The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences and perceptions of twelve college student-athletes, from two NCAA Division I institutions, who participated in leadership development programs provided by their athletic department. There is a demonstrated need for this level of exploration as evidenced by the growing trend of college athletic departments providing leadership development programming for their respective student-athlete populations. However, there is not a commensurate level of scholarship related to the effectiveness of these programs, nor is there an understanding of the lived experiences of the student-athlete participants that is grounded in research. Therefore, this qualitative study utilized Moustakas' (1994) Transcendental Phenomenology to explore the lived experiences and perceptions of college student-athletes who participated in leadership development programs provided by their athletic department. This study applied Dweck's (2008) theory of Mindset to distill the role effort, failure, and adversity played in the participants lives, and their leadership development. Textural and structural analysis of the data revealed six themes and the essence of the phenomenon. The themes were: (1) Personal Growth and Development; (2) Skill Development; (3) Engaging Pedagogies; (4) Meaning of Effort; (5) Meaning of Failure; and (6) Problem Solving Mindset. Recommendations for college athletic departments implementing leadership development programs include: Intentionality of design; focus on personal growth and development; provide tangible skill development; and include training on growth mindset.
Cintron Delgado, Rosa
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Child, Family, and Community Sciences
Educational Leadership; Higher Education Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
O'Brien, Jeffrey, "Leadership Development Programs in College Athletics: An Exploration of the Student-Athlete Experience" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5771.