Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Larry H Ebbers


This qualitative study explored the lived experiences of alumni who completed an undergraduate leadership program. Specifically, graduates from a private liberal arts institution located in the Midwest who completed a leadership education program are highlighted and served as the focus for the study. The main purpose of the qualitative study was to learn about the lived experiences of alumni who participated in and graduated from a leadership program. A phenomenological case study approach framed the study and semi-structured interviews were predominately used to collect data. The overarching research question was, "What are the lived experiences of alumni who participated in an undergraduate leadership program?" There were a total of 11 participants and each participated in a series of one-on-one interviews. Seidman's three interview series (1991) was used as a framework to situate the interviews and Colaizzi's phenomenology data analysis model (1978) was applied in order to analyze data. Following the data analysis process, 12 themes emerged. The themes that revealed themselves included ownership of learning, awareness of self, traditional learning, collaborative learning, experiential learning, getting out of the comfort zone, participation in deep and intentional reflection, cultivation of dispositions, gained knowledge, acquisition of skills, servant leadership, and applications of leadership. This study contributes to understanding the meaning alumni constructed as part of their involvement in a leadership program. A figure as part of a conceptual framework was developed and is illustrated to provide a visual representation of the findings.


Copyright Owner

William Joseph Soesbe III



Date Available


File Format


File Size

303 pages