Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Drew Moser

Second Advisor

Scott Gaier

Third Advisor

Tim Herrmann

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a leadership experience on the development of creativity in undergraduate students in order to help student affairs professionals, faculty, and administrators better understand how they can develop creativity in their students. A phenomenological study was conducted on students who held a leadership position as a Resident Assistant or cabinet member of a student organization on the campus of a small institution in the Midwestern United States. The study consisted of an open-ended survey and semi-structured interviews. Key findings from this study include insight into various aspects of students’ experiences in leadership, including event planning, supervisors, collaboration, impact on communication, looking at past failure, incorporation of interests into their roles, redefining creativity through their roles, and the students’ creative self-efficacy. These findings additionally provide support for the idea that a leadership experience is an effective method for teaching creativity to undergraduate students.

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