Leadership programs have become increasingly prevalent in tertiary institutions, but rigorous evaluation research on their effectiveness on student development, particularly student well-being is inadequate. This study examined the effectiveness of a credit-bearing leadership course entitled “Service Leadership” in promoting leadership capacities and well-being of university students using a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design. Based on a sample of Hong Kong university students (experimental group: n = 75; control group, n = 105), we found that students in the experimental group (i.e., those taking the course) showed a greater improvement in service leadership knowledge, service leadership attitudes, and life satisfaction than those in the control group (i.e., those not taking the course) after taking the course. Besides, changes in life satisfaction and positive youth development were positively related to the change in service leadership attitudes but not service leadership knowledge. The implications of the findings on leadership education and holistic development of university students are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This paper was presented at the Annual Conference of the International Society of Quality for Life Studies at Innsbruck, Austria in September 2017. This paper and the related research project on the development of the assessment tools for the Service Leadership Model are financially supported by the Victor and William Fung Foundation and the Endowed Professorship in Service Leadership and Education at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
© 2018, The Author(s).
- Life satisfaction
- Positive youth development
- Service leadership attitudes
- Service leadership knowledge
- Service leadership model