Term of Award

Summer 2022

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Dr. Juliann Sergi McBrayer

Committee Member 1

Dr. Antonio Gutierrez de Blume

Committee Member 2

Dr. Brandon Hunt


Colleges and universities across the United States are facing continued pressure to meet enrollment and retention goals, as budgets continue to become more important, specifically, being performance-based. On-campus involvement has shown to have a positive influence on a student’s decision to stay at their particular institution and thus being retained. One area of on-campus involvement that has been identified is undergraduate leadership development programs. Students participating in an undergraduate leadership development program, such as assuming an on-campus leadership position often results in higher rates of student success. The purpose of this quantitative, cross-sectional study utilizing a correlational design via survey methods was to examine the leadership self-efficacy and engagement of undergraduate students that participated in on-campus leadership development opportunities, and explore some of the motivators and barriers to involvement in these programs. The responses to the survey revealed that female (77%) students participate in these programs at a much higher rate than male (20.7%), or non-binary (2.3%) students and that White (64.4%) students participate at a higher rate than non-White students (35.6%). Black (29.9%) students participated at the highest rate among non-white participants, followed by Asian (1.1%) and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (1.1%). A theme that emerged with the contributing factors to participation was alignment with personal goals, with 74.7% of participants reported that as a contributing factor. A theme that emerged with the detracting factors to participation was lack of time to invest in the opportunity with 51.1% of participants reported that as a detracting factor. Exploring how the factors that contributed to and detracted from leadership development participation showed that contributing factors were a positive and significant predictor in leadership self-efficacy. For every one unit increase in contributing factors, leadership self-efficacy score increased by β - = .38 standard deviations. This study provides valuable information for leadership educators that work in student leadership programming. This study can encourages leadership educators to examine their own leadership development programs, and build recruitment strategies and programs that seek to increase engagement among student demographics such as male students, non-White students, and first-generation college students. Given that this study only examined students that participate in leadership programming, there were more insights on the factors that led them to participate in leadership programming. For future research, researchers could consider including students that did not participate in leadership programs to gain more valuable insights on the motivators and the barriers that students face to participating in leadership programs could be gathered. This information would be valuable to leadership educators as they try to grow their programs numerically, or grow access to their programs.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material