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The Impact of Cocurricular Experience on Leadership Development

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East Tennessee State University Digital East Tennessee State University Electronic Theses and Dissertations December 1998 The Impact of Cocurricular Experience on Leadership Development Deborah
East Tennessee State University Digital East Tennessee State University Electronic Theses and Dissertations December 1998 The Impact of Cocurricular Experience on Leadership Development Deborah H. White East Tennessee State University Follow this and additional works at: Part of the Business Administration, Management, and Operations Commons, Higher Education Commons, and the Higher Education Administration Commons Recommended Citation White, Deborah H., The Impact of Cocurricular Experience on Leadership Development (1998). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper This Dissertation - Open Access is brought to you for free and open access by Digital East Tennessee State University. It has been accepted for inclusion in Electronic Theses and Dissertations by an authorized administrator of Digital East Tennessee State University. For more information, please contact INFORMATION TO USERS This manuscript has been reproduced from the microfilm master. UMI films the text directly firom the orignal or copy submitted. Thus, some thesis and dissertation copies are in typewriter 6ce, vddle others may be from any type of computer printer. The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. Broken or indistinct print, colored or poor quality illustrations and photographs, print bleedthrough, aibstandard margins, and improper alignment can adversely affect reproduction. In the unlikely event that the author did not send UMI a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if unauthorized copyright material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion. Oversize materials (e.g., maps, drawings, charts) are reproduced by sectioning the original, beginning at the upper left-hand comer and continuing from left to right in equal sections with small overlaps. Each original is also photographed in one exposure and is included in reduced form at the back of the book. Photographs included in the original manuscript have been reproduced xerographically in this copy. Higher quality 6 x 9 black and white photographic prints are available for any photographs or illustrations appearing in this copy for an additional charge. Contact UMI directly to order. UMI A Bell & Howell Infonnation Company 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Aiix)r MI USA 313/ / THE IMPACT OF COCURRICULAR EXPERIENCE ON LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis East Tennessee State University In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership by Deborah H. White December 1998 m u N um ber: UMI Microform Copyright 1999, by UMI Company. All rights reserved. This microform edition is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code. UMI 300 North Zeeb Road Ann Arbor, MI 48103 APPROVAL This is to certify that the Graduate Committee of Deborah H. White met on the 27th day of October, The committee read and examined her dissertation, supervised her defense of it in an oral examination, and decided to recommend that her study be submitted to the Graduate Council, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Chair, Graduate Committee Signed on behalf of the Graduate Council Dean, School/ofGraduate Studies 11 Uvrv r- ôr. W./W Km-fU, AA f 0 a c ^ -^ ABSTRACT THE IMPACT OF COCURRICULAR EXPERIENCE ON LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT by Deborah H. White This study investigated the impact of cocurricular activities on leadership development. College graduates recognized as community leaders were selected from three communities in Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Through survey and interview techniques, the leaders were asked to reflect on high school and college experiences that led to their development as leaders. The study included a focus on differences in experiences of male and female leaders. Developmental influences such as family, mentors, global experience, and the cocurricular activities engaged in during high school and college were explored. Title IX had no impact on increased opportunities for women in this group of participants, as only two female participants were in college in Results of the study include the importance of mentors, the strength of high school teachers and cocurricular activities, and the weak influence of college cocurricular activities. High school activities most frequently reported to have influenced leadership development include student government, group music experiences, athletics, and church youth groups. College activities with the most impact include resident hall living and internships. Gender differences in experiences include women s lack of identified community mentors and the importance of a college internship experience for women. Opportunities for men s participation in sports in high school and college as well as their descriptions of community mentors provided different learning experiences for men. Recommendations include a call to higher education to develop a more comprehensive and integrated approach to leadership education. Teaching mentoring skills to future K- 12 education professionals as well as college faculty and administrators is recommended to higher education. Student Affairs preparation programs have a role to play in training future professionals how to plan meaningful leadership learning opportunities for students on campus and through distance education. Applying the best practices in experiential education will move college cociuricular activities to a higher level in achieving student learning outcomes. Accreditation bodies are also called to include such criteria in the evaluation of leadership education programs. The community leaders in this study offered leadership development advice to college students including becoming lifelong experiential learners, giving back to community, and preparing broadly for the future. Ill INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL This is to certify that the following study has been filed and approved by the Institutional Review Board of East Tennessee State University. Title The Impact of Cocurricular Experience on Leadership Development Principal Investigator Deborah H. White Department Educational Leadership and Policy Analvsis Date Submitted November i Institutional Review Board, Chair IV ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The completion of this dissertation was made possible by the love and support of several special people. To my husband, Blair, and daughters, Katie and Sarah, who put up with too many quiet summers and weekends at home as well as several high-stress moments, I say a very special thanks. To my grandmother, Katherine, who told me 1 could be anything I wanted to be. To many friends and relatives who thought they would never hear from us again, thank you for your patience. To my staff in the Office of Student Life and Leadership, thank you for carrying the load this past summer. The gift of time was critical to this process. To Linda Dietz and my colleagues in the Division of Student Affairs, your words of encouragement were a comfort. To Bettylene Franzus, a fellow ELPA student, who rescued me in a personal time of crisis my heartfelt thanks. Without your kindness, 1 would not be writing this acknowledgment. To my committee, Drs. Bumley, Dishner, and West, and my chair. Dr. Hal Knight, thank you for your guidance, enthusiasm, and patience. To Drs. Sally Lee and Ronnie Gross, I appreciate your work and advice as auditors, and fellow travelers on the doctoral path. And to Denise Hensley, so many thanks for your work in transcribing interviews, typing the survey, and reformatting the APA style tables. 1can t believe the big D is finally done! Debbie White CONTENTS APPROVAL ABSTRACT...ii...iii INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD... iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS... v LIST OF TABLES...x Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION...I Purpose of the Study...9 Setting and Methods...9 Research Problem...10 Significance of the Study... II Operational Definitions of Terms...12 Limitations of the Study Summary REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE...17 The History of Leadership Research...17 Gender Issues in Leadership Teaching Leadership...33 The Role of the Family VI The Role of K-12 Education and Youth Activities, including Sports The Role of Leadership Development Programs in Higher Education...39 The Role of the Military Academics...47 The Role of the Workplace Career Development and Career Path Theories Summary METHODS AND PROCEDURES ANALYSIS OF DATA...73 The Interview Process Characteristics of the Interviewees Educational Characteristics of Interviewees Occupations of Parents...80 Occupations of Interviewees Parental Community Involvement...81 Interviewee Community Involvement Interviewee Civic Involvement as Undergraduates and Adults Mentors Teacher Mentors Family Mentors Community Mentors...91 vu Mentoring Others The Influence of High School Cocurricular Activities Global Perspective...98 The Influence of College Significant Life Events in High School and College Academic Experiences Residence Hall Living Student Government, Greek Life, Athletics, and Other Organizations Internships and Paid Work Career Path as Adults Community Service Political Involvement... Ill Significant Life Experiences...Ill Advice to Future Leaders SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS Summary Conclusions and Recommendations Suggestions for Further Research REFERENCES APPENDICES A. Community Leader Survey V lll B. Interview Questions C. Correspondence to Community United Way Board Members D. Correspondence to Community Leader Nominees E. Auditor Instructions F. Interview Data: Advice from Community Leaders G. Auditor Letter: Dr. Sally S. L ee H. Auditor Letter: Dr. Ronnie D. G ross VITA IX LIST OF TABLES Table POPULATION PERCENTAGES FOR PARTICIPATING COMMUNITIES LEVEL OF PARTICIPATION BY COMMUNITY CHARACTERISTICS OF THE INTERVIEWEES EDUCATIONAL DATA ABOUT INTERVIEWEES EDUCATIONAL LEVELS OF PARENTS OCCUPATIONAL CATEGORIES OF PARENTS OCCUPATIONS OF INTERVIEWEES PARENTAL COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT INTERVIEWEE COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT INTERVIEWEE CIVIC INVOLVEMENT AS UNDERGRADUATES AND ADULTS TYPES OF MENTORS LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT IN HIGH SCHOOL ACTIVITIES COMPARISON OF INVOLVEMENT FROM HGH SCHOOL TO COLLEGE COLLEGE EXPERIENCES RATED AS TO IMPORTANCE IN LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Colleges and universities have long identified as part of their mission the education of America s future leaders (Roberts & UUom, 1989; Komives, 1996). Mclntire (1989) noted that the earliest colleges in America were founded to develop citizen-leaders for the future survival of its democratic governance. College student life in the mid 16(X)s was dominated by religion. In that era, higher education provided for the growth and leadership development of its students based on prescriptions of the faculty and the religious influence of the college (Roberts, 1981). According to Roberts, Debate, oratory and dramatics were the primary cocurricular activities which provided avenues for leadership growth in these early years of American higher education (1981, p. 8). One of the earliest examples of student self-govemance came when Thomas Jefferson established a student court at the University of Virginia (Brubacher & Rudy, 1958). Other attempts at student self-govemance were tried in Illinois, Maine, and Wisconsin during the late 1800s, according to Brubacher and Rudy, as students desired more control over their behavior on campus and more opportunities for leadership (1958). Roberts (1981, p.9) noted, During this time came the bifurcation of academic and cocurricular life due to the scholarly orientation of the faculty and its disdain for discipline and the extra curriculum. At the turn of the century, students participated extensively in clubs, fraternities, publications, student government, and intercollegiate 1 2 athletics. Leadership opportunities abounded and have continued to grow (Roberts, 1981). During the latter part of the 20th century, the cocurriculum on many college campuses expanded beyond these traditional activities. Students now serve on committees to recommend policies which impact the entire campus, and student governing bodies exist in many divisions of the university. Honor societies, religious groups, political groups, music ensembles, special interest groups, campus ambassadors, service clubs, organizations celebrating diverse cultures, professional societies, academic interest clubs, art and literary societies, sports clubs, campus recreation, and Greek letter social organizations all provide opportunities for student leadership development. Many campuses engage in formal leadership development programs that range from cocurricular skill training workshops to formal credit courses to a total student development model (Roberts, 1981; Roberts & Ullom, 1989; Bums, 1995; Astin, 1996). More recently, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Leadership Program, funded by the Higher Education Amendments of 1992, initiated the development of a prototype for the understanding and teaching of leadership skills to young Americans (Knobloch, 1996). This initiative encouraged institutions of higher education across the United States to reevaluate their leadership education programs, and to improve or to establish methods for teaching the art of leadership to college students. Although scholars agree that the cocurriculum contributes to valued outcomes from college (Kuh, 1995), little research has been completed relating specific learning outcomes from smdent involvement in cocurricular programs. (Astin, 1984; Howard, 1986; Kuh, 1995). Astin s work in the development of involvement theory (1984) 3 focused on the student s investment of physical and psychological energy in learning activities both inside and outside the classroom. His inclusion of the cocurriculum helped legitimize the learning that takes place outside the classroom (Astin, 1984; Kuh, 1995). Involvement theory places a higher value on what the students do in the learning process as opposed to what the faculty teach. As Kuh (1995) described cocurricular learning activities, he noted that they are predominantly student-directed. Students choose to be involved in cocurricular activities they are not a requirement for graduation. As such, motivating students to invest their time in cocurricular learning was identified as a key institutional priority (Kuh, 1995). Leadership has been studied by many, including historians, psychologists, sociologists, and business management specialists (Bass, 1990; Clark & Clark, 1990; DeMott, 1995; Roberts, 1981). Such studies have looked at leadership styles, behaviors, systems, perspectives, and cultures, and at the ways in which leaders are influenced by situations, power, class, gender, race, and society (Bass, 1990). Many books have been written on the specific skills and styles needed to be a successful leader in society. These popular books espouse determinations of leadership habits, attitudes, values, ethics, visions, and practices identified to make a successful leader (e.g., Bennis & Nanus, 1985; Covey, 1989; DePree, 1992; Peters & Waterman, 1982). Volumes have been written on the subject of leadership. In Bass & Stogdill s Handbook of Leadership. Third Edition. Bass (1990) summarized the long history of leadership theory and research; however, what is missing in the content of these sources is a plan for leadership education (DeMott, 1995; Komives, 1996; Roberts, 4 1981). Key questions related to how leadership is learned remain unanswered. Thomas A. Williamson, President of the Psychological Corporation ( ) said, We need to investigate how we teach these traits and behaviors and thereby increase the pool of qualified candidates for leadership roles (Clark & Clark, 1990, p. ix). Researchers at AT&T studied two groups of college students to determine what characteristics might predict ftitmre success as managers (Howard, 1986). Cocurricular experiences for both groups and campus leadership experiences for one group correlated significantly with predictions of attaining middle management positions. Howard (1986) concluded that too little attention has been paid to the cocurriculum in relation to the preparation of future executives and leaders. She also stated that, To clarify causality in the development of managerial competence, longitudinal research needs to be pursued both in the college environment and in employing organizations (p. 551). Kuh (1995) studied the cocurricular experiences of college seniors to identify those that students associated with their learning and personal development. Kuh (1995) reported that the category of out-of-class experiences mentioned at least once by the greatest number of students as instrumental to some aspect of their learning and personal development was specific leadership responsibilities (p. 129). Leadership roles in college were ranked among the top three experiences for skill development in the workplace (Kuh, 1995). McCauley (1986) reported in her literature review that no systematic body of research looked at experiences important to the development of a manager s career. McCall, Lombardo, and Morrison (1988) reported that early leadership experiences were a key influence on the career development of chief executives, and that most had held leadership positions in high school and college. Much is yet to be learned about student learning outcomes from involvement in cocurricular experiences, particularly as they relate to leadership development (Kuh, 1995). Traditionally, women have been under-represented in leadership positions in business, industry, education, and government (McQuarrie, 1994; Morrison, White, Van Velsor, & The Center for Creative Leadership, 1992; Morrison & Von Glinow, 1995; Roberts, 1981). In fact, women were not represented in significant numbers in the ranks of management until the 1970s (Velsor & Hughes, 1990). Although recent gains have seen women achieving mid-level management and leadership positions, the numbers of women at the top levels of leadership have shown little increase (Chliwniak, 1997; Morrison, & Von Glinow, 1995; Shakeshaft, 1989). Roberts (1981, p. 119) described four reasons for this inequity: 1) Socialized values that emphasized the inappropriateness of women s aspirations for, and attainment of, leadership positions. 2) Insufficient assistance extended to women to enable them to overcome years of sex-role stereotyping. 3) The existence of formal processes that perpetuate sex inequity and sexsegregated jobs, including preparation, recruitment, hiring and promotion practices. 4) Lack of supplemental leadership skill training programs for women to compensate for sex inequity. Velsor and Hughes (1990) found reasons similar to those Roberts (1981) identified to explain the business world s difficulties in promoting women to executive positions: 1) People find it difficult to overcome perceptions concerning the effect of gender on performance. 2) Organizations in general tend to focus on talent identification rather than on learning and development. 5 3) There may be differences between men and women in how learning occurs or in what is learned from experience, (p. 1) Benokraitis (1997, p. 11) defines these same behaviors as subtle sexism, the unequal and harmful treatment of women that is typically less visible and obvious than blatant sex discrimination. The reasons for its lack of visibility are the social and cultural norms that filter the perspective of society. Until the late 1970s, the samples used in most research studies on management and leadership were all male (Powell & Butterfield, 1984). Early management consultants ascribed to Taylors s scientific management theory, which promoted a masculinized role of the logical, unemotional analyst (Kanter, 1977). Traditional leadership roles in business, the military, and gov
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