Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

W. Jeff Wallis


Leadership development in higher education is increasingly emphasizing socially responsible leadership, a process that improves the human condition for everyone, not only those with power and privilege. College students’ experiences with other students through service, projects, and social interaction have been shown to cultivate socially responsible leadership, the type of leadership scholars are calling for to help communities adapt to geopolitical and socio-economic change continuing apace. Community colleges are typically omitted from college outcome studies, although they enroll almost half of all undergraduate students today and are serving an increasingly diverse population. This quantitative study used the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership data sets collected in 2009 and 2012 to examine the value of selected demographic variables, precollegiate experiences, and college experiences in predicting socially responsible leadership of community college students. Using hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses, socio-cultural conversations with peers and community service emerged as significant predictors of students’ socially responsible leadership capacity. In addition, grade point average, sexual orientation, and leadership training in high school were also significant predictors of students’ capacity for socially responsible leadership. As a result of this study, community colleges should be recognized as having the capacity to develop leaders concerned with improving the human condition in their communities and should ensure they intentionally develop this capacity through curricular and co-curricular programming. Additional implications of findings and recommendations for future research and policy and practice are discussed.

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