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ERIC Number: ED527867
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 261
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-7975-7
ISSN: N/A
An Analysis of the Effects of Program Structure and Content on Outcomes of Community Leadership Education Programs
Apaliyah, Godwin Tayese
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University
This study examined community leadership education programs employed in rural communities and organizations of several states to empower both local leaders and residents. In particular, the study investigated the relationships between community leadership education program design and structure (contact hours and content) and six outcome indices of leadership, including personal growth and efficacy, community commitment, shared future and purpose, community knowledge, civic engagement, and social cohesion. Many local communities and their agencies are now taking full responsibility for services and programs that hitherto were provided by government or state agencies. Rural communities also face declines in their farm economies, a decrease in the number of small businesses, and a depletion in natural resource based economies (agriculture, mining, forestry). Such conditions have had adverse impacts on the ability of rural areas to remain self-sufficient and reliant. These conditions and situations also affect local leadership and rural community quality of life. In response, community leadership education programs serve as platforms for developing and training local actors about the options available to communities and how to invest in those options to make their communities thrive in the context of these challenges. Methodology: Two different data sets were used in this study, one from an online study of participants of leadership programs in twenty (20) counties of five (5) states. The other data came from an analysis of the leadership program design and curricula for these same 20 leadership programs. Interviews were conducted with coordinators of these leadership programs about their structure and content. Findings: Nearly two-thirds of the participants were female and a similar proportion had at least some college education. Over four out of five were married and employed full-time. About one-fourth had incomes above $100,000 and 20 percent had incomes below $50,000. About one in five programs were sponsored by extension, 30 percent sponsored by Chambers of Commerce, and 23 percent were jointly sponsored. The remaining programs were supported by non-profit foundations, local governments or development associations. Most community leadership development programs charged tuition that was less than $300. Only a few programs adopted passive learning techniques, such as lectures, while the remainder employed teaching techniques that were active, such as small group discussion, field trips and role modeling. From the bivariate correlations, it was shown programs with more contact produced more positive results for all outcome indices. However, the amount of fees or tuition had minimal impact. The regression analysis found that more contact hours used in training participants in three of the four content areas led to 10 statistically significant gains, even after controlling for the effects of other variables. However, six of them were for a single content area, namely, individual leadership skills and knowledge. Across all six dependent variables, the sign of the coefficient was positive, indicating that the more time spent on this area translated to positive gains in the all dimensions of leadership. Both the amount of time spent on public policy and processes and group and team work showed statistically significant gains for both shared future and purpose and community knowledge. However, hours spent on training participants on topics relate to understanding community and community development processes did not produce significant results on any of the outcome indices. Of the six outcome indices, shared vision and purpose and community knowledge more greatly influenced by contact hours than the other four. In addition, greater gains were achieved by females, participants who did not have a college education, those with lower incomes (below $100,000) and those who had lived in the community for a shorter period of time. This indicates that community leadership programs have a more positive impact on participants who may not have been as involved or well connected in the community and its leadership than participants who were male, with more college education, had a higher income, and had lived there a longer time. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A