Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version

Spring 4-18-2013


Pressler, A. L. (2013). The role of leadership experience in self-authorship development: A qualitative case study. (MA Thesis). University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor James V. Griesen. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2013.

Copyright (c) 2012 Anna Leigh Pressler


Marcia Baxter Magolda’s research showed development of self-authorship typically occurred around 30 years of age. However, some programming and experiential learning presented opportunities to accelerate self-authorship development in college. Baxter Magolda emphasized the importance of self-authorship in the formative years of college and post-graduation with significant life decisions of academic major, career choice, and relationships. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the role leadership experience played in development of self-authorship in college. Previous research touted multicultural programming, developmental advising, challenging classroom environments, and living-learning community models as ways to promote self-authorship development, but little research examined the role of leadership. By exploring men’s fraternity presidents’ experiences and progress toward self-authorship, the researcher hoped to distinguish what aspects of leadership experience promoted development of self-authorship. Findings indicated elements of leadership experience, such as peer accountability, higher level decision making, and personal reflection, positively impacted self-authorship development.

Adviser: James V. Griesen