• Campus Environment Influence on Women’s Leadership Development at Small Private Institutions

      Weina, Kasie
      The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of women’s leadership and the important influential factors that impact women’s leadership development. Campus environmental factors and gender socialization were examined in an effort to understand women’s leadership identity and development and the potential influences on that development. Data were collected in a semi-structured interview with seven students from two different institutions. Both institutions were private and located in a Midwestern city. One institution had an entire on-campus population of women and the other institution had an on-campus population of 21% women. This study supported the existence of a connection between women’s leadership development, the campus environment, and gender socialization. Perceptions of their leadership were influenced by external factors such as role models, adult and peer affirmation, and the perceptions of others and internal factors such as confidence and initiative. The themes that emerged regarding the campus environmental differences were (a) self-perceptions through language, (b) demonstration of worth, (c) gender versus environment, and (d) expectations for behavior. Overall, the all-women’s institutional environment was perceived as more flexible and less dependent on gender socialization than the male-dominated institutional environment, which supports that the campus environment is an influential factor in how women perceive leadership.
    • Study of the Lasting Effects of Attending a Leadershape Program

      Stoker, Daniel J.
      This exploratory study investigated the long-term learning resulting from participation in a LeaderShape program. The research examined LeaderShape graduates‘ current practices and definitions of leadership to see if they remain consistent with the program‘s learning goals. Graduates with five or more years since attendance were studied to provide a separation of time for the social experience to dissipate and to allow for possible application of the material beyond a collegiate setting. An electronic survey was distributed to 1,399 LeaderShape graduates who attended a national session between 1986 and 2004, resulting in 207 (14.8%) responses. Quantitative questions were analyzed utilizing SPSS and four open-text questions were thematically coded and analyzed. The quantitative questions resulted in strong responses, with 17 of the 21 scaled questions with over 90% positive results. The data show that LeaderShape continues to be a meaningful experience for the respondents and they continue to identify abilities and behaviors consistent with the LeaderShape outcomes. The qualitative results demonstrated strong social connections facilitated by the environment and atmosphere, personal effects regarding values and leadership style, and continuing memory of specific curricular components most often due to emotional or personal affect. Based upon the data, LeaderShape could be characterized as an emotionally charged, positive growth experience that develops a lasting effect on program graduates by developing strong connections, enhancing personal values, and developing a commitment for leaders to influence positive change. The research demonstrates that program graduates identify, apply, and retain curricular components that enhance their personal development years after attendance with an adequate amount of time for discussion, reflection, and social interaction at the experience.
    • The Experiences of Working-Class College Students Who Became University Presidents

      Springer, Mary E.
      Working-class students enter college lacking necessary capital to predict their academic and personal success making college success less likely than for middle class students (Bufton, 2003; Mack, 2006; Paulsen & St. John, 2002; Rose, 1997; Wegner, 1973). This same social class origin helps to define experiences, provides context for understanding these experiences, and ultimately can be a strong motivation to succeed. With the help of personal and professional mentors, strong working-class family values, and an innate drive to succeed, the university presidents in this study have survived in a culture in which they did not have the necessary capital to naturally be academically, personally, and professionally successful. With a strong proportion of today’s first-time college students enrolling directly from high school, almost 55% nationally, and almost 40% nationally coming from working-class backgrounds, the university presidents in this study have provided a strong insight into the experiences and culture of working-class college students and those who become university presidents (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2008).