Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jaekel, Kathryn S.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


This study explores the personal experiences of 14 individuals who engaged in leadership opportunities during their college educations. Through in-depth interviews, this study sought to explore how those leadership experiences impacted their leadership, both in their careers and/or in the community, after their graduation from both 2 and 4-year institutions. Findings from this study indicate that participants identified that their leadership experiences had impacts upon their careers and leadership after graduation. Yet, participants also shared that they engaged in leadership because they were self-motivated to do so, rather than learning about these opportunities on their campus. The final finding indicated that there was little institutional support and/or messaging about leadership opportunities and/or opportunities to learn more about the positive impacts leadership experiences can have for students. Recommendations from this study include encouraging colleges and universities pursue more concerted efforts to better educate students about the benefits of leadership opportunities and to provide a mandated leadership experience in both a for-credit course and non-credit opportunity prior to graduation.


80 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type