadership, Leadership--Study and teaching

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