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Jenkins, Daniel M.
The development of leadership skills through diversity of student organizational leadership
h [electronic resource] /
by Daniel M. Jenkins.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
b University of South Florida,
ABSTRACT: The steady increase of racial and ethnic diversity in public universities has provided student leaders with many challenges. However, little is known about the effects of racial and ethnic diversity on the development of these student leaders. This study aims to evaluate the effects of racial and ethnic diversity in college student organizations on the development of student leaders and the perceived value of such diversity on their development. The sample consists of 833 student leaders from Florida's ten public universities who completed online surveys. The questions asked were designed to evaluate their past and present leadership roles and skills, exposure to ethnic and racial diversity on their campus (specifically in student organizations), and the perceived influence of racial and ethnic diversity on their leadership skills and career preparation. The results of the study show there is a positive relationship between membership in a diverse student organization and the development of leadership skills. The findings also reveal that the leadership skills learned from this exposure are expected to better prepare students for their careers upon graduation.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 97 pages.
Advisor: Susan MacManus, Ph.D.
Student organizational involvement.
Experience with diversity.
x Public Administration
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
The Development of Leadership Skills Through Diversity of Student Organizational Leadership by Daniel M. Jenkins A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Government and International Affairs College of Arts & Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Susan MacManus, Ph.D. Committee Member: Kiki Caruson, Ph.D. Committee Member: J. Edwin Benton, Ph.D. Date of Approval: April 3, 2007 Keywords: ( diversity, leadership, leadership development, student leaders, student organizational involvement, student organizations, experience with diversity ) Copyright 2007, Daniel Jenkins
Dedicated to my loving and supportive wife Stacey and our beautiful daughter Ava.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank my advisor Dr. Su san MacManus for her tireless dedication to my graduate education and thesis, sharing her wealth of experiences, advice, and information, numerous hours of assi stance, and superb preparation for continued education as well as future research. She is blessed with a sincere devotion to her students dreams and aspirati ons. She is truly an inspiration. I also express my gratitude to my co mmittee members, Kiki Caruson and J. Edwin Benton. Dr. Caruson is an except ional professor and I credit her with my understanding of advanced stat istical analysis. Dr. Benton is an excellent professor and I credit him with my underst anding of analyzing policy programs. Both Dr. Carusons and Dr. Bentons suggestions, guidance, and support were invaluable in the completion of this thesis. Finally, thank you to my wife Stacey for her love and support during the long and often late hours of writing and research t hat went into the completion of this thesis.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Page # List of T ables ........................................................................................................iv List of Figures .......................................................................................................v Abstract ................................................................................................................vi Chapter One: INTRODUCTION TO LEADERSHIP SKILLS, DIVERSITY, AND STUDENT ORGANI ZATIONS..............................................................................1 The Importance of the Study ......................................................................1 Changing De mographics.................................................................2 Shortcomings of Existing Leader ship Development Programs.......2 Expanding Our Knowl edge Beyond Wo rkshops .............................4 A Changing Population: Diversity in Pub lic Univer sities.............................4 Types of Student Organiza tions.................................................................5 Campus Organizati onal Chall enges................................................6 Membership Diversi ty......................................................................6 Chapter Two: REVIEWING THE LITERATU RE..........................................................................8 Diversity and Interracial Inte raction on the Co llege Cam pus.....................9 Student Organizational Leadership and Leadership Development..........14 Student Organizations and Outof-class Acti vities ...................................17 Relevant Findings from the Litera ture......................................................24 Accepted Resear ch Met hods........................................................24 Theories from t he Literatu re..........................................................25 Inclusive Leadership ...........................................................25 Membership in a Student Organiza tion..............................26 Effects of Campus Divers ity on Learning Outcomes and Active Thinking ...................................................................26 Creating Diverse Conditi ons...............................................26 Substantive Topics of Infl uence....................................................27 Positive Effect s of Diver sity................................................27 Diversity and Leadersh ip Develo pment..............................28 Diversity and Car eer Preparat ion.......................................28 Diversity and Leader ship Training......................................28 i
Page # Chapter Three: RESEARCH METH ODOLOGY..........................................................................30 Research Hy potheses..............................................................................30 Survey Respondent s and Samp le...........................................................31 Survey Re spondents .....................................................................31 Sample Representativenes s.........................................................33 Constructing the Survey Sa mple...................................................35 E-mail and Inter net Survey s..........................................................35 Reliability a nd Validi ty...................................................................38 Response Rates and Sampling Conc erns....................................41 Response Rate, Spam, and E-mail Vola tility.................................43 Data and Instru mentation..............................................................47 Variable s...........................................................................................50 Variables of Interest......................................................................50 Independent/Control Variables: Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Age.........................................................................................52 Data Anal ysis...........................................................................................54 Chapter Four: RESULTS. ............................................................................................56 Results for Hypothesis Predicting a Positive Relationship among Student Leaders between Membership in a Diverse Student Organization and Development of Leadership Skills ...............................56 Descriptive St atistics ................................................................................57 Results for Hypothesis Predicting that a Positive Relationship Exists Among Student Leaders between Member ship in a Diverse Student Organization and Positive Self-ra ting of Leadership Skills.......................59 Descriptive St atistics ................................................................................60 Results for Hypothesis Predicting that a Positive Relationship Exists Among Student Leaders between Member ship in a Diverse Student Organization and Perceived Career Prepar ation.....................................61 Descriptive St atistics ................................................................................62 Results for Hypothesis Predicting that a Positive Relationship Exists Among Student Leaders between Leadership Sills Developed from Interaction with Student of Different Racial/Ethnic Backgrounds in their Organizations and Perceived Career Prepar ation...................................64 Descriptive St atistics ................................................................................65 Chapter Five: FURTHER DISCUSSION: FINDINGS, ST RENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEA RCH.........................................67 Summary of Findings ...............................................................................68 Conclusi ons ...........................................................................................72 Strengths and Li mitation s........................................................................73 Suggestions for Futu re Resear ch............................................................74 ii
Page # Chapter Six: POLICY RECOMME NDATIONS ........................................................................76 Recommendations for Lawmake rs..........................................................76 Recommendations for Higher Ed ucation Admini strators..........................77 References ...........................................................................................79 Appendices. .........................................................................................85 Appendix A: Call to Part icipate in Survey.................................................86 Appendix B: Survey Instrument...............................................................87 iii
LIST OF TABLES # Title Page # 1 Profile of Re spondents ........................................................................31-32 2 2006 Report of Undergraduate Students Gender and Race in Floridas Public Universiti es.....................................................................33 3 2006 Total Undergraduat e Student Population: Floridas Public Universiti es ...........................................................................................34 4 Survey Q uestions ....................................................................................48 5 Most Important Reason Chosen to go to the Universi ty Attended...........49 6 Variables of Interest: Concepts and M easures........................................51 7 Independent/Control Variables: Concepts and Me asures........................53 8 Relationship between Membership in a Diverse Student Organization and Development of L eadership Sk ills.....................................................56 9 Relationship between Membership in a Diverse Student Organization and Positive Self-rating of Leadership Skills ............................................59 10 Relationship between Membership in a Diverse Student Organization and Perceived Career Preparation..........................................................62 11 Relationship between Leadership Sills Developed from Interaction with Students of Different Raci al/Ethnic Backgrounds in their Organization(s) and Perceived Career Prepar ation.................................65 iv
LIST OF FIGURES # Title Page # 1 Welcome to Div ersity U..............................................................................3 2 Astins I.E.O. Framework ........................................................................16 3 The Strengths and Potential Weak nesses of Online Surveys..................36 4 Addressing the Potential Weak nesses of Online Surveys.......................37 5 Respondent Me thodology ........................................................................44 6 Student Organizational Diversity has a Positive Impact on the Development of Leader ship Skil ls............................................................58 7 Student Organizational Diversity has a Positive Impact on Student Self-Rating of Leader ship Ski lls...............................................................60 8 Student Organizational Diversity has a Positive Impact on Perceived Career Prepar ation..................................................................................63 9 Leadership Skills Developed from In terracial Interaction in Student Organizations have a Positive Impact on Perceived Career Preparatio n..............................................................................................66 v
The Development of Leadership Skills Through Diversity of Student Organizational Leadership Daniel M. Jenkins ABSTRACT The steady increase of racial and ethnic diversity in public universities has provided student leaders with many challenges. Howeve r, little is known about the effects of racial and ethnic divers ity on the development of these student leaders. This study aims to evaluate the effects of racial and ethnic diversity in college student organizations on the development of student leaders and the perceived value of such diversity on their development. The sample consists of 833 student leaders from Floridas ten pub lic universities who completed online surveys. The questions asked were designed to evaluate their past and present leadership roles and skills, exposure to ethnic and racial diversity on their campus (specifically in student organi zations), and the perceived influence of racial and ethnic diversity on their leadersh ip skills and career preparation. The results of the study show there is a pos itive relationship between membership in a diverse student organization and the development of leadership skills. The findings also reveal that the leadership skills learned from this exposure are expected to better prepare students fo r their careers upon graduation. vi
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION TO LEADERSH IP SKILLS, DIVERSITY, AND STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS The steady increase of racial and ethnic diversity in public universities has provided student leaders with many challenges. Howeve r, little is known about the effects of racial and ethnic divers ity on the development of these student leaders. This study aims to evaluate the effects of racial and ethnic diversity in college student organizations on the development of student leaders and the perceived value of such diversity on their development. This chapter provides an introduction to the concepts relevant to this thesis. It is organized into three secti ons: (1) the importance of the study, (2) the changing population and increased diversity in public universities, and (3) a look at student organizations and thei r increasing diversification. The third section is divided into two smaller sections. The first discusses campus organizational challenges and the second illu strates the membership di versity of these student organizations. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY College campuses remain one of t he most diverse microcosms of American life. Their diverse student bodies, hundreds of student organizations, and numerous academic fields create an atmosphere nearly identical to the diverse and professional world for whic h the university strives to prepare its students (The 2007 Statistical Ab stract). Just as dive rsity (racial and ethnic representation) has increased in the gener al population of the United States, it 1
has grown on college campuses (Dye, 2005). As a result, the knowledge and experience of incorporating, coping wit h, understanding, realizing, and absorbing diversity has become a monumental chal lenge but one with the potential to tremendously benefit student organizatio nal leaders should they conquer it. Changing Demographics As a leader, understanding differences and learning to lead a diverse group of people is no longer simply a good thing to do. The changing demographics of our society have made the concept of inclusive leadership a social and economic imperative. Accordi ng to projections published by the U.S. Department of Labor, while the white portion of the civili an labor will grow 22.3% from 2000-2050, the growth of the black population during the same time frame is expected to be 62.3%, 195.6% for Hispanics, and 213.5% for Asian and other races (Toossi, 2002; 16). Therefore, old def initions of fit should be altered and successful student organizations will sh ift their culture and climate to accommodate the diversity of their members (Sue, 1994). Our future brings with it the opportunity to interact with and benefit from a variety of different perspectives (Schmidt, 1996). Shortcomings of Existing Leadership Development Programs According to Schmidt (1996), st udent affairs professionals have recognized this challenge for years and have included diversity education into their leadership programs. However, the programs have compartmentalized diversity education into pseudo-special d iversity days, or diversity hours, devoting a one-hour workshop during a leadership conference to topics like 2
programming for a diverse audience, or cultural awareness 101 (Schmidt, 1996; 75). These workshops typically then mo ve on to the other or real issues of leadership: delegation, decision-making, motivating group members, etc. The only problem with this practice is that in real life, diversity does not come in fancily-packaged one-hour blocks. Figure 1 Welcome to Diversity U Source: CNSnews.com 2003; Available at: www.cnsnews.com/cartoon/nowak images/2003/diversity.jpg Although education professionals ma y get a warm feeling because the diversity issue has been included, the belief that these listless drafts of diversity are preparing our student leaders for the budding professional melting pot may be inadequate. Diversity influences delegation, decision-making, and how student leaders motivate group members (S chmidt, 1996). In reality, student leaders must confront diversity in every hour of leadership. 3
Expanding Our Knowledge Beyond Workshops The goal of this research is to expand our understanding of the impact of diversity on the development of student leadership skills beyond simple workshops. Specifically, three ques tions about student leaders guided this research: (1) Does membership in a di verse student organization have a positive influence on leadership development? (2) D oes membership in a diverse student organization have a positive influence on leadership skill self-rating? and (3) Do the leadership skills learned from interaction with students of different racial/ethnic backgrounds in their organi zations have a positive influence on perceived career preparation? A CHANGING POPULATION: DIVERSI TY IN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES The United States is one of the wo rlds premier melting pots. From the massive immigration in the early 20th century to the groundswell of new arrivals in the 21st century, America has changed in its makeup. Projections are that by 2050, the United States will have more raci al and ethnic minorities than whites (Ryter, 2004). As a direct result, the ratio of non-whites graduating from high school and being the first in their families to attend college is as significant, if not more so, as the white middle and lo wer class baby-boomers before them reaching these milestones. The growing diversity of the undergraduate student body in American postsecondary education has been well doc umented over an ex tended period of time (cf., Hodgkinson, 1985; Levine & Associates, 1989). One need only 4
examine the 2006-7 Chronicle of Higher Education: Almanac Issue to gain a good understanding of the extent of this changing population nationally or to the State University System of Florida Facts and Figures for comparable statistics in our state. For exampl e, from 1995 to 2004, the total number of white undergraduates in American colleges and universities increased by 11% (7.9% for 4-year public universities nationwide; 27% for Floridas public universities). In comparison, there was a 48.7% increase in the number of Asian, Hispanic, African American, and Native Americ an undergraduates during the same time frame (61.8% for 4-year pub lic universities nationwide; 65.4% for Floridas public universities). Consequently, the proportional makeup of college student bodies has changed. The changing composition of Flori das public universities has tracked closely with that of public universities nationally. In 1995, non-white students (e.g., Asian, Hispanic, African Americ an, and Native American) constituted 25.8% of the total national undergraduate population (16.4% in 1995 nationwide; 31.8% in Florida). By 2004, they accounted for 31.8% of the national undergraduate population ( 31.8% nationwide; 37% in Florida). TYPES OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS The types of student organizations on college campuses are as diverse as the student body itself. On the 10 Florida college campuses included in the study, racial/ethnic groups are often well represent ed by student unions, e.g., Black Student Union, Je wish Student Union, Hispan ic Student Union, Asian 5
Student Union, etc. Howe ver, these groups strive to be nondiscriminatory and often voice that all students are welcom e as members. In addition, college campuses are home to hundreds of other types of student organizations. From skydiving to surfing, Tae Kwon Do to Tango, fraternities and sororities, cultural, religious, service, and sports clubs to name but a few, ther e are outlets for virtually every student interest. Just as some in the general pop ulation are consumed by civic, governmental, and interest organizations interested students may find that classroom learning is not enough. This is particularly true for student leaders as they possess an additional drive not only to involve themselves in student organizations, but to lead, organize, invigor ate, motivate, plan, and administrate. Campus Organizational Challenges With these numerous and diverse c hannels for involvement come debates for funding from student fees through student governments, recruiting new members, planning and adm inistrating events, and re cruiting new members. These student organizational machines are piloted by student leaders elected, appointed, or sometimes even nominated to fill these leadership roles. Membership Diversity Student organizations are more divers e now than ever. No longer are student organizations, except in the rarest of cases, confined or self-restricted to a set demographic for their me mbership. This diversity creates challenges much different than those facing the organizations of yesteryear. This study is one of the first to examine the degree to whic h the diversity of these organizations 6
affects the leadership development of student leaders and prepares them for their careers following graduation. 7
CHAPTER TWO REVIEWING THE LITERATURE The vast increase of racial and ethni c diversity in college students has led to adjustments in how student leaders recr uit, organize, and interact with their organizations membership. This c hange in campus population demographics continues to create unique experienc es, developments, and challenges for student leaders. Because of these changes, the same old routines are insufficient for developing leadership training programs for student leaders, educating student leaders on the racial an d ethnic diversity of their campuses and organizations, and preparing students for their careers in an equally diversified workforce after graduation. As society becomes more and more diverse, preparing college students to become active participants and leaders in a pluralistic society becomes both more urgent and, potentially, more comp lex (Zuniga, et al., 2006). Diversity issues on college campuses can range from governmentally-enacted affirmative action policies to multicultural and di versity initiatives propelled by student activities admi nistrators. To date, little has been written s pecifically addressing the research questions at hand in this study. Cons equently, the literat ure reviewed here focuses on the literature that covers diversity and interracial interaction on college campuses, student organizational leadership, student organizations, and students out-of-class activities. 8
DIVERSITY AND INTERRACIAL INTERA CTION ON THE COLLEGE CAMPUS A handful of recent studies have exam ined interracial interaction in college within student development and/ or college socialization fr ameworks. In the first of these, Astin (1993a, 1993b) found that, independent of students entering characteristics and different types of college environments, frequent interracial interaction in college was associated with increases in cultural awareness and commitment to racial understanding. Further, he found that higher levels of academic development (critical thin king skills, analytical skills, general and specific knowledge, and writing skills ) and satisfaction with college to be associated with more frequent socialization across race (Antonio, 2001; 595-96). Hurtado, Dey, and Trevino (1994) focused specifically on the issue of selfsegregation on campus. They conducted a longitudinal study of the college behaviors most strongly associated with inte rracial interaction in college. On a descriptive level, Hurtado and her colle agues found that students of color (who are numerical minorities on most campuses) were more likely than white students to interact across race. Furthermore, they found that not only were various activities predictive of interraci al interaction, they determined that the nature of those activities vari ed by race (Antonio, 2001; 596). Other research has focused on addressing interracial interaction concentrated on the degree of racial di versity of a campus population and its effect on student outcomes. Changs (1996) study indicated that in general, greater racial diversity in the underg raduate student population positively affects the frequency of socialization across race. In addition, he found that socialization 9
across race was associated with discussing ra cial issues in college, taking ethnic studies courses, attending racial/cultu ral awareness workshops, and promoting racial understanding. Similarly, Astin (1993b) speculated t hat emphasizing di versity on college campuses either as a matter of institut ional policy or in faculty research and teaching, as well as providing student s with curricular and extracurricular opportunities to confront racial and mult icultural issues are all associated with widespread beneficial effects on a students cognitive and affective development. In particular, he asserts, such polic ies and experiences are associated with greater self-reported gains in cognitiv e and affective development (especially increased cultural awareness), with increased satisfaction in most areas of the college experience, and with increased commitm ent to promoting racial diversity. In a similar study, Gurin (2002) pr opels that students experience with diversity can be examined at three levels. The first is structural diversity, which represents the demographic co mposition of the student body. The second is classroom diversity, or the degree to which human and cultural diversity is represented in the curriculum. The third is interactional diversity, or the extent to which students from diverse backgrounds act ually come into contact and interact in educationally purposeful ways. Most effo rts by institutions to address diversity focus on structural and classroom diversity, recruiting more students from diverse backgrounds and incorporating multicultural perspectives in the curriculum (Hu & Kuh, 320-21). 10
Early research shows that efforts to increase diversity are associated with a variety of desirable student learni ng and personal development outcomes (Chang, 1999, 2000; Gurin, 2002). For example, Gurin argued that a diverse student body created a unique learning environment that lead to increased probability for students to interact wit h peers from different backgrounds. Hurtado, et al. (1999) sugges ted that diverse peers in the learning environment could improve intergroup relations and mutual understanding. Less is known, however, about the effects of student in teractions with peers from diverse backgrounds. It is clear that peers are an important factor in student adjustment to college in that peer interaction has both direct and indirect effects on how much students learn (Hu & Kuh, 2003; 321). Villalpandos (2001) study explores the extent to which desegregated groups of students of color, in comparison to white students, report different levels of overall satisfaction with college when there is a strong diversity and multicultural emphasis at thei r institution. This study sought to evaluate student institutional interaction and campus environ mental variables, characteristics, as well as measures of students values attitudes, and opinions (as independent variables). The dependent variables report outcomes based on students reported level of satisfaction with over all college experience on a four-point ordinal scale. The results of this study were hel pful in aiding the current debate regarding the impact of multiculturalism on the college student community as a whole by examining whether and how a diverse and multicultural environment 11
affects students of color as well as white students. The most re levant results are the variables measuring the environmental effects of a diversity emphasis on students' overall college satisfaction. Every group of students in the study appeared to benefit from attending cultural awareness workshops. The study's major findings comparing the effects of emphasizing multiculturalism and diversity issues on differentiated racial groups of students sugge sts that there is generally a net positive effect on their overall satisfaction with college. The results of this study appear to support mu ch of the previous research suggesting that emphasizing multiculturalism on college campuses leads to generally positive outcomes. Therefore, the study suggests t hat colleges and universities can indeed enhance the educational experi ences of students by creating an environment that facilitates and foster s a greater understanding of diversity and multiculturalism (Vill alpando, 2002). Zuniga, Williams, and Bergers (2005) study seeks to examine whether college students' participation in diversity-re lated experiences instills motivations to take actions for a diverse democracy. The study addressed 597 students which completed both a fall 2000 and spring 2001 survey that accounted for 57.8% of the 1,033 residence hall occupants that compromi sed the study's target population. The results of this study suggest t hat interactions with diverse peers, participation in diversity-related cour ses, and activities inside and outside residence halls inspire students to cha llenge their own prejudices and promote inclusion and social justice. Also, the findings highlight the influence of diverse 12
interactions and curricular and co-curricular activities on knowledge and attitudes rather than their influence on actual behavio rs or actions that students are willing to take to promote a more inclusive and socially just society (pro-active with motivation to reduce one's own prejudices at 40%). Students with higher levels of motivation toward actively reduc ing their own prejudices and promoting inclusion and social justice are more likely to be involved in the types of activities that would likely reinforce or strengthen such inclinations. Students of color are not likely to have higher levels of mo tivations than their White peers toward reducing their own prejudices or promoting inclusion and social justice (Zuniga, Williams, & Berger, 2005; 676). A (2001) study conducted by Whitt, Edison, Pascarella, Terenzini, and Nora, sought to evaluate the influence of diversity and students' opportunities to interact with people of different background s, cultures, and experiences different from their own in college. The purpose of the res earch was to: (1) identify environmental and individual influences on students' openness to diversity and challenge, and (2) suggest ways in which colleges and universities might shape their programs, policies, and envir onments to encourage such openness. Seven variables had significant positive relationships with openness to diversity and challenge across the first three years of college: (1) precollege openness to diversity and challenge, (2) se x (i.e., being female ), (3) age (i.e., being an older student), (4) per ceptions of a nondiscriminat ory racial environment at the institution, (5) part icipation in a racial or cultural awareness workshop in any year of the study, (6) diverse st udent acquaintances, and (7) conversations 13
with other students in which different ways of thinking and understanding were emphasized. An eighth variablethe number of mathematics courses taken in collegehad a significant negative asso ciation with openness to diversity and challenge in all three years (Whitt, et al., 2001; 188). STUDENT ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Leaders are the heart and soul of student organizations. Their ability to recruit new members, administer events, motivate the membership, and resolve internal and external conflicts is crit ical to organizational success. Schmidt (1996) coined the term Inclusive Leadersh ip, emphasizing the concept of the changing demographics in our society. Inclusive leader ship brings with it the need to understand ethnic and racial diversity as a social and economic imperative. The necessity of the changing role of the leader is vital to the student leader as he or she prepares themselves for their roles as leaders in their careers following graduation. Astin (1993a) found that the strongest positive effect on self-reported growth in leadership abilities is associated with going away from home to attend college (with this factor in affect for a ll college students). Astin also found that the three involvement variables showi ng the strongest residual correlation with self-reported growth in leadership abilitie s are hours per week spent in student clubs organizations, being elected to a st udent office, and giving presentations in class. Other positive associations include attending a racial or cultural awareness workshop, being a me mber of a social fraternity or sorority, and 14
socializing with students from different racial or ethnic groups. Socializing with persons from different racial or ethnic groups also showed a significant positive correlation with self-reported impr ovements in job-related skills. In a 2000 study conducted by Arminio, Carter, Jones, Kruger, Lucas, Washington, Young, and Scott, researchers at a large and mid-si zed institution, experiences of student leaders of color were observedattitudes toward being labeled a leader, the personal costs of holdi ng leadership positions, and the like. The research design was a combinatio n of case studies, phenomenological research, and narrative research. T he researchers interviewed 106 non-white male and female students (no international students). The studen ts had to hold a formal or informal leadership position on t heir campus. The actual interviews spanned the first two years of college, although some students came back for a third year interview. Standardized openended questions were designed to allow participants to tell their stories focusi ng on their leadership experiences while minimizing variations across interviewe rs. Questions focused on experience and behavior, opinion and values, and feeling. Questions were altered in their form each year. The researchers employed a content analysis of the interview transcripts. The study concluded that there are im portant means by which the values and experiences of student leaders of co lor are not being validated in leadership programs based on conventi onal leadership literatur e and that leadership language does not "ring true" for all st udents. The study further demonstrates 15
the need to transform leadership training to include a variety of cultural perspectives. Kezar and Moriartys (1996) study on the various methods of college student leadership explored gender and ethnic identity and their relationship to leadership. Kezar and Moriarty empl oyed a one-group pretest-posttest design where students college experiences from 1987 through 1991 was the treatment. In this study, the authors utilized Astins popular input-environment-output (I-E-O) model of assessing college outcomes. Figure 2 Astins I.E.O Framework Source: A.W. Astin, Assessment for excellence. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1991 In this model, outcomes refer to t he dependent variable or variables that are being examined to determine whether or not change has occurred during the college years. The sample for this study included 9,371 students from 352 fouryear institutions that were given t he 1987 Freshmen Survey and the 1991 FollowUp Survey of College Freshmen colle cted by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP). The dependent variables, tested by the survey, 16
posed questions to produce feedback regarding the students entering leadership ability self-rating and self-rating of leader ship related qualities, communication skills (public speaking and writing), self-c onfidence (intellectual and social), and the ability to influence others. The indepe ndent variables came from the CIRP data that included numerous variables t hat allow for an ex amination of the relationship between the dependent variables and precollege factors as well as college environmental factors. Kezar and Moriarty were able to find st atistically significant relationships between their variables. Therefore, the authors were correct in their assessment that different strategies are necessary for the development of leadership among a diverse group of students. STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND OUT-OF-CLASS ACTIVITIES The focus of this study is on the l eaders of student organizations. These student-lead organizations fost er the needs, interests, so cialization, experience, and career-preparation unlike any other outlet outside of the classroom. These microcosms of the outside world are pr eparing students for the civic, business, and political organizations they will becom e members of after graduation. Guiffridas (2003) study asserts that the integration of non-white students is positively influenced by formal forms of associations such as involvement in student organizations. The importance of student organizations, especially cultural student organizations, to minority student re tention has been supported in the literature (DeSousa & Kuh, 1996; Mallinckrodt & Sedlacek, 1987; and 17
McClung, 1988). Murguia, Padilla, and Pa vel (1991), in a qualitative study of Hispanic and Native American students, found that participation in ethnic organizations enabled students of color to scale down the larger campus environment by forming smaller "enclaves. They argued that once integrated into an ethnic enclave, students felt more comfortable explorin g and integrating into the larger campus community. Sim ilarly, Padilla, Trevino, Gonzalez, and Trevino (1997), using data collected in small focus groups with Hispanic, Asian American, Native American, and Afric an American students, found that ethnic organizations enhanced their college experiences by allowing them to "retain and nurture a sense of ethnic identity on campus ." They concluded that an important benefit of involvement in ethnic student or ganizations is to assist students of color in bridging the cultural gap bet ween their home communities and their universities. In addition, Guiffrida (2003) found that an equally important motivation for joining a student organization was the connections it would create in the professional world. Just as leadersh ip in a student organization may benefit a student with interracial interaction (incl uding white students) ; the visibility may build bridges into the professional world. Moreover, the abili ty to communicate with faculty or administration was height ened. One student interviewed in Guiffridas study when asked if he had always had a strong relationship with faculty, this male explained how his invo lvement in a cultural organization was the key. I would say being a member of an organization has helped because well, somebody explained it to me [t hat] it seems just a little strange 18
if just a random person walks in to somebody's office [saying], "Hello, can I speak with them?" They might not give me the time of the day sometimes or whatever. But, if you're a member of an organization, they will probably give y ou the time of day sooner or later. It seems like being a part of something helps. In a study on student development as a result of involvement, Flowers (1996) used data from the College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ), from a ten-year span of 1990-2000. From the CSEQ, Flowers utilized data from 7,923 African American students from 192 institutions (9 3 public and 99 private) that took the survey. Flowers used CSEQ scales to outs ource the following independent variables: Student Involvement, Interactions with Faculty, Effort to used to Learn Course Information, Art, Music and Theater Scal e; Personal Experiences; Student Union scale assessing union use; At hletic and Recreational Facilities Scale; and the Clubs and Organizations Scale. The dependent variables were educational outcomes defined as five C SEQ scales that yielded self-reported gains, an understanding of the arts and humanities, personal and social development, understanding science and tec hnology, thinking and writing skills, and vocational preparation. The resu lts showed that in and out-of-class experiences positively impacted st udent development of the students represented by the data sample. Antonio contributed to this research by addressing our understanding of the role of interracial interaction in students college experiences by taking in account the racial diversity of students close friends. In this way, differences in 19
the effects of interracial contact bet ween those that are of an acquaintance nature and those that are mo re causal could be inferred (Antonio, 2001; 597). Research on the impact of interraci al interaction in college students has indicated that during colle ge, students tend to change in the direction of greater tolerance to individual differences (Pa scarella & Terenzini, 1991). Moreover, research on college impact demonstrat es that students interpersonal environments (e.g., interactions with peer s and faculty) have the greatest impact on changes in values, attitudes, beliefs, and actions (Whitt, et al., 2001). For example, non-course-related peer interacti ons, such as serious discussion with students of varied religious beliefs and political opinions, had a significant positive influence on cognitive development in the first three tears of college (Whitt, et al., 1999). On t he other hand, experiences that insulate students from diversity in ideas or people tend to inhibi t cognitive development (Terenzini et al., 1996; Whitt, et al., 2001). Nonetheless, numerous studies show that student body diversity promotes leaning outcomes, better prepares students for an increasingly diverse workforce and society, and better prepares them as professionals (Hurtado, 2005; 596). However, Chang (2003) argues that the benefits of di verse environments brought about by affirmative action may not be immediately evident to individuals within institutions. Perhaps more important ly, the research in dicates the benefits accrue to individual and organizations under optimal conditions and many educators must strive to create these conditions if they are non-existent in educational institutions (Gurin, et al., 2002). 20
Hurtado argues that the next generation of diversity and intergroup relations research should explore aspec ts of the optimal conditions that considerably expand those initially postulated in G.W. Allports 1954, The Nature of Prejudice Hurtado further argues that additional evidence is needed about the conditions and practical interventions within diverse education settings that result in preparing individual for an incr easingly diverse workplace, regardless of whether or not affirmative action is the source of this diversity (Hurtado, 2005; 596). Hurtado hypothesized in her (2005) study that diversity in the student body provides the kind of experience base and discontinuity to evince more active thinking among students moving them fr om their own embedded worldview to consider those of another (or their divers e peers). She suggests that theories in line with this style of thin king of how diversity works in education suggest that most of us are cognitively inclined to re ly on familiar ways of thinking that include habits, routine, and even stereotypes that dominate our world view (Hurtado, 2005; 598). Still, as research has delved into the pressure of the assimilation of diversity on campus, other research in this area has touched on the idea of how diverse students may have separate needs when it comes to leadership and professional preparation. Because it has become increa singly important from an educational and administrative perspective to fairly treat and prepare diverse students for the professional wo rld, this issue has received increased attention. Nonetheless the intersection of leadersh ip development and diversity has been 21
explored only superficially on college camp uses (Arminio, et al., 2000). Though the literature on leadership is vast, a search of this subject will reap scores of what Rogers (1996) described as conventio nal leadership literature but little alternative literature and even less invest igating that intersection of race and leadership. Kuh (1993) sought to discover the im pact of out-of-class experiences on outcomes of college attendance considered importance by students. The sample consisted of 149 Students classified as seni ors from 12 institutions in different regions of the United States which were interviewed to determine the impact of out-of-class experiences on student learning and personal development. No more than half the students were to be highly visible leaders (e.g., editor of student newspaper, varsity athlete, president of an organization, etc.). Interviews were conducted between January and June of 1989. Interviews occurred in private rooms in campus buildings and ranged from 35 minutes to one and a half. Students were visi ted twice by a team of two to four investigators; the interviews with students on which this study is based were conducted during the second study. The basis of the interview consisted of four probes: (1) why did you choose to attend this college and in what ways has it been what you expected, (2) what are the most significant experiences you have had here, (3) what are the ma jor highlights of your ti me here? low points? high points? surprises? disappointments? and, (4) how are you different now than when you started college? 22
The results of this study show t hat, consistent with earlier studies, experiences beyond the classroom made su bstantial contributions to student learning and personal development. A ll students reported per sonally meaningful changes in one or more areas considered to be important outcomes of college (e.g. interpersonal and practical competences, critical thinking). A (1999) study by Whitt, Edison, Pascarella, Terenzini, and Nora, examined relationships between peer intera ctions and cognitive outcomes during college. This quasi-experimental time seri es design was identical to the (2001) Whitt, Edison, Pascarella, Terenzini, and No ra study discussed above. However, instead, the researchers employed a longitudinal investigation of the factors that influence learning and cognitive development in college. The sample included 3,840 students at 23 colleges and universities (18 four-year and five two-year) in 16 states Institutions were chosen from the National Center on Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data to represent differences in colleges and universities nationwide on a variety of c haracteristics, including inst itutional type and control, private liberal arts colleges, public and privat e, historically black, size, location, patterns of student residence, and et hnic distribution of the undergraduate student body. Positive significant relationships were found between peer interactions and cognitive outcomes. Further, the resu lts of the study pr ovide substantial support for scholars who have argued fo r the central importance of peer interactions in shaping the nature and m agnitude of college's impact on students. 23
Student involvement is the single most important determinant of what one derives from a college education. The more that students were involved with their peers in both course-related and noncourse related interactions, the greater their cognitive growth during co llege. Moreover, peer interactions on non-course related manners were the only interactions that had significant positive effects on objectively measured outcomes. RELEVANT FINDINGS FROM THE LITERATURE REVIEW The literature shows that both debate and interest still surround the effects of diversity on college campuses, am ongst college students in and out of the classroom, and particularly on interracial interaction. In addition, the methodological, theoretical, and substantive topics reviewed in the literature were helpful in refining the res earch design for this study. Accepted Research Methods The bulk of the researchers discussed in the literature drew their data from mass surveys of students as well as qualit ative interviews. However, further review of the literature i ndicates that data collected from surveys such as the CSEQ utilized by Flower s (1996) and IPEDS utilized by Whitt, Edison, Pascarella, Terenzini, and Nora (1999) resulted in much more effective and reliable analysis. In addition, the time spent on content analysis of interviews as well as the validity and reliability of subjectively coding responses is questionable. 24
Surveying college students also proved to be a popular, valid, and reliable method of data collection. Surveys ar e unique their ability to collect data on demographics, characteristics, opinions, and self-reported statistics. Astin (1993), Kezar and Moriarty (1996), Flow ers (1996), Whitt, Edison, Pascarella, Terenzini, and Nora (1999), were just a few of the studies that utilized college student responses to surveys. These researchers were able to convert the survey responses to data easily measured by statistical analysis. This technique was found to be an ideal method for data collection in the study at hand. Theories from the Literature A review of the key theories discussed in the literature reveal four specific ideas that influenced this research: (1) In clusive leadership brings with it the need to understand ethnic and racial diversity as a social and economic imperative, (2) Motivation for joini ng a student organization comes from the connections it will create in the professi onal world, (3) Student body diversity promotes leaning outcomes and provides the kind of experience base and discontinuity to evince more active thinking among students moving them from their own embedded worldview to consider those of another (or their diverse peers)., and (4) The next generation of diversity and intergroup relations research should explore aspects of optim al diverse conditions (which educators must strive to create). Inclusive Leadership Inclusive leadership emphas izes the concept of the changing demographics in our society (Schmi dt, 1996). This theory is important to this study as it looks to how leaders understand ethnic and racial diversity. As 25
leaders prepares themselves for their role s as leaders in their careers following graduation, it is vitally impor tant for them to have had interracial interaction. Specifically, the idea of inclusive l eadership focuses on the practices of understanding and including diversity into leadership decision and experiences. Membership in a Student Organization Joining a student organization has many benefits. According to Guiffr ida (2003), one of the most significant benefits is the connections it would create in the professional world. This theory, then, may be equally true for diverse student organizations. It would follow then that leadership in a student organization would provide interracial interaction and preparation for future mult icultural relations in the professional world. Effects of Campus Diversity on Lear ning Outcomes and Active Thinking Many theories have pointed to how a diverse student body promotes better learning outcomes. Additi onal benefits for students hav e included preparation for an increasingly diverse workforce and evincing more active thinking among students, moving them from their own embedded worldview to consider those of another (or their diverse peers) (Hurtado, 2005). These ideas are influential on the research at hand as it looks to ident ify the relationship of diversity on the perceived career preparation. Creating Diverse Conditions Hurtado (2005) theoriz ed that that the next generation of diversity and intergroup rela tions research should explore aspects of the optimal conditions for diversity and its positive effects. Likewise, research is needed to explore the conditions and practical interventions within diverse education settings that result in preparing individual for an increasingly diverse 26
workplace (Gurin, et al., 2002). These ideas are important to this study as it looks to future research on how educational institutions can strive to create such conditions. Substantive Topics of Influence A review of the key substantive topi cs discussed in the literature reveal four specific ideas that influenced this research: (1) Emphasizing diversity has a positive effect on a students cognitive and affective development, (2) There is a strong residual correlation with self-report ed growth in leadership abilities and hours per week spent in student clubs organizations and being elected to a student office, (3) Socializing with persons from different racial or ethnic groups has a positive relationship with self-repor ted improvements in job-related skills, and (4) As a result of diversificati on, there is a need to transform leadership training to include a variety of cultural perspectives, Positive Effects of Diversity Astin (1993b) found that emphasizing diversity on college campuses either as a matter of institutional policy or in faculty research and teaching, as well as providing students with curricular and extracurricular opportunities to confront racial and multicultural issues are all associated with widespread bene ficial effects on a students cognitive and affective development. Other early research on this topic shows that efforts to increase diversity are asso ciated with a variety of desirable student learning and personal development outcomes (Chang, 1999, 2000; Gurin, 2002). Likewise, Villalpando (2002) found that there is positive relationship between emphasizing 27
multiculturalism and diversity issues on differentiated racial groups and overall satisfaction with college. A synthesis of these topics was influential in providing evidence of a strong positive association between diversity and interracial interaction on campus and student development. Diversity and Leadership Development Astin (1993a) a strong correlation between self-reported growth in leadership abilities and hours per week spent in student clubs and organizations and being elec ted to a student office. There is also a positive relationship between attending a racial or cultural awareness workshops, being a member of a social fraternity or sorority, and socializing with students from different racial or et hnic groups on leadership development. Strong associations of diversity and leader ship developed fueled this research and helped to develop this study. This st udy aims to look directly at this association by studying student leaders. Diversity and Career Preparation Astin (1993b) found that socializing with persons from different racial or ethnic groups has a significant positive correlation with self-reported improvements in job-related skills. It would follow then, that diversity may have a positive influence on career preparation. This topic was influential is future research on this association. Diversity and Leadership Training Innovative literat ure has focused on the topic of developing specific leadership pr ograms as a result of diversification. A (2000) study by Arminio, et al., conclu ded that there are important means by which the values and experiences of student leaders of color are not being validated in leadership pr ograms based on conventional leadership literature and 28
that leadership language does not "ring true" for all stud ents. The study further demonstrated the need to transform leadership training to include a variety of cultural perspectives. This study hopes to show that diversity is influential on leadership development and open the door for future research on specific techniques for leadership development training. 29
CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY In this chapter, the research hy potheses, design, data, dependent and independent variables, and analytic techniqu es used in the study are delineated. Specifically, the chapter is organized into six sections: (1) the research hypotheses, (2) a description of the survey respondents and sample, (3) a discussion regarding non-res pondents and the volatility of Internet and e-mail spam, (4) an explanation of the reliability and validity of Internet and e-mail surveys and their response rates, (5) a description of the measures and variables utilized in the study, and (6) t he analytic procedures employed. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES It is hypothesized that, among stu dent leaders, there is a positive relationship between: H1: Membership in a diverse student organization and development of leadership skills, H2: Membership in a diverse student organization and positive self-rating of leadership skills, H3: Membership in a diverse student organization and perceived career preparation, and H4: Leadership skills developed from interaction with students of different racial/ethnic backgrounds in thei r organizations and perceived career preparation. 30
SURVEY RESPONDENTS AND SAMPLE This section is split into three parts. The first describes the survey respondents, the second describes the survey sample, and the third discusses weaknesses in sampling and recommendations for future studies. Survey Respondents Respondents were 833 student l eaders from Floridas ten public universities. (Student leaders were also the unit of analysis.) Respondents identifying themselves as graduate students were not included, resulting in 685 undergraduate student leaders. A res pondents ethnicity and other personal characteristics were self-reported. T he online research questionnaire (survey) identified student leaders as attending one of Floridas ten public universities. 98 respondents did not answer the race/ethni city question, resulting in a final sample of 587. The sample makeup including demographics of the respondents is listed in Table 1. Table 1 Profile of Respondents Characteristic Frequency Percentage Gender Female 364 61.9 Male 221 37.6 Omitted 3 0.5 Race/Ethnicity White/Caucasian 343 50.1 Omitted 101 14.7 African American/Black 93 13.6 Hispanic/Latino 81 11.8 Asian or Pacific Islander 30 4.4 Bi-Racial 25 3.6 Other 11 1.6 American Indian or Alaskan Native 1 0.1 31
Table 1, Continued Profile of Respondents Characteristic Frequency Percentage Public University University of Florida 172 25.1 Florida State University 164 23.9 University of Central Florida 63 9.2 University of West Florida 55 8 Florida International University 53 7.7 University of South Florida 52 7.6 Florida A & M University 39 5.7 Florida Atlantic University 32 4.7 Florida Gulf Coast University 30 4.4 University of North Florida 25 3.6 Age 20-21 294 42.9 22-25 177 25.8 19 or younger 86 12.6 25 or older 30 4.4 Omitted 1 0.1 Geographic Area Suburban 492 71.8 Urban 148 21.6 Rural 45 6.6 College Organizational Membership Academic/Honor Society 364 53.1 Campus Activities/Event Planning 322 47 Volunteer/Service Club 301 43.9 Fraternity/Sorority 283 41.3 Student Government 277 40.4 Intramurals 235 34.3 Professional Society 210 30.7 Special Interest 206 30.1 Racial/Ethnic Organization or Student Union 157 22.9 Religious 151 22 Dorm/Residential Council 97 14.2 Media: Journalism, Campus Radio, or TV 51 7.4 Other 30 19.5 Varsity or Club Athletics 20 2.9 Pep Club 11 1.6 # of Leadership Positions in Student Organizations 1-2 383 55.9 3-4 196 28.6 5-6 64 9.3 7 or more 22 3.2 Note: *Percentages in this category add to greater than 100% due to the multiple response question format. Source: Internet survey of 685 student organizational leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. 32
Sample Representativeness The study sample is a valid representation of the gender and race/ethnicity of undergraduate students in Floridas public university as measured by data reported by the Flori da Department of Educ ation. (See Table 2.) The sample also reflects the enro llment demographics of Floridas university population. (See Table 3.) Table 2 2006 Report of Undergraduate Students Gender and Race in Floridas Public Universities Characteristic Frequency Percentage Percentage of Sample Gender Female 129,696 56.80 61.90 Male 98,483 43.20 37.60 Race/Ethnicity* White 133,425 58.50 50.10 Hispanic 41,663 18.30 11.80 Black 33,926 14.90 13.60 Asian 10,868 4.80 4.40 Omitted 3,714 1.60 14.70 Native Indian 907 0.04 0.10 Note: *0.5% of respondents omitted gender question Source: Florida Department of Educatio n; Internet survey of 685 student organizational leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. 33
Table 3 2006 Total Undergraduate Student Population: Floridas Public Universities University 2006 Population Percentage of Total Population Percentage of Sample University of Central Florida* 39,381 17.3 9.2 University of South Florida* 34,631 14.9 7.6 University of Florida* 34,603 15.2 25.1 Florida State University* 30,946 13.6 23.9 Florida International University 30,052 13.2 7.7 Florida Atlantic University 19,919 8.7 4.7 University of North Florida 13,833 6.1 3.6 Florida A & M University 9996 4.4 5.7 University of West Florida 7903 3.5 8 Florida Gulf Coast University 6962 3.1 4.4 Total 228,226 100.0 100.0 Note: *Access to leaders e-mail addresses on Univ ersity of Florida and Florida State University exceeded University of South Flori da and University of Central Florida Source: Florida Department of Education; Inter net survey of 685 student organizational leaders at Floridas 10 public universities conducted February-March, 2007. Constructing the Survey Sample The sample consisted of 3,092 student leader e-mail addresses that were listed on their respective universities websites. The e-mail addresses were identified as belonging to officers of st udent organizations as well as elected or appointed student government officers or officials. All respondents were student leaders who clicked on the hyperlink to the su rvey in the invitation e-mail sent to them. The invitation e-mail indicat ed that the study was anonymous (no identifying information was collected), t hat all data was conf idential, and that participation was voluntary. (See Appendix A for survey instrument instructions.) Additionally, the invitation e-mail indica ted that the purpose of the survey was to gather information about their student organizational experiences and that it would take only five to ten minutes of their time to complete. The initial invitation e-mails were sent to the sample on February 19-20, 2007. Then, identical reminder e-mails were sent on February 26, 2007. Lastly, third and 34
final reminder e-mails were sent on Ma rch 6, 2007. Responses were collected through March 20, 2007. E-mail and Internet Surveys The interest in Web-based surveying is not surprising as it offers a number of distinct advantages over more traditional mail and phone techniques. Examples include reducing the time and cost of conducting a survey and avoiding the often error prone and tedious task of data entry (Medin, Roy & Ann, 1999). Furthermore, online surveys allow a research to reach thousands of people with common characteristics in a s hort amount of time, despite possibly being separated by the greatest geographic distances (Bachmann & Elfrink, 1996; Garton et al., 2003; Taylor, 2000; Yun & Trumbo, 2000). Online surveys may also save time by allowing researchers to collect data while they work on other tasks (Llieva Baron, & Healey, 2002). Once an invitation to participate in a survey is posted to the website of a community of interest, emailed to people through a lists erve service, or distributed through an online survey research service, resear chers may collect data while working on other projects (Andrews et al., 2003). Responses to online surveys can be transmitted to the researcher immediatel y via email, or po sted to a Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) document or database file. This allows researchers to conduct preliminary analyses on collected data while waiting for the desired number of responses to accumulate (Llieva et al., 2002). E-mail offers one option for distributing Internet surveys. Up until a few years ago email surveys were the predominat e means of Internet surveying. As 35
the World Wide Web (WWW) has grown in popularity, the use of HTML forms or Web-based surveys are becoming the dominant method of gathering survey data. These forms streamline the data collection process formatting and entering responses directly into a database for analysis (Solomon, 2001). Below is a diagram from Evans and Mathurs (2005) on the value of online surveys that depicts the major strengths and major potentia l weaknesses of online surveys. Figure 3 The Strengths and Potential Weaknesses of Online Surveys Source: Evans and Mathur, 2005, pg. 197, Figure 1. The Strengt hs and potential weaknesses of online surveys 36
As is evident in the diagram and discussed throughout this section, the advantages of online surveys far outweigh the disadvantages, particularly for the type of study conducted here. Moreover, as Evans and Mathur (2005) suggest in the flowchart below, the weaknesse s can be addressed and combated to increase response rates and diminish interference. This issue is covered in more depth in the section on response rates and sampling concerns. Figure 4 Addressing the Potential Weaknesses of Online Surveys Source: Evans and Mathur, 2005, pg. 210, Figure 4. Addressing the potential weaknesses of online surveys 37
For this study, the web site www.FreeOnlineSuveys.com was chosen to host the survey. After searching the Internet for available sites and reading Wrights (2005) study that compared 20 of the more prominent packages, costs, and services, this web site was deemed the bes t fit. In additi on, this web site was chosen for its cost ($9.95 monthly st udent rate as compared to as much as $56 monthly or $1,495 for the purchase of a personal su rvey program), ease of use in creating the survey, and the ability to use a hyperlink as an invitation to the survey that could be easily inserted into an e-mail. A further advantage of this web site was the ability to download the results into an Excel spreadsheet file that could be easily converted to SPSS for statistical analysis. The remainder of this section is split into two smaller sections. The first section discusses the reliability and valid ity of e-mail and Internet surveys and the second section reviews response rates and sampling concerns. Reliability and Validity Pascarella and Terenzini (1998) believe that the issue of dramatically increasing student diversity will have significant and perhaps even profound implications for future research on the impact of college on students. First, that research will simply be more difficult to do. It is one thing to conduct longitudinal research on an intact cohort of full-time students, living on campus, who have no work or family responsibilities, and w ho progress through their college years at about the same rate. (Indeed, the fact that such students have represented something akin to a captive audience perhap s at least partially explains why they have been the focus of the vast majority of college impact studies .) It is quite 38
another thing, however, to conduct longi tudinal research with students who are on campus only part-time, who commute to college, who have major work and/or family responsibilities, and whose rates of educational progress are as varied as the students themselves. To combat Pascarella and Terenzini findings on the difficulties of surveying college students, this study tur ned to an electronic medium. According to Fox et al., (2001) and Nie et al., (2002) researchers in a variety of disciplines have found the Internet a fr uitful area for conducting survey research. As the cost of computer hardware and software continues to decrease, and the popularity of the Internet increases, mo re segments of society are using the Internet for communication and informa tion (Wright, 2005). Likewise, one advantage of survey research is that it takes advantage of the ability of the Internet to provide access to groups and individuals who would be difficult, if not impossible to reach through other channe ls (Garton, Haythornthwaite, & Wellman, 1999; Wellman, 1997). As a resu lt, the Internet appears to be the perfect medium for conducting research. However, critics argue that regardless of the vast resources the Internet can tap into, disadvantages still murk. One of the greatest disadvantages often noted in Internet survey research is t hat the demographic su rveyed will not result in an adequate and reliable sample. Current ly the biggest concern in Internet survey is coverage bias or bias due to sampled people not having or choosing not to access the Internet (Crawford, Couper & Lamis 2001). However, there are specific populations where Internet access is extremely high and coverage 39
bias is likely to be less of a concern. College students and university faculty within the United States of America, Canada, and Wester n Europe are examples of such populations (Solomon, 2001). Therefore, the validity of t he sample used in this study is strong since it is known that college students have a high frequen cy of access to the Internet, that many have personal e-mail addresses, and that all Florida public universities require that all of thei r students register for and communicate with an e-mail address for correspondence with their prof essors for syllabi, submission of assignments, and other course-related mate rials. In fact, Florida public universities also require a computer literacy course emphasizing the use of word processors, spreadsheets, Internet browsing and of course, e-mail applications. Other issues of bias include access to the use of comput ers. However, this is also not a factor to consider when addressing this study because Floridas public universities have thousands of comput ers available for use at no charge to their students in their libraries, residenc e halls, computer labs, and student unions. Moreover, many students own t heir own desktop or laptop computers and may even utilize wireless Internet connections on their campuses, local restaurants and shops, or even their residences. Since it was evident that student leaders would have access to e-mail and their e-mail addresses were available on th eir universities websites, the choice to conduct the survey through e -mail logically followed. 40
Response Rates and Sampling Concerns Studies of online survey methods have shown that response rates in email surveys are equal to or better t han those for traditional mailed surveys (Mehta & Sivadas, 1995; St anton, 1998; Thompson, Surf ace, Martin, Sanders, 2003). Although this method was not employed here (although it was suggested), one relatively inexpensive tech nique used by market researchers to increase response rates is to offer some ty pe of financial incentive, e.g., a lottery. Individuals who participate in the survey are given a chance to win a prize or gift certificate, and the winner is selected randomly fr om the pool of respondents. However, this technique is not without problems. Internet users frequently encounter bogus lotteries and other "get ri ch quick" schemes online, so a lottery approach to increasing response rates coul d potentially undermine the credibility of the survey. In addition, offering a fi nancial incentive may increase multiple responses to the survey as participants try to "stack the deck" to increase their chances of winning (Konstan, et al., 2005). Straight incentives such as a coupon redeemable for real merchandise, i.e., boo ks, may be more effective and more credible. Solomon (2001) explains that several factors have been found to increase response rates including personalized e-ma il cover letters, fo llow-up reminders, pre-notification of the int ent to survey, and similar fo rmats. Combining an email "cover letter" as a means of contacting sampled people with the use of an HTML form for data collection provides an especially effective and efficient approach to Internet surveying. It is important fo r researchers to include contact information, 41
information about the study, and somethi ng about their credentia ls when creating an invitation to participate in a survey. In addition to being a requirement of most institutional research review boards in uni versities in the United States, this helps to enhance the credibility of the survey and it can create opportu nities for email interaction between the researcher and parti cipants. This is valuable; especially when participants have questions (Wright, 2005). As a result, personalized emails including contact information, a brief synopsis of the study, and information about my status as a student were sent to each student leader. In addition, students at the same university receiv ed e-mails with a salutation and other information geared to their specific school. A sample of an invitation e-mail to Florida State University student leaders is available in Appendix B. Another issue affecting response rate was ease of access to the online survey. Solomon (2001) asserts that a hyperlink or web-link for easy click-andgo access to the survey is the most ef fective tool for quick and easy access. Solomon explains further that modern e-mail packages automatically convert universal resource locators (URLs) or w eb-addresses in the text of an e-mail into hyperlinks. Placing the URL of the survey form in a cover letter email allows the respondent to "click" their mouse on the URL to display the survey form and subsequently fill it out (Solomon, 2001). As noted above, each invitation e-mail also included a direct hyperlink to the online survey instrument. Self-selection bias is another major limitation of online survey research (Stanton, 1998; Thompson et al., 2003; Wittmer et al., 1999). In any given Internet community, there are undoubtedly some individuals who are more likely 42
than others to complete an online survey. Many Internet communities pay for community operations with advertising. This can desensitize participants to worthwhile survey requests posted on the website. In short, there is a tendency of some individuals to respond to an invitation to participate in an online survey, while others ignore it, leading to a systematic bias. However, many of the problems di scussed above are not unique to online survey research. Mailed surveys suffer fr om the same basic limitations. While a researcher may have a person's mailing address, he or she does not know for certain whether the recipien t of the mailed survey is the person who actually completes and returns it (Schmidt, 1997) Moreover, respondents to mailed surveys can misrepresent their age, gender, level of education, and a host of other variables as easily as a person can in an online survey. Even when the precise characteristics of a sample are known by the researcher, people can still respond in socially desirable ways or mi srepresent their identity or their true feelings about the content of the survey. The best defense against deception that researchers may have is replication. Only by conducting multiple online surveys with the same or similar types of Internet communities can res earchers gain a reliable picture of the characteristics of online survey participants. Response Rate, Spam, and E-mail Volatility The response rate for the survey was 27% (833 out of 3,092). Nonresponses are a common flaw with online surveys. According to Evans and Mathur (2005), non-respondents and/or om ission of certain questions may be 43
unique to online surveys when compared to traditional mail surveys as respondents may start the survey and abandon it or look at the instructions and decide not to reply. Below is flowc hart from Evans and Mathurs study that depicts the typical respondent methodology. Figure 5 Respondent Methodology Source: Evans and Mathur, 2005, pg. 205, Figure 2. Online Surveys: respondent methodology As is apparent in the flowchart above, non-respondents and/or omission of certain questions may be attributable to many factors. In addition to the factors in the flowchart, the volatility of e-mail it self is also present. E-mail addresses are 44
chiefly created on free websites such as Yahoo! Hotmail or Google, and may only be rarely checked for new mail, or may have been provided by the student leaders university and only checked for sch ool-related assignment s, filtered for spam, or filtered for personal e-mails and e-mails from known senders only. Spam is defined as Unsolicited Bulk E-mail (UBE). That is, spam is e-mail that is both unsolicited by the recipients and there are many substantively similar emails being sent. Spam is usually also unwanted, commercial in nature, and sent automatically. Senders of spam, generally called spammers, are known for their abuse of electronic messaging syst ems to send unsolicited bulk messages, which are universally undesired (Lueg, 2004). In May 2004, MessageLabs, an In ternet security firm (www.messagelabs.com), f ound that 692 million out of 909 million scanned email messages (76 percent) sent to its U.S. customers were screened as spam. As a result, many respondents have a tough time distinguishing between a legitimate survey and a spam message: E ven if an e-mail comes from a trusted source, it's unlikely that some customers will click on a link to take them to a web site. And that's if the e-mail actually gets through, said J oanie Rufo, research director of AMR Research Increasingly, marketing messages even those that are opt-in are blocked at the mail server level (Bannan, 2003). Likewise, according to the March 2007 State of Spam report generated by Symantec Messaging and Web Security, anywhere from 77% to 80% of all e-mails sent globally during the time period of this survey were categorized as spam. 45
Based on the research MessageLabs and Symantec Messaging and Web Security, it follows that researchers usi ng e-mail invitations to participate in a survey may face similar rejection. An unwanted e-mail advertisement is often considered an invasion of privacy. The invitation for the survey may be deleted, or the researcher may receive email from participants complaining about it (Wright, 2005). Of course, the aim of the invitation e-mails was to not to be considered spam. The invitation e-mails were sent to over 3,000 e-mail addresses, personalized and separated for each universit y. Nonetheless, it is impossible to discount the possibility the e-mail filtering occurred. E-mail filtering is the processing of e-mail to organize it according to specified criteria (Pelletier et al., 2004). Most often th is refers to the automatic processing of incoming messages, but the te rm also applies to the intervention of human intelligence in addition to artificial intelligence, and to outgoing emails as well as those being received. Another me thod of filtering or blocking unwanted e-mails is through the use e-mail filteri ng software which inputs e-mail. For its output, it might pass the message thr ough unchanged for delivery to the user's mailbox, redirect the message for delivery elsewhere, or even throw the message away. Some e-mail filters are able to edit messages during processing. Common uses for e-mail filters include remova l of spam and of computer viruses. Mail filters can be installed by the user, either as separ ate programs or as part of their e-mail program (called e-mail client by professionals). In e-mail programs, users can make personal, "manual" filters that then automatic ally filter mail 46
according to the chosen criteria. Mo st e-mail programs now also have an automatic spam filtering func tion. Internet service prov iders can also install mail filters in their mail transfer agents as a service to a ll of their customers. Corporations often use t hem to protect their empl oyees and their information technology assets (Kennedy, 2002). Spam very likely reduced the overall re sponse rate (27%). Other factors most likely deflating the response rate include: (1) the volatility of and vulnerability of e-mail addresses, (2) unused, ignored, inactive, or unchecked email addresses, (3) the very real possibilit y of spam-blocking, (4) e-mail filtering, and (5) manual deletion. Data and Instrumentation The data utilized in this study were drawn from an online survey developed by the author. The survey included the 25 multiple choice questions. (See Table 4). 47
Table 4 Survey Questions Question # Measurement 1 Which public Florida university (any campus) are you currently attending? 2 What is your current status in school? 3 Describe the geographical area you lived in (live in) prior to attending your university. 4 What was the most important reason you chose to go to the university you now attend? 5 Were you involved in a club or organization in high school ? 6 What type of organization(s) were you a member of? 7 Did you hold an office or have any leadership position in any of the organizations you were a member of in high school ? 8 What organizations have you belonged to while at your university ? 9 In how many campus organizations have you held a leadership position or elected office? 10 What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as a leader in your organization(s)? 11 What factor has contributed most to your development as a student leader at your university? 12 When compared to other student leaders on campus, how would you rate your leadership skills? 13 How often do you attend programs or events put on by other student groups on campus? 14 How often do you meet with a faculty ad visor or administrator to discuss the activities of your student organization(s)? 15 What single aspect of your college experience, if any, has taught you the most about racial/ethnic diversity? 16 What has been the biggest benefit of racial/ethnic diversity in your organization(s), if any, at your university? 17 What has been the most difficult aspect if any, of racial/ethnic diversity that you observed in your organization? 18 Have you had serious discussions about race/ethnicity with students whose racial/ethnic background is different from yours? 19 How much of an impact has your organization's racial/ethnic diversity had on the development of your own leadership skills? 20 How likely do you think the leadership skills you learned from your interaction with students from different racial/eth nic backgrounds in your organization(s) will benefit you in your career upon graduation? 21 Thinking about the organizations you are/were a member of, what percentage of the members are/were of a different racial/ethnic background than yourself? 22 How racially and ethnically diverse do you think your college or university is? 23 What is your age? 24 What is your gender? 25 What is your race/ethnicity? Source: Internet survey of 685 student organizati onal leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. Ten questions allowed a response fo r other and requested a typed response. If possible, answers were re -coded to match a suggested answer. If a 48
response was provided with a reasonable frequency, a new value was created. For example, location, cost, and family alumni were created for the question the collected data on the respondents most important reason chosen to go to the university they now attend. (See Table 5). Table 5 Most Important Reason Chosen to go to the University Attended Reason Attended Frequency Percentage Athletics 13 1.9 Racial/Ethnic diversity of student body 22 3.2 Size of school or student body 75 10.9 Academics or specific academic program 182 26.6 Financial aid or scholarship 157 22.9 School Reputation, Rank, or Campus 107 15.6 Location 89 13 Cost 3 0.4 Family Alumni 19 2.8 Other 18 2.6 Total 685 100 Source: Internet survey of 685 student or ganizational leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. Self assessment questions such as leadership self-rating questions were borrowed from Astin (1993). Self-report ed data are widely used in research on college effects, and their reliability and validity have been extensively studied. (See Baird, 1976; Berdie, 1971; Pace, 1985; Pike, 1995; Pohlmann & Beggs, 1974; Gurin, 2002.) These studies show t hat self-reported measures are likely to be valid under five conditions: 1. The information requested is known to the respondents. 2. The questions are phrased clearly and unambiguously. 3. The questions refer to recent activities. 4. The respondents think the questions merit a serious and thoughtful response. 5. Answering the question does not threaten, embarrass, or violate the privacy of the respondent or encourage the respondent to respond in socially desirabl e ways (Kuh, 2001, p. 4). 49
The survey instrument utilized in this study meets the criteria listed above. In addition, self-rated measures of nonacadem ic traits such as artistic ability, leadership, and music have been found to be pr edictive of future accomplishment and behavior and therefore useful as measur es of student characteristics (Baird, 1976). The complete survey instrum ent is available in Appendix B. VARIABLES Student leaders responses to questions on the survey instrument provided the variables used for statistica l analysis in this study. The survey asked the students about their percepti ons of their student organizational experiences, interaction with diversity, and demographics. As previously stated, validity and reliability in self-report is high and provides a credible measure for analysis. Variables of Interest The primary measures used to test the hypotheses were four variables of interest including measurements of di versity of membership in student organizations, leadership skills learned from interaction with students of different racial/ethnic backgrounds from the res pondent in their student organization(s), self-rating of leadership skills, and perceived career preparation as a result of the leadership skills learned from interacti on with students of diffe rent racial/ethnic backgrounds from the respondent in their student organization(s). (See Table 6). 50
Table 6 Variables of Interest: Concepts and Measures Concept Measurement STUDENT ORGANIZATIONAL DIVERSITY* Q21: Thinking about the organization(s) you are/were a member of, what percentage of the members are/were of a different racial/ethnic background than yourself? None (0%); there is no diversity in my group(s) 1-24% 25-49% 50-74% 75% or more LEADERSHIP SKILLS DEVELOPED** Q19: How much of an impact has your organization's racial/ethnic diversity had on the development of your own leadership skills? A very strong impact A moderate impact Some impact No impact at all My organization(s) is/are not racially/ethnically diverse LEADERSHIP SELF-RATING*** Q12: When compared to other student leaders on campus, how would you rate your leadership skills? Very strong Strong Moderate Somewhat weak Very weak PERCEIVED CAREER PREPARATION*** Q20: How likely do you think the leadership skills you learned from your interaction with students from different racial/ethnic backgrounds in your organization(s) will benefit you in your career upon graduation? Very likely Somewhat likely Somewhat unlikely Not at all Do not know at this point Note: *This variable utilized exclusively as a dependent variable **This variable utilized as both a dependent and independent variable ***These variables utilized exclusively as independent variables Source: Internet survey of 685 student organizational leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. The variable of interest (V.O.I.) st udent organizational diversity asks the respondent (R) to report the percentage of members of their student organizations that are/were of a different racial/ethnic background from themself 51
(Q21). This variable is beneficial to the study as a measurement of membership diversity within student organizations. Si nce R is asked to report the percentage of students of racial/ethnic backgrounds different from themselves this variable can measure membership diversity regardless of Rs race/ethnicity. The V.O.I. leadership skills developed asks R to report the leadership skills they learned from interaction wit h students of different racial/ethnic backgrounds from their own in their student organization(s) (Q19). This variable measures the self-reported relationship of membership diversity in Rs student organizations on the development of their leadership skills. This is an important question for this study since it probes R fo r a direct causal relationship between membership diversity and leadership skills developed. The V.O.I. leadership self-rating asks R to self-rate their leadership skills when compared to other campus leaders (Q 12). This variable is important in assessing the validity of the sample. As previously noted, students were selected based on set criteria meant to authenticate their role as a student leader. Similarly, self-report of Rs l eadership skills further justifies their authenticity. As a result, this variable is a credible measure of Rs leadership skills and is essential for establishing relationships. The V.O.I. perceived career preparati on asks R to report how likely the leadership skills they learned from their interaction with students from different racial/ethnic backgrounds fr om their own in their student organization(s) would benefit them in their career upon gr aduation (Q20). Astin (1993b) found a positive relationship between interracial interaction and job-related skills. This 52
variable measures how likely Rs experienc es with diversity in their organizations are to aid in preparing them for their careers and is a st rong indicator of diversity and job-related skills. Independent/Control Variables: R ace/Ethnicity, Gender, and Age The independent/control variables for this study consisted of measures of the respondents demographics including ag e, gender, and race/ethnicity. (See Table 7). Table 7 Independent/Control Variables: Concepts and Measures Concept/Variable Measurement AGE Q23: What is your age? 19 or younger 21-21 22-25 25 or older GENDER Q24: What is your gender? Male Female RACE/ETHNICITY Q25: What is your race/ethnicity? White/Caucasian African American/Black Hispanic or Pacific Islander American Indian or Alaskan Native Other (Please Specify) Source: Internet survey of 685 student organizational leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. The independent/control variable (I.C.V .) age asks R to report their age. This variable was important in assessing the role age might play in this study. Whitt, et al., (2001) found that older students more likely to interact with people of different backgrounds, cultures, and expe riences different fr om their own in college. As a result, this variable is crit ical to test previous findings as well as determining the function of age in the study at hand. 53
The I.C.V. gender asks R to report their gender. This variable was essential in assessing the role gender may play in this study. Whitt, et al., (2001) found that women were more likely than men to interact with people of different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences differ ent from their own in college. As a result, this variable is critical in assessing previous findings as well as testing the influence of gender on the study at hand. The I.C.V. race/ethnicity asks R to repor t their race/ethnicity. This variable is central to this study as a measurement of the role race/ethnicity may play. Hurtado, Dey, and Trevino (1994) found that students of color (who are numerical minorities on most campuses) were more likely than white students to interact across race. This might affect the relationship bet ween non-whites and membership diversity. Villalpando s (2001) study found that desegregated groups of students of color, in comparison to white students, report different levels of overall satisfaction with college when there is a strong diversity and multicultural emphasis at their institution. As a result, it will be interesting to test for this relationship in the study at a hand. DATA ANALYSIS Crosstabulations were performed to te st each hypothesis. The number of responses for each variable was drawn from the total number of responses received. However, only respondents that recorded responses to all survey questions were used in the statistical analysi s, resulting in a constant sample of 587. 54
The hypothesis predicting that a posit ive relationship exists among student leaders between membership in a diverse student organization and development of leadership skills was tested by com paring the student organizational diversity variable and the leadership skills developed variable. The hypothesis predicting that a posit ive relationship exists among student leaders between membership in a diverse student organization and positive selfrating of leadership skills was tested by comparing the student organizational diversity variable with the leader ship self-rating variable. The hypothesis predicting that a posit ive relationship exists among student leaders between membership in a diverse student organization and perceived career preparation was tested by comparing the student organizational diversity variable with the perceived career preparation variable. The hypothesis predicting that a posit ive relationship exists among student leaders between leadership skills developed from interaction with students of different racial/ethnic ba ckgrounds from their own in their organizations and perceived career preparation as a result of the leadership skill s learned from this interaction was tested by comparing the leadership skills developed variable with the perceived career preparation variable. 55
CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS Diversity matters. It is significantly clear from the result s of these analyses how important a role diversity plays in student leadership development. This Chapter is split into four sepa rate sections which explain the results of the test for each hypothesis. Tables showing descriptive statistics as well as significance tests for all cr osstabulations are included. Results for Hypothesis Predicting a Positive Relationship among Student Leaders between Membership in a Diverse Student Organization and Development of Leadership Skills The findings shown in Table 8 indicate that there is a positive relationship between membership in a diverse st udent organization and the development of leadership skills. Table 8 Relationship between Membership in a Diverse Student Organization and Development of Leadership Skills LEADERSHIP SKILLS DEVELOPED Strong Impact* Some impact No impact at all My organization(s) is/are not diverse** 75% or more 64.6 21.5 12.3 1.5 100.0% 50-74% 64.3 16.7 17.9 1.2 100.0% 25-49% 47.2 36.5 15.7 0.6 100.0% 1-24% 38.6 34.6 18.3 8.5 100.0% STUDENT ORGANIZATIONAL DIVERSITY None, 0% 50.0 25.0 16.7 8.3 100.0% Total 48.0 30.9 16.8 4.3 100.0% Note: Relationship significant at the .000 level ( p = .000) *Responses of A very strong impact and A moderate impact were combined (Strong impact) to better illustrate the positive relationship **Respondents reporting My organization(s) is/are not diverse and reporting diversity over 0% also reported being members of or ganizations exclusive to minorities. Source: Internet survey of 685 student organizati onal leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. 56
Descriptive Statistics Figure 1 illustrates the affect of student organizational diversity on the leadership skills development as a result of the interaction with students of different racial/ethnic backgr ounds than the respondents. Figure 6 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70Percent of Respondents Strong ImpactSome impactNo impact at allMy organization(s) is/are not diverseImpact on Development of Leadership SkillsStudent Organizational Diversity has a Positive Impact on the Development of Leadership Skills 75% or more 50-74% 25-49% 1-24% None (0%) Membership Diversit y Note: Relationship significant at the .000 level ( p = .000). Source: Internet survey of 685 student organizati onal leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. Overall, among student leaders, there is a statistically significant ( p = .000) positive relationship between student organizational diversity and the development of leadership skills. Among all respondents, 79% indicated a positive relationship between student organizational diversity and the development of leadership skills. (See Figure 1). Only 17% reported no impact at all, and 4% reported no diversity in their student organization(s). 57
An analyses of the independent/control variables showed a statistically significant relationship between leadership skills developed and age ( p = .047), gender ( p = .034), and race/ethnicity (p = .000) The analysis of the age variable showed that 79% of respondents, regardle ss of age, reported a positive impact on leadership development as a result of their organization(s) membership diversity. However, 33% of students 25 and older reported no impact at all. The analysis of the gender variable showed that 79% of respondents, regardless of gender, reported a positive impact on leadership development as a result of their organization(s) membership diversity. However, female respondents were 7% more likely than males to report a positive impact. The analysis of the race/ethnici ty variable showed that 79% of respondents, regardless of age, report ed a positive impact on leadership development as a result of their organizati on(s) membership di versity. However, only 39% of white respondents reported very strong or moderate impact compared to 83% for Asian or Pacific Is lander, 62% for African American/Black, and 56% for Hispanic/Latino, and. Asi an or Pacific Islander and African American/Black respondents reported the lowest instances of no impact at all with 7% and 4% respectively, compared to responses of 20% for White/Caucasian and 19% for Hispanic/Latino. 58
Results for Hypothesis Predicting th at a Positive Relationship Exists Among Student Leaders between Membership in a Diverse Student Organization and Positive Self-rating of Leadership Skills The findings shown in Table 9 indicate that there is a positive relationship between membership in a diverse student organization and positive self-rating of leadership skills. Table 9 Relationship between Membership in a Diverse Student Organization and Positive Self-rating of Leadership Skills LEADERSHIP SELF-RATING* Strong Moderate Weak 75% or more 76.9 15.4 7.7 100.0% 50-74% 72.6 26.2 1.2 100.0% 25-49% 82.0 18.0 100.0% 1-24% 83.8 15.4 .8 100.0% STUDENT ORGANIZATIONAL DIVERSITY None, 0% 66.7 16.7 16.7 100.0% Total 80.5 17.7 1.7 100.0% Note: Relationship significant at the .000 level ( p = .000) *Responses of Very Strong and Strong as well as Somewhat Weak and Weak were combined to better illustrate the positive relationship. Source: Internet survey of 685 student organizati onal leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. Descriptive Statistics Figure 2 illustrates the a ffect of student organizati onal diversity on the positive self-rating of leadership skills. 59
Figure 7 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90Percent of Respondents StrongModerate WeakStudent Self-Rating of Leadership Skills Student Organizational Diversity has a Positive Impact on Student Self-Rating of Leadership Skills 75% or more 50-74% 25-49% 1-24% None (0%) Membership Diversit y Note: Relationship significant at the .000 level ( p = .000) Source: Internet survey of 685 student organizatio nal leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. Overall, among student leaders, there is a statistically significant (p = .000) positive relationship between student organi zational diversity and positive selfrating of leadership skills. Among re spondents who reported their student organizational diversity to be greater t han 0% (98% of the sample), 99% also reported strong or moderat e leadership skills. (See Figure 2). Conversely, among respondents who reported their stude nt organizational diversity to be None (0%) (2% of sample), 83% al so reported strong or moderate leadership skills (a difference of 16%). In addition, 81% of respondents who reported student organizational diversity greater than 0% also reported strong 60
leadership skills, compared to 67% of respondents reporting student organizational diversity of None (0%) (a difference of 14%). Conversely, only 1% of who respondents report ed student organizational dive rsity greater than 0% also reported weak leadership skills, compared to 17% of respondents reporting student organizational dive rsity of None (0%) (a difference of 16%). An analyses of the independent/control variables showed a statistically significant relationship between leadership self-rating kills developed and age ( p = .012). (No significant relationshi ps were found between leadership skills developed and gender or race/ethnicity). The analysis of the age variable showed that 81% of respondents, regardle ss of age, reported very strong or strong leadership self-rating. Howe ver, 93% of respondents or older reported a positive leadership self-rati ng compared to 98% of respondents for all other age groups. Results for Hypothesis Predicting th at a Positive Relationship Exists Among Student Leaders between Membership in a Diverse Student Organization and Perceived Career Preparation The findings shown in Table 10 indicate that there is a positive relationship between student organizational diversity and perceived career preparation as a result of interaction with students of different racial/e thnic backgrounds from their own in their student organizations. 61
Table 10 Relationship between Membership in a Diverse Student Organization and Perceived Career Preparation* PERCEIVED CAREER PREPARATION Very likely Somewhat likely Somewhat unlikely Not at all 50% or more 69.9 24.5 2.1 3.5 100.0% 1-49% 51.6 39.1 3.8 5.5 100.0% STUDENT ORGANIZATIONAL DIVERSITY** None, 0% 50.0 41.7 8.3 100.0% Total 56.3 35.4 3.4 4.9 100.0% Note: Relationship significant at the .014 level ( p = .014) *Respondents reporting Do not know at this point were not included in the statistical analysis since that measure would not denote a pos itive or negative response (N=554). **Reponses of -24% and 25-49% as well as -74% and % or more were combined to illustrate the positive relationship. Source: Internet survey of 685 student organizati onal leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. Descriptive Statistics Figure 3 illustrates the affect of student organizational diversity on perceived career preparation. 62
Figure 8 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Percent of Respondents Very LikelySomewhat likely Somewhat unlikely Not at allPerceived Career PreparationStudent Organizational Diversity has a Positive Impact on Perceived Career Preparation 50% or more 1-49% None, (0%) Membership Diversit y Note: Relationship significant at the .014 level ( p = .014). Source: Internet survey of 685 student organizati onal leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. Overall, among student leaders, there is a statistically significant ( p = .014) positive relationship between student organizational diversity and perceived career preparation. Among all respondents not reporting Do not know at this point, 92% reported Very likely or Somewhat likely perceived career preparation as a result of student organi zational diversity 8% who reported Somewhat likely or Not at all. (S ee Figure 3). In addition, 94% of these respondents who reported student organizational diversity of 50% or more also reported Very likely or Somewhat lik ely perceived career preparation, compared to only 6% of respondents who r eported Somewhat likely or Not at all. Likewise, 91% of these respondent s who reported student organizational 63
diversity of 1-49% also r eported Very likely or S omewhat likely perceived career preparation, compared to only 9% of respondents who reported Somewhat likely or Not at all. An analyses of the independent/control variables showed a statistically significant relationship between the st udent organizational diversity and age (p = .000) as well as race/ethnicity ( p = .000). (No significant relationships were found between student organizational diversity and gender). The analysis of the age variable showed that 98% of students, regardless of age, had more than 0% diversity in their organizations. Howeve r, respondents or older and or younger reported the highest levels of me mbership diversity 50% or higher with rates of 43% and 34% respectively, com pared to rates of 23% for respondents -21 and 22% for -25. Results for Hypothesis Predicting th at a Positive Relationship Exists Among Student Leaders between Leadership Skills Developed from Interaction with Students of Differen t Racial/Ethnic Backgrounds in their Organizations and Perceived Career Preparation The findings shown in Table 11 indicate that there is a positive relationship between the leadership skills developed as a result of interaction with students of a different racial/ethnic background from the respondent in their student organizations and perceived career preparation. 64
Table 11 Relationship between Leadership Skills Developed from Interacti on with Students of Different Racial/Ethnic Backgrounds in their Organization(s) and Perceived Career Preparation PERCEIVED CAREER PREPARATION** Likely Unlikely Do not know at this point Strong Impact 97.9 1.4 0.7 100.0% Some impact 91.7 4.4 3.9 100.0% No impact at all 52.0 31.6 16.3 100.0% LEADERSHIP SKILLS DEVELOPED* My organization(s) is/are not diverse 60.0 12.0 28.0 100.0% Total 86.7% 7.9% 5.5% 100.0% Note: Relationship significant at the .000 level ( p = .000). Responses of A very strong impact and A m oderate impact were combined to better illustrate the positive relationship **Responses of Very likely and Somewhat likely as well as Somewhat unlikely and Unlikely were combined to illustrate the positive relationship. Source: Internet survey of 685 student organizational leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. Descriptive Statistics Figure 4 shows the affect of l eadership skills developed on perceived career preparation. 65
Figure 9 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100Percent of Respondents LikelyUnlikelyDo not know at this pointPerceived Career PreparationLeadership Skills Developed from Interracial Interaction in Student Organizations have a Positive Impact on Perceived Career Preparation Strong Impact Some impact No impact at all Organization(s) not diverse Impact on Development of Leadership Skills Note: Relationship significant at the .000 level ( p = .000). Source: Internet survey of 685 student organizational leaders at Floridas 10 public universities, conducted February-March, 2007. Overall, among student leaders, there is a statistically significant ( p = .000) positive relationship between the impact on the development of leadership skills as a result of interacti on with students of different ra cial/ethnic backgrounds in student organization(s) and perceived ca reer preparation. Among all respondents, 87% reported likely perceived career preparation as a result of leadership skills developed as compared to 8% who reported unlikely perceived career preparation. (See Figure 4). In addition, 98% of respondents who reported a strong impact of leadership skills developed also reported likely perceived career preparation as compar ed to 1% who reported unlikely. Likewise, 92% of respondents who report ed some impact of leadership skills 66
developed also reported likel y perceived career prepar ation as compared to 4% who reported unlikely. Conversely 52% of respondents who reported no impact at all for leadership skills deve loped also reported likely perceived career preparation as compared to 32% of respondents who reported unlikely. An analyses of the independent/control variables showed a statistically significant relationship between the perceiv ed career preparation as a result of leadership skills learned from interacti on with students of diffe rent racial/ethnic background from themselves and race/ethnicity ( p = .002). (No significant relationships were found between perce ived career preparation and age or gender). The analysis of the race/et hnicity variable showed that 87% of respondents, regardless of race/ethnicity, have a positive perception of career preparation. However, Asian or Pacific Islander, African American/Black, and Hispanic/Latino, respondents were more lik ely than to report a response of very likely (73%, 72%, and 64% respectively) than white respondents (44%). 67
CHAPTER FIVE FURTHER DISCUSSION: FINDINGS, STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH In general, among student leaders, there is a positive relationship between student organizational diversity and l eadership development. A positive relationship also exists between leadership development as a result of student organizational diversity and perceived career preparation. As indicated in the research, student leaders from more diverse student organizations reported a strong impact on the developm ent of their leadership skills, more positive selfratings of their own leadership skills when compared to other campus leaders, and higher perceived pr eparation for their careers a fter graduation. Likewise, students who reported a positive influence of student organizational diversity on their leadership development also reported higher perceived preparation for their careers after graduation. Summary of Findings The research hypotheses predicted t hat, among student leaders, there are positive relationships between membership in a diverse student organization and development of leadership skills, member ship in a diverse student organization and positive self-rating of leadership skill s, membership in a diverse student organization and perceived career preparat ion, and leadership skills developed from interaction with student s of different racial/eth nic backgrounds in their organizations and perceived career preparation. The purpose of the study was to l earn about the experie nces of student leaders, specifically as a result of in terracial interaction, and the affects of 68
membership in a diverse student organization on leadership development. As noted previously, three questions about st udent leaders guided this research: (1) Does membership in a diverse student organization have a positive influence on leadership development? (2) Does member ship in a diverse student organization have a positive influence on leadership skill self-rating? and (3) Do the leadership skills learned from interaction with students of different racial/ethnic backgrounds in their organizations have a positive in fluence on perceived career preparation? These research questions were re viewed in depth and tested by the survey instrument. The research hypot heses all proved true and statistically significant (at the level of p = .014 or stronger). Therefore, the positive influences sought in the research questions came to fruition. The findings indicate that divers e student organizations foster student leaders that develop stronger leadership skills than their peers in less diverse organizations, have more positive self-rati ngs of their own leadership skills when compared to other campus leaders, and foresee the leadership skills learned from these experiences as better pr eparing them for their careers after graduation. These data, thus, provi de evidence that student organizational diversity is a very significant factor attributable to dev eloping strong student leaders. These data provide support for the assert ions and findings in the literature. Astin (1993b) found that providing st udents with curricular and extracurricular opportunities to confront racial and mult icultural issues are all associated with widespread beneficial effects on a students cognitive and affective development. 69
This study mirrors Astins findings by s howing that diversity of membership in student organizations promotes the developm ent of leadership skills as well as higher perceived preparation for a career following graduation. Astin (1993b) also found t hat the three involvement variables showing the strongest residual correlation with self-report ed growth in leadership abilities are hours per week spent in student clubs and organizations, being elected to a student office, and giving presentations in class. Although these data do not analyze the latter, it is clear that time spent in student clubs and organizations as well as being elected to (and/or appoi nted to) a student office has a positive relationship with leadership development and preparing student leaders for their roles after graduation. The literature also discusses positive a ssociations from a ttending a racial or cultural awareness workshop, being a member of a social fraternity or sorority, and socializing with students from different racial or ethnic groups. Moreover, socializing with persons from different racial or ethnic groups also showed a significant positive correlation with self -reported improvements in job-related skills. These data support the literature showing that membership diversity in student organizations has a positive relationship on perceived career preparation. Furthermore, not only do diverse student organizations make students better leaders, but they also better prepare them for their careers after graduation. This is most likely a result of the way student organizations function. Student leaders administrate the brunt of their organiza tions (although they may 70
meet with a faculty advisor for advice). In the business and civic world, the membership diversity of businesses and organizations are growing as well. As a result, students who have experience inte racting, communicating, networking, and most importantly leading these groups, will be more e ffective in their careers and communities. A final point to review from the literature is that the intersection of leadership development and diversity has been explored only superficially on college campuses (Arminio, et al., 2000). Though the literature on leadership is vast, a search of this subject will reap sco res of what Rogers (1996) described as conventional leadership lit erature but little alternat ive literature and even less investigating that intersection of race and leadership. These data have shed a great deal of light on this deficien cy and have explored the intersection of leadership development and diversity with much depth. As stated in the introduction, student organizations are more diverse than ever. These data reported that more than 97% of student organizations have a diverse membership (greater than 0%). It would follow then, that student leaders that experience interaction with a divers e membership would learn from these experiences and would be better be better prepared for interaction with diversity in their careers after graduation. Like wise, student leaders from more diverse organizations would be more likely than their peers from less diverse student organizations to develop these skills. According to these data, leaders of more diverse student organizations are stronger (or at the ve ry least confident) and more developed leaders. It 71
would follow then that thes e important skills would be instrumental when a student leader is conversing with a student government funding board (probably equally diverse), fighting for student f ees dollars, recruiting new members, planning and administrating events, and recruiting new members. Among student leaders, the leadership skills lear ned from interaction with students of a different racial/ethnic backg round from their own are in fluential in developing their communication and networking skills first on a college campus, and most importantly, later, as they pursue their careers in the job market. Conclusions This study has investigated the effects of membership diversity in student organizations on leadership developmen t, perceived career preparation, and positive self-rating of leadership skills. In addition the effects of leadership skills learned from interaction with a diverse student organizational membership on perceived career preparation was investigated. The results of this study show t hat student leaders in more diverse organizations have more developed leadersh ip skills than their peers, have a higher self-rating of their leadership ski lls, and may be better prepared for their careers after graduation. Likewise, am ong student leaders, the leadership skills, communication skills, networking skills, knowledge, and information learned from interaction with students of different ra cial and ethnic backgrounds from their own will better prepare them to transcend from student leader s to effective business, civic, and political leaders. 72
Strengths and Limitations As previously mentioned, a wealth of research has supported the use of Internet and e-mail based surveys to colle ct data. Common lim itations of this method of data collection including res pondents computer access and access to the sample were discounted as a result of the population targeted for this study. Specifically, student leaders were identified and invited to participate in the survey by their e-mail addresses. Nonetheless, a number of important limitations need to be considered. First, the data used in this study was dr awn only from student leaders at public universities in Florida. According to the State University System of Florida Facts and Figures, the data is a valid and reliable sample of students in Floridas public university system. Second, this study was limited by a sample that included student leaders from Floridas public university students only. It is plausible that a similar study that included other states public un iversity students may produce different results. Third, this study was limited by a samp le that included public universities only. It is plausible that a similar st udy that included private colleges as well as or in lieu of public universities mat produce different results. Lastly, this study was limited by a su rvey instrument that was created by the author to collect data for an innovative study. Since there was an immense deficiency in literature and research on diversity in student organizations and the affects of that diversity on the development of leadership skills, the questions on 73
the survey instrument were a result of creativity, assistance from a faculty advisor, and knowledge of the literature and research ava ilable. Future studies may grow on this study and pr oduce better measurements. Suggestions for Future Research This research has opened the door for many interesting questions in need of further investigation. Further research might include a multivariate analysis to determine if membership diversity in student organizations, among student leaders, is the most significant contributor to l eadership development. It would also be interesting to assess the effe cts of student organizational diversity on non-leader members. Further research might explore w hat specific types of leadership development programs promote interracial inte raction. Specifically, what types of programs, seminars, speaker s, workshops, etc., create the most comfortable, desirable, and effective atmosphere for developing strong leader s that also have an informed grasp of diversity and multicultural issues. The effects of interaction between diverse students and the benefits shown in the research lead the way to addi tional work. Future research should build on the research that shows the pos itive effects of diversity in higher education on building cognitive thinking sk ills, leadership skills, and professional responsibility. Although the sample was made up only of student leaders from Floridas public universities, the diversity and locati ons of these univers ities greatly vary throughout the State of Florida as does its demographics. Future studies could 74
include private universities as well as students from other states universities (both public and private). There is no doubt that a number of possible future studies could utilize the same data. Since very few large data se ts on student leaders exist, research on other associations and significant re lationships could yield other useful information. 75
CHAPTER SIX POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS The purpose of the study as indicated in the research questions was to determine if a positive relationship existed between membership diversity in student organizations and the development of key skills (leadership and career preparation). Based on the resu lts of this study, it is an aim that these data are influential as well as inspirational for student activities administ rators developing future programming for uni versity students (specific ally student leaders), lawmakers developing and reviewing higher education policy, and university admissions councils developing criter ia to recruit effective leaders. The remainder of this section on implicat ions is split into two sections: (1) Recommendations for lawmakers, and (2) Recommendations for higher education administrators. The first of which discusses policy actions lawmakers should take as a result of this study and the second that describe actions student activities administrators should ta ke when developing new diversity and leadership development programs. Recommendations for Lawmakers These findings suggest several courses of action for policy development. On its face, the findings from this study support previous arguments over diversity in higher education. Accordi ng to Dye (2005), university administrators as well as civil rights groups across the nation argue that students benefit when they interact with others from different cultural heritages. Based on the findings 76
of this study, it is imperative not on ly to promote diversity among the student body, but to specifically promote diversity among student organizations. When confronted with diversity and affirmative action programs, the results of this research support initiati ves that foster and pr omote diversity. However, such initiatives may need to also shift their focus towards other characteristics. This study indicates t hat over 95% of the respondents were also leaders in their high schools. As a resu lt, it is recommended that universities seeking to promote diversity in their leadership programs and campus organizations as well as their student bodies expand their admissions criteria (when implementing affirmative acti on programs) by emphasizing prior leadership experiences. This practice would not only recruit eventual student organizational leaders, but also in crease the frequency of diverse student leaders. Recommendations for Higher E ducation Administrators The findings of this study support numerous recommendations for higher education administrators. For example, the significant relationship between diversity and leadership development would be helpful as a reference for student activities administrators when devel oping leadership pr ogramsspecifically leadership diversity programsfor coll ege students and organizations. Likewise, though this study was limited to student lead ers at public universities in Florida, the results overwhelmingly suggest a positive influence from diversity in student organizations. As a resul t, student activities administrators should strive to increase and maintain the membership diversity of the st udent organizations on 77
their campus. Programs that promote interaction between diverse groups and leadership training that focuses on comp rising program preferences to educate are just the tip of the iceberg. As previously noted, universities are microcosms of the world outside of campus life. With this important simulation exper ienced by students comes an interaction among student organizations Fostering diverse groups and promoting the formation of new groups is just one way to increase the membership diversity of student organizati ons. For example, creating programs to aid new groups in their formation in student activities offices as well as events that promote organizations in general ar e all ways to increase membership, and as a result, increase membership in student organizations. This study overwhelmingly shows the positive effects of diversity on the growth, development, and preparation of st udent leaders. Student activities administrators must take this ball and run with it by creating innovative leadership development programs. Mo st importantly, these groun d-breaking programs must satisfy the conditions needed to foster and adapt to the growing diversification of undergraduate students. 78
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Appendix A Call to Participate in Survey Subject: Quick Survey for FSU Student Leaders FSU Student Leaders, Thank you for helping out an FSU Alumnus!!! This brief anonymous survey is being sent exclusively to key Florida public university student leaders. All data are confidential and particip ation is voluntary. Only general statistics combining responses will be reported. Should you have any questions, please contact me directly I am a graduate student at the University of South Florida. (Dan Je nkins, 813-785-6766 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ) The purpose of the survey is to gat her information about your student organizational experiences. The survey will take only 5-10 minutes of your time and will really help out a fellow student. Please click on the link below to begin the survey: http://FreeOnlineSurveys.com/rendersurvey.asp?sid=du1i3txnic5s3v1256026 Thank you again, Dan Jenkins Florida State University B.S. Communication, c/o '02 86
Appendix B Survey Instrument Thank you for your help!!! This brief anonymous su rvey is being sent exclusively to key Florida public university student leaders. A ll data are confidential and participation is voluntary. Only general statistics combining responses will be repo rted. Should you have any questions, please contact me directlyI am a graduate student at the University of South Florida. (Dan Jenkins, 813-785-6766 or via e-mail: email@example.com ) The purpose of the survey is to gather information about your student organizational experiences. The survey will take only 5-10 minutes of your time and will really help out a fellow student. 1) Which public Florida university (any campus) are you currently attending? Florida Atlantic University Florida State University Florida Gulf Coast University Florida A & M University Florida International University University of Central Florida University of Florida University of North Florida University of South Florida University of West Florida Other (Please Specify): 2) What is your curre nt status in school? Underclassman Upperclassman Graduate School 87
3) Describe the geographical area you lived in (live in) prior to attending your university. Suburban Urban Rural 4) What was the most important reason you chose to go to the university you now attend? Athletics Racial/ethnic diversity of student body Size of school or student body Academics or specific academic program Financial aid or scholarship School reputation or rank Other (Please provide): 5) Were you involved in a cl ub or organization in high school? Yes No 88
6) What type of organization( s) were you a member of? Academic (for example: debate team, math team, etc.) Arts (for example: thespian, marching band, dance team, cheerleading, etc.) Athletics Honor Society Journalism (for example: yearbo ok, student newspaper, etc.) Language or Cultural Club Planning committee Religious Student Council Vocational or Technology Club (for ex ample: F.B.L.A., F.F.A., etc.) Volunteer or Service Club Was not a member of an organization in high school Other (Please Specify): 7) Did you hold an office or have any leadership position in any of the organizations you were a member of in high school? Yes No 89
8) What organizations have y ou belonged to while at your university? Academic or Honor Society Campus Activities/Event Planning (for example: lecture series, campus concerts, festivals, etc.) Dorm or Residential Council Fraternity/Sorority Intramurals Journalism (for example: student newspaper or other publication) Pep Club Professional Society Racial or Ethnic Student Organization or Student Union Religious Special Interest/Political Organization (for example: College Democrats, Planned Parenthood, NORML, etc.) Student Government Varsity Athletics Volunteer or Service Club Worked on a Planning Committee Other (Please Specify): 90
9) In how many campus organizations have you held a leadership position or elected office? 1-2 3-4 5-6 7 or more 10) What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as a leader in your organization(s)? Difference of opinion with other leaders in your organization Communicating your ideas to the membership Learning how to interact and communicate effectively with students from a different racial/ethnic background than your own Motivating the members of your organization to participate in events, groups, or activities Recruiting new members Fundraising Other (Please Specify): 91
11) What factor has contributed most to your development as a student leader at y our university? Being elected to a leadership role Being appointed to a leadership role Guidance from a mentor Leadership training workshop Uniqueness of the organization Interaction with students of a different racial/ethnic background than your own Having to plan or administrate an event Other (Please Specify): 12) When compared to other student leaders on campus, how would you rate your leadership skills? Very Strong Strong Moderate Somewhat Weak Very Weak 13) How often do you attend progr ams or events put on by other student groups on campus? Never Sometimes Often Very Often 92
14) How often do you meet with a faculty advisor or administrator to discuss the activities of your student organization(s)? Never Sometimes Often Very Often 15) What single aspect of your college experience, if any, has taught you the most about racial/ethnic diversity? Membership in an organization with students from different racial or ethnic backgrounds than your own Students in your classes from different racial or ethnic backgrounds than your own A diverse student population Participation in a racial, ethnic, or cu ltural workshop, festival, or fair Curriculum or course content, readings I was already quite knowledgeable about racial/ethnic diversity before coming to college. Other (Please Specify): 93
16) What has been the biggest benefit of racial/ethnic diversity in your organization(s), if any, at your university? Developing leadership skills Attracting new members Opportunity of experiencing and learning new things Interacting with students of a different racial or ethnic background than your own Was not a member of an organization with a racially/ethnically diverse membership No benefit from the racial/ethnic dive rsity in my organization(s). (please briefly explain why): 17) What has been the most difficult aspect if any, of racial/ethnic diversity that you observed in your organization? Tension between members of different races/ethnicities Achieving proportional representation in leadership positions Different program priorities and preferences Communication breakdowns due to cultural differences Ignorant, insensitive members Was not a member of an organization with a racially/ethnically diverse membership There were no significant drawbacks to diversity. (Please briefly explain why not): 94
18) Have you had serious discussions about race/ethnicity with students whose racial/ethnic backgr ound is different from yours? Yes No 19) How much of an impact has y our organization's racial/ethnic diversity had on the development of your own leadership skills? A very strong impact A moderate impact Some impact No impact at all My organization(s) is/are not racially/ethnically diverse 20) How likely do you think the lea dership skills you learned from your interaction with students from different racial/ethnic backgrounds in your organization(s) will benefit you in your career upon graduation? Very likely Somewhat likely Somewhat unlikely Not at all Do not know at this point 95
21) Thinking about the organizations you are/were a member of, what percentage of the member s are/were of a different racial/ethnic background than yourself? None (0%); there is no diversity in my group(s) 1-24% 25-49% 50-74% 75% or more 22) How racially and ethnically dive rse do you think your college or university is? Very Somewhat Not at all 96
23) (The following questions are simply to describe the surveys participants. Your answers will remain anonymous and will be combined with those of the other respondents and reported only as percentages.) What is your age? 19 or younger 20-21 22-25 25 or older 24) What is your gender? Male Female 25) What is your race/ethnicity? White/Caucasian African American/Black Hispanic/Latino Asian or Pacific Islander American Indian or Alaskan Native Other (Please Specify): 97