Author

Wendi Jenkins

Date of Award

Winter 2015

Type

Dissertation

Major

Doctor of Education

Department

Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

Abstract

This phenomenological study examined the experiences of various participants of the Columbus State University Servant Leadership Program. The primary data collection method was in-depth focus groups with supplemental interviews. The perception data were coded and analyzed according to the research questions. The research resulted in three major categories, along with several themes under each category, which emerged out of the experiences shared by the participants: 1) there was a high level of importance placed on relationships within and among the program; 2) numerous overarching program aspects such as sense of personal growth and skills sets for success were recognized by participants; 3) specific program components such as mentoring and self-awareness materialized as essential for perceive participant growth. The experiences associated with the program participants in this study serve as a framework for discussion about the sustainability of the Servant Leadership Program. This research revealed the overall perceptions of the program remain positive with only a few program components to adjust. A conclusion to be drawn from this finding is the program should not change the foundational aspects or components on which it was built. A high number of participants expressed growth through the mentoring, self-awareness, and academic features. There is not a gap to report between the findings of former participants versus current participants. Recommendations are offered for current program faculty, university administration, and further research. The recommendations range from practical applications to suggestions for more specific study topics for future research. Areas for improvement and continued research are student retention and religious perceptions.

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