Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Tony Tan, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Vivechkanand Chunoo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Darlene DeMarie, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ph.D.


college student leadership development, culturally relevant leadership learning, inclusive education, positive social change


This dissertation study explored meaningful experiences contributing to students’ identity, capacity, and efficacy development as culturally relevant leaders. In Chapter One, I detailed the importance and relevance of this topic in the field of higher education. Then, I reviewed the literature on college student leadership development; defined leadership identity, capacity, and efficacy development; and culturally relevant leadership learning (CRLL; Bertrand Jones et al., 2016). In the third chapter, I described the qualitative methodological approach to uncovering how college students develop leadership identity, capacity, and efficacy to engage in culturally relevant leadership. I approached this study from a critical constructivist paradigm. I collected interview and focus group data on the individual and collective lived experiences of nine first-year college students who participated in a curricular and co-curricular leadership development program. Findings are summarized into nine themes. In the final chapter, the findings are analyzed and illustrated in an applicable model for fostering culturally relevant leadership identity, capacity, and efficacy development. This chapter details the model’s connection to current literature, the study’s limitations, implications for practice, and future directions.