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ERIC Number: EJ1098406
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Taking on Leadership Roles: Community College Student Government Leaders Transition to Formal Positions of Elected Authority
Miles, Jennifer M.; Nadler, Daniel P.; Miller, Michael T.
Journal of Research in Education, v21 n2 p171-176 Fall 2011
Student government is important to community colleges for a variety of reasons, well beyond simply providing students an opportunity to be involved in charting the direction of the college. Student governments provide opportunities for students to learn about the democratic process, how to represent the interests of others, the responsibility of civic participation, and even how to interact with senior institutional leaders on important topics (Bray, 2006). The current study was designed to explore how community college students transition to their roles as elected student government representatives. In the spring term of 2011, data were collected from seven community colleges in the mid-west and mid-south regions of the U.S. using a research-team developed pencil-and-paper survey instrument. An average of nearly 10 surveys were collected at each institution, with a range of 8 to 14 surveys returned from each institution. The instrument was comprised of three sections: background information on the respondent section that had seven questions, a section of 15 questions on how the student transitioned to the elected leadership position, and a 14 question section on strategies to increase participation in student government. Findings suggest that the profile of student government leaders in community colleges are indeed the traditional college students observed by Wolgemuth, Kees, and Sfarisk (2003). These students are primarily of a traditional age, non-minority, and non-first-generation student. This might mean that community colleges are indeed drawing a more traditional student body to their campus, or conversely, it might mean that the notion of a student government is attractive to traditional students, and that student government is a strong conduit to involve and engage students on campus.
Descriptors: Leadership Role, Student Government, Student Leadership, Community Colleges, Elections, Student Development, Student Surveys, Change Strategies, Student Attitudes, Two Year College Students, Likert Scales, Leadership Training
Eastern Educational Research Association. George Watson, Marshall University, One John Marshall Drive, College of Education and Professional Development, Huntington, WV 25755. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.eeraorganization.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A