Development of Leadership Capacity among College Students

Published: 2022-11-09
Development of Leadership Capacity among College Students
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  College Literature review Leadership style
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1568 words
14 min read

There are significant debates and consequent research on the valued added by a college education. This essay concerns itself with revealing the influences affecting the development of leadership capacity among college students. This body of literature review concludes by combining the research findings from six articles on the influencers of the development of leadership capacity among college students. Among the factors affecting the development of leadership capacity among college students are positive and diverse interactions among peers, the discipline major, race, gender, sexual orientation and cultural background.

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Article 1: The Influence of Positive and Diverse Interactions among Peers

Author and date

In the article Leadership Development on a Diverse Campus, published in 2009, Satu Riutta and Daniel Teodoresc sought to establish how leadership skills are developed in the diverse contexts within which students learn. Vitally, the researchers track the development of leadership capacity from a Social Change Model (SCM), a model that leads to the conception of leadership as a purposive, value-based and a collaborative process towards social change.

Aim or Scope

The research aimed to establish whether the traditional factors including leadership skills and collegiate involvement still have a role to play in affecting the development of leadership skills among students. Further, the researchers sought to establish whether interactions with peers from diverse groups have any impact on the development of socially responsible leadership.

Participants when and where

The study was conducted in the United States and accurately in a Southeastern liberal arts college. The reasons behind the selection of the college included the existence of a student's body that was highly diverse ethnically, social economically and regarding religion. The first year class of 2008 was included for the study, and their experiences were recorded throughout the year.

The inclusion of the first year class immediately after entering the college allowed for the accurate recording of the precollege experiences. Identifying the precollege experiences such as involvement in community service increases the chances of establishing a specific profile of the development of leadership capacity while in campus and the influencers to the same. There is increased importance for the control of precollege variables if the impact of college education in the development of leadership capacity is to be established.

Context and Framework

The examined college examined college in the article meets the size of a high diversity campus since the minority populations including the Natives, Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics form more than 40 percent of the student population. Also, the management to the examined college was one that supports contact among the students from different racial, economic and social backgrounds. The conceptual framework for the study comprised the Austin (1993a) model, a structure that emphasizes on an input-environment-outcome model where college outcomes are explained by tracking the interactions between precollege attitudes and experiences and the features of the college environment.

College peer relations are instrumental in determining the development of leadership capacity. The examination of peer relations within a diverse environment provides detailed information about the effect of such a phenomenon. The outcome for a college education can only be measured by understanding the difference between the preconditions before joining college and the outcome after schooling.


The key findings for the research included that peer relations have a more significant effect on the development of leadership skills as compared to college involvement. The impact of college involvement in the study was ascertained by measuring participation in college organizations. Also, the researchers found that the impact of peer relations can only be matched to the influence of precollege experiences.

College students derive leadership skills from interactions with peers from diverse backgrounds. Students from different racial groups need to employ cultural competence while at the same time blending their values with those of their peers. In the long run, the students develop emotional intelligence which is vital to the development of leadership capacity.

Article 2: Subject Major as a Significant Determinant

Author and Date

In 2013, John P. Dugan, Kimberly Q. Faith, Shannon D. Howes, Kathryn R. Lavelle, and Joshua R. Polanin wrote a report on 'Developing the Leadership Capacity and Leader Efficiency of College Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Fields. In the article, the authors reveal the results of a study conducted on the extent to which college women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) show different levels of leadership efficacy while compared with their non-STEM counterparts. The research article is relevant to the current research on the influences on the development of leadership capacity among college students. The text is barely ten years old, and it is, therefore, a credible source.

Aim or Scope

The researchers designed two research questions to guide the study. In the initial question, the researchers sought to establish whether the women in the final and pursuing a STEM major demonstrate a higher leadership capacity compared to those pursuing other careers. In the process of establishing the differences between STEM and non-STEM students the authors sought to reveal the factors affecting the development of leadership capacity. Through the examination of acquisition of leadership capacity among the women pursuing STEM courses, the authors would confirm whether the women who are viewed as empowered still face significant shortcomings while it comes to occupying leadership positions like their fellow counterparts.

Participants, When and Where

The research participants included respondents from 101 institutions of higher learning. The final size included 14, 698 students of whom 13 percent of them were pursuing a STEM major. A sample of 101 colleges is significant to draw meaningful conclusions. Importantly, the higher number of participants provides for the consideration of diverse issues of race.

Main findings

The students from STEM courses report lower levels of development of leadership capacities in comparison with their peers. The STEM environments have significant constraints that hinder the development of leadership efficacy. Other careers emphasize on interactions that contribute to the creation of a sense of belonging and they emphasize on importance of social cultural communication.

Article 3: The Effect of Nationality

Author and Date

In the article 'Effects Associated with Leadership Program Participation in International Students Compared to Domestic Students', Daniel A. Collier and Dr. David M. Rosch set out to establish the leadership-oriented distinctions between domestic and international students focusing on their development of leadership capacity from their participation in co-curricular leadership programs.

Aim and Scope

The authors sought to establish the effect of co-curricular leadership programs in developing the individual's motivation to lead and efficacy. Also, the researchers aimed at determining the extent to which international students expand their leadership capacity through participation in extra curriculum activities as well as how their experiences differ from those of their domestic peers.

Participants, When and Where

The study was conducted at a doctoral-granting college. The organization was selected because it offers extra curriculum training in leadership. The effect of racism on the development of leadership capacity is expected to be minimal where leadership training is provided. Also, examining the senior students provides an accurate profile of the outcomes of higher education.

Context and Framework

The research was conducted in an institution where students are provided with self-management, organizational and interpersonal skills. The researchers measured the acquisition of leadership capacity regarding skills, self-efficacy, and motivation to lead, the key items in the Ready, Willing and Able Model. The three concepts allow for measures of the abstract phenomena of leadership capacity and provide practicability in the assessment of development of leadership capacity.

Main findings

The international students recorded lower grade in the acquisition of leadership capacity while compared to the domestic students. Importantly, there were significant differences between the local and the international students in the social normative motivation to lead and transactional leadership skills. Nationality affects the sense of belonging and eventually the ability the willingness to lead. The limited willingness to lead has a cumulative effect on the development of leadership efficacy.

Article 4: The Influence of Participation in Community Events and Faculty Mentoring

Author and Date

In the article 'Influences on College Students' Capacities for Socially Responsible Leadership,' John P. Dugan and Susan R. Komvies established the relationship between higher education and the development of leadership capacity. The process of ascertaining the effect of higher education on the development of leadership capacity leads to unveiling the effect individual as well as the institutional factors affecting the process of attainment of leadership efficacy.

Aim and Scope

The researchers investigated the influences of higher education on the attainment of eight theoretically grounded leadership measures. Importantly interplay of individual and the institutional factors affect the development of leadership efficacy.

Participants, When and Where

The research respondents included 14, 252 students in their final years of education. The respondents came from 50 institutions that represented 25 states from the United States of America. The students in the final year of study have gone through a full set of college experiences. The determination of the effect of the same in their development of different Capacities is possible when compared to their status while joining college.

Context and Framework

The Social Change Model framework was applied to the research. The social change model is vital for tracking the attainment of leadership capacity as processes towards social change as opposed an individual or a position.

Main findings

The research revealed a variance of thirty-one percent to forty percent in student's capacities among the measured outcomes for leadership development. The findings revealed that interactions with peers, participation in community events and faculty mentoring as critical influencers in the process of development of leadership efficacy.

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