Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Tim Herrmann

Second Advisor

Kim Case

Third Advisor

Scott Gaier

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how involvement in leadership positions in clubs and organizations impact students’ college experience and wellbeing. The questions that guided the research were (a) how does a student’s involvement in leadership positions in clubs and organizations impact how he or she views the college experience, and (b) how is a student’s sense of wellbeing affected by his or her participation in leadership positions? Through semi-structured interviews, six major themes emerged: mentorship, past experiences, increase in leadership skills, being in relationships with others, leadership identity development, and difficult transitions. The essence of this study is that a student’s involvement in leadership positions in clubs and organizations has a positive and formative impact on a student’s overall college experience and wellbeing. A discussion of the connections between involvement, leadership, and wellbeing is provided, in addition to research limitations, implications for future research, and implications for practice.

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