ERIC Number: ED480969
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Jul
Developing Leadership Skills through Capstone Experiences.
Sargent, Sarah D.; Pennington, Penny; Sitton, Shelly
The question of whether a 15-week capstone course in agricultural communications for seniors in agricultural communications builds leadership skills beyond technical classroom learning was examined in a study of 15 students enrolled in the capstone course. The descriptive study used a pretest-posttest design and a leadership skills inventory to evaluate development of the following skills: working with groups; understanding self; communicating; making decisions; and leadership. The students rated their development of the various skills on the Leadership Skill Inventory developed by R.I. Carter, which uses a 5-point Likert-type scale. A comparison of the means of the pretest and posttest scores for the entire population indicated that the course resulted in a significant (1.13) improvement in overall leadership skills. No difference was found for the working with groups area. Very small differences were found in the understanding self (0.408), communicating (0.60), and making decisions (0.28) areas. A slight difference (-1.94) was found in the leadership area, as students' perceptions of their leadership skills decreased on the posttest. Contrary to expectations, the extra group work and assigned leaders involved in the capstone course did not result in gains in students' leadership skills. It was suggested that incorporating leadership training into the entire agricultural curriculum instead of saving it for a capstone course might be more effective. (Contains 9 tables and 17 references.) (MN)
Descriptors: Agricultural Education, Capstone Experiences, Communication Skills, Curriculum Development, Decision Making, Group Dynamics, Leadership Training, Literature Reviews, Postsecondary Education, Pretests Posttests, Required Courses, Self Concept, Skill Development, Student Attitudes, Student Publications, Transitional Programs, Vocational Education
For full text: http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/~ALE/2003/sargent1.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at "Frontiers of Leadership: People, Places & Programs" the Association of Leadership Educators International Conference (Anchorage, AK, July 16-19, 2003).