Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

John R. Murray


The purpose of this thesis is to create a plan for a college or university to use in designing a program of leadership development for students. The study begins at the first stages, discussing the role of higher education as a producer of leaders. It is argued that it is the responsibility of higher education to promote leadership and actively cultivate leaders as part of its mission. Leadeship is defined and the fundamentals of the thesis are explained. Personal and creative potential are explained as the foundation of any leadership program. These qualities are discussed, and methods of teaching these qualities are examined. Then, the role of cognitive psychology is investigated in developing leadership programs. Different aspects of leadership are identified, and are then explored through the field of cognitive psychology. These qualities are addressed in terms of the way that the mind works. From this, the effective methods of teaching these areas are considered. Assessment and evaluation techniques are examined as tools for creating the best program possible. Addressing each stage in the development process, different types of evaluation methods and areas to be assessed are noted and explained. Finally, there is discussion of the politics behind creating any new program, specifically, how to promote funding of the new program, and how to market the program within the college community. The author puts forth this work as a guide to identifying and answering the issues facing a new school developing a leadership program, and to serve as a reference in the development process.