Colleges and universities across the United States face continual pressure to meet enrollment and retention goals, as budgets in this performance-based environment continue to become more important. On-campus student involvement, such as in undergraduate leadership development programs, has been shown to have a positive influence on both student retention and success. A survey was utilized to examine leadership self-efficacy and engagement of undergraduate students that participated in campus-based leadership development programs and explore some motivators (contributing factors) and barriers (detracting factors) to involvement in those programs. One emergent theme within contributing factors to participation was alignment with personal goals (74.7%), whereas, a theme for detracting factors was lack of time to invest in the leadership opportunity (51.1%). Exploration of which factors contributed to and detracted from leadership development participation showed that contributing factors were a positive and significant predictor of leadership self-efficacy. For every one unit increase in contributing factors, leadership self-efficacy score increased by β - = .38 standard deviations. This study encourages leadership educators to examine their own leadership development programs and build recruitment strategies to increase engagement among student demographics such as male students, non-White students, and first-generation college students. In the future, 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 participation in these programs.
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Phillips, B., McBrayer, J. S., Hunt, B., Gutierrez de Blume, A. P., & Fallon, K. (2023). Undergraduate Students’ Perception of Leadership Development Programs and Leadership Self-Efficacy. Georgia Journal of College Student Affairs, 39(1). https://doi.org/10.20429/gcpa.2023.390108