Looking for some evidence about the positive contributions leadership can make to a student’s college experience? Below are some resources that help explain why this is important.

The Handbook for Student Leadership Development by the National Clearinghouse of Leadership Programs (NCLP)

  • Well-constructed service experiences can offer a vehicle for powerful learning related to leadership development.
  • Student’s engagement in the collegiate environment and their involvement as members of clubs and organization and/or in positional leadership roles are positively associated with leadership capacity and efficacy.
  • Formal leadership programs are intentionally designed learning opportunities focused on increasing college student’s leadership knowledge, skills, and values. Researchers generally support positive gains from participation in formal leadership programs.

How College Affects Students by Ernest T. Pascarella and Patrick T. Terenzini

  • Service learning experiences positively influence leadership skills, the importance of a helping career, occupational identity processing, and salient career development tasks.
  • Extracurricular and social involvement during college, including Greek affiliation, has a positive impact on the development of career-related skills.
  • Involvement in diversity experiences and voluntary services activities during college enhance individual’s perceptions of how well college fostered their career skills and prepared them for their current job.
  • Academic experiences and involvement have significant impacts on career development. Cooperative or group learning experiences have a positive influence on self-reported growth in career-related skills such as leadership abilities, public speaking ability, ability to influence others, and ability to work effectively in groups.

Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership: Leadership Outcomes by the Ohio State University

  • The Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership found that students who regularly participate in community service develop greater leadership skills than students who do not participate regularly in community service.
  • Students who engage in activities during their college experience develop greater leadership skills.