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An Exploration of the Impact of Out-of-Class Experiences for Undergraduate Students: A Focus on Participation in The LeaderShape Institute at Meredith College Sarah May Clemson University April 29, 2011. The Undergraduate Experience.

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An Exploration of the Impact of Out-of-Class Experiences for Undergraduate Students:A Focus on Participation in The LeaderShape Institute at Meredith CollegeSarah MayClemson UniversityApril 29, 2011

the undergraduate experience
The Undergraduate Experience
  • An environment conducive for academic and personal growth and development
  • Advancement of knowledge and skill sets
  • Preparation for future roles in society
leadership development
Leadership Development
  • Increased attention on leadership for students
  • Developing student leadership roles
  • Movement and development of student groups and organizations
  • Increased importance of experience working and relating to others in a team setting
out of class experiences
Out-of-class Experiences
  • Opportunities to explore interests
    • Encouraging students
      • “Devote more of their time outside the classroom to educationally purposeful activities” (Kuh, Schuh, Whitt and Associates, 1991).
  • Student investment in personal growth
the value of out of class experiences
The Value of Out-of-Class Experiences

As summarized by Kuh et al. (1994):

  • Cognitive complexity
  • Knowledge acquisition and application
  • Humanitarianism
  • Interpersonal and intrapersonal competence
  • Practical competence
the value of leadership programming
The Value of Leadership Programming

Reinelt, Sullivan, & Foster (2003, p. 7) and Bowen (as cited by Freeman and Goldin, 2008, p. 1) share the following benefits:

  • Focus on individuals
  • Clarification of values and beliefs
  • Perspectives
  • Changes in attitude
  • Personal development
  • Life enrichment
  • Development of knowledge and skills
  • Cognitive growth
  • Emotional awareness
  • Moral development
  • Practical competence
problem and purpose
Problem and Purpose
  • Institutions need to provide out-of-class experiences that enhance the development of leadership skills for undergraduate students. Additionally, a new method of collecting feedback, opinions, and overall reactions from participants in The LeaderShape Institute is needed.
  • The purpose of this study is to explore how undergraduate student participants from the Meredith College community are impacted by taking part in The LeaderShape Institute, an out-of-class leadership development experience. Furthermore, the study seeks to gain an understanding of the connections between the desired outcomes of The LeaderShape Institute and how these outcomes align with the facilitating Student Leadership and Service departmental outcomes and the institutional outcomes outlined within the mission and values for the College.

Guiding Questions

  • Guided by the institutional mission and vision, does The LeaderShape Institute aim to promote similar values and outcomes for students? If so, how does The LeaderShape Institute accomplish this?
  • As an out-of-classroom experience, how does participation in The LeaderShape Institute accentuate personal growth and development for student participants?
  • Do the views and ideas of leadership change for participants following the six day Institute? If so, how do the views change and what aspects of the programs influenced these changes?
meredith college
Meredith College
  • One of the largest independent private women’s college in the U.S.
  • Located in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Liberal arts education
  • Population of approximately 2,100 students

The College Mission and Values

  • Guiding mission and values of the institution:
    • “Meredith College, grounded in the liberal arts and committed to professional preparation, educates and inspires students to live with integrity and provide leadership for the needs, opportunities and challenges of society” (Meredith College, 2010).
    • The values guiding the institution include: integrity, intellectual freedom, academic excellence, responsible global citizenship, personal development, religious diversity, and relevance (Meredith College, 2010).
student leadership and service outcomes
Student Leadership and Service Outcomes
  • Develop a vision for change based on an understanding of self, group, and community
  • Clarify their values, beliefs, strengths, and limitations and behave congruently
  • Appreciate and respect others’ views through meaningful interpersonal relationships
  • Develop skills to articulate steps and successfully work in groups to achieve goals
  • Demonstrate critical thinking
  • Develop a connection to the institution
  • Articulate the complexity of social issues
  • Take action based on a sense of social responsibility and as an important part of everyday life
  • Develop a connection to the outside community
the leadershape institute
The LeaderShape Institute
  • The purpose of The LeaderShape Institute “is to produce a breakthrough in the leadership capacity of participants and facilitators which is demonstrated on their campus, in their community, or within their organization” (LeaderShape Institute, 2011).
  • Six day leadership experience
  • Family clusters
  • Daily themes
  • Program goals
the leadershape institute outcomes
The LeaderShape Institute Outcomes
  • Commit to identifying their core ethical and personal values and then commit to act on them
  • Identify when their behavior is not in congruence with their core ethical and personal values
  • Develop relationships where the dignity and contributions of all people are acknowledged and respected
  • Create a vision for the greater good of a community which includes a “healthy disregard for the impossible”
  • Develop skills to be able to successfully work in groups and teams to accomplish a collective vision
  • Articulate action steps necessary to implement a vision
  • Increase their capability to produce extraordinary results
  • Mixed method approach
  • Sequential explanatory strategy
  • Participants
    • Approximately 40 undergraduate students
    • Rising freshman, sophomores, and juniors
    • Requirements to participate in The LeaderShape Institute
      • Be in good standing
      • 2.0 cumulative GPA
      • Returning to Meredith College the upcoming academic year
methodology phase one
Methodology: Phase One

Phase One (Quantitative):

  • Single stage sampling design
  • A Pre-Institute and Post-Institute cross-sectional survey will be collected from each of the 40 undergraduate participants
  • Surveys will be completed while traveling to and from Fort Caswell in Oak Island, NC
  • The survey will be a modified survey based upon previous tools administered by The LeaderShape Institute and the Student Leadership and Service office
  • The survey will consist of statements that participants will evaluate using a Likert scale of 1 to 5 and several open ended questions
pre institute survey questions
Pre-Institute Survey Questions
  • I have confidence in my ability to take risks. *
  • I have confidence in my ability to manage and resolve conflicts. *
  • I have confidence in my ability to identify my own strengths and weaknesses. *
  • I have confidence in my ability to develop relationships with others who are different from me. *
  • I have participated in an experience that has allowed me to gain a greater appreciation for others within my campus community.
  • Integrity is a guiding principle in my life.
  • I am a leader on campus.

*Statements compiled from previously distributed surveys created by The LeaderShape Institute.

post institute survey questions
Post-Institute Survey Questions
  • I felt comfortable sharing personal aspects of my life with my cluster.
  • Participating in The LeaderShape Institute has helped me develop confidence in sharing my vision for helping others.
  • Based upon this experience, I will take part in additional leadership programming.
methodology phase two
Methodology: Phase Two

Phase Two (Qualitative):

  • Interviews will be conducted using a random sampling, allowing for a proportionate representation of participants from each of the classes (rising freshman, sophomores, and juniors)
  • Interviews will be face-to-face and in a natural setting
  • Interviews will be recorded to allow the researcher to look for common themes presented by participants
interview questions
Interview Questions
  • Please share your involvement in out-of-class experiences while attending Meredith College.
  • Please share your feelings about college leadership programs.
    • Please describe your most memorable leadership moment.
  • Tell me about one thing that really stood out during your participation in The LeaderShape Institute.
  • What are your thoughts about the phrase “leading with integrity” and how does this phrase apply to your life?
  • Provide feedback to Meredith College
  • Provide feedback to Student Leadership and Service office
  • Foster a greater understanding of how programming efforts align with the institutional mission and values

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