Self-perceptions of leadership skills & attitudes of college sophomore student leaders
The purpose of this study was to assess the self-perceptions of leadership skill development and attitudes of experienced collegiate sophomore student leaders who elected to take an undergraduate collegiate leadership course. Leadership attitude, for the purpose of this study, consisted of one's group or leader orientation. The five leadership skills studied were working in groups, positional leadership, communication, decision-making, and understanding self. A post-then methodology was utilized with self-reporting as the process by which data was collected following completion of an academic leadership course. The major findings of this study were as follows: After the semester course, there were no significant differences among sophomore student leaders regarding their attitude toward the construct leadership orientation and their attitude toward the construct group orientation. In addition, the sophomore student leaders who completed the academic leadership course displayed a self-perceived increase in their ability to work in groups, work in positions of leadership, communicate, make decisions, and in their awareness of self. No relationship was found between the self-reported attitudes on leader or group orientation of sophomore student leaders with the amount of high school leadership courses that were completed. No statistically significant relationship was found between the self-reported attitudes on group orientation of sophomore student leaders and the amount of leadership activities in which the subjects participated in high school. A statistically significant positive relationship was found between the self-reported attitudes on leader orientation of sophomore student leaders and the amount of leadership activity participation in high school. No statistically significant relationship was found between the post-class self-perceptions of the leadership skills of sophomore student leaders and their high school leadership education. A statistically significant relationship was found between the self-perceived communication skills of sophomore student leaders and the amount of leadership activities completed in high school. The more high school leadership activities in which students participated, the less confidence the students perceived in their communication skills. Statistical analysis failed to reveal a relationship between an attitude of group orientation and any one type of leadership skill.