School of Education
Doctor of Philosophy
first-year students, service-learning, higher education, leadership, leadership development, civic engagement
Education | Educational Leadership
Wilson, Jennifer E., "Leadership Development Through Service-Learning for First-Year Students: A Phenomenological Study of the Significance to Leadership Studies" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4972.
The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to understand the leadership development experiences of first-year undergraduate students who participated in service learning. The central research question is: What are the shared leadership experiences of alumni who participated in service-learning activities during their first-year courses? Ten recent graduates from a large public research university in the Midwest make up the sample for this study. The theory guiding this study is Kolb’s experiential learning theory as it aims to explore experiential leadership development through service-learning during first-year undergraduate studies. Data collection methods included a timeline and digital data collection, individual interviews, and focus groups. Data were analyzed through Moustakas’s transcendental phenomenological process, revealing three themes, four subthemes, and one outlier. In addition to the study findings, limitations, implications for stakeholders, and recommendations for future research were presented.