Academic journal article Journal of International Students

Student Success through Leadership Self-Efficacy: A Comparison of International and Domestic Students

Academic journal article Journal of International Students

Student Success through Leadership Self-Efficacy: A Comparison of International and Domestic Students

Article excerpt

Research has exposed multiple challenges of international students while studying on their American campuses, but surprisingly there is scarce research examining approaches to involve international students in activities or examines their perspectives on student involvement to overcome these barriers. Integrating international students into the existing campus culture can be challenging (Andrade, 2006). Student involvement and participation in co-curricular activities can have a positive effect on students' academic and social outcomes on campus. Along with involvement and participation, leadership is also an important indicator of success in higher education (Astin & Astin, 2000; Roberts, 2003). Leadership capacity and efficacy are linked to important academic, career, and life benefits, such as career and leadership aspirations, work performance, the ability to cope and overcome stereotypes, and the adaptation to and persistence in the face of challenging situations (Day, Harrison, & Halpin, 2009; Hannah, Avolio, Luthans, & Harms, 2008; Machida & Schaubroeck, 2011). As a result, increasing leadership opportunities for international students will not only increase their educational success and career aspirations, but it will also be critical to integrating them on campus and developing their own diverse perspectives.

Since research on the development of leadership capacity in international students is absent from the national discourse in higher education, the purpose of this study was to examine whether students' leadership self-efficacy was impacted by their college environments (LSEpost). More particularly, the study compared international students with their domestic student peers. Through quantitative analyses, this study utilized national data to make this comparison with the influence of their campus environments.

LEADERSHIP SELF-EFFICACY & STUDENT SUCCESS

This social construction of leadership has resulted in over 200 definitions and understandings of leadership behavior and leadership development (Rost, 1991). It is not surprising that most people do not understand what the concept of leadership really means (Burns, 1978). For the purposes of this study, leadership is defined in the post-industrial philosophy based on relational, reciprocal, and value-based models (Rost, 1991), which more closely reflects the social justice missions of higher education institutions. Leadership responds to the modern needs of society as a group through which purposeful and ethical engagement of individual energy and influence create change that benefits oneself and others and is collaborative with an authentic and positive approach (Avolio & Gardner, 2005; Rost, 1991). Leadership development is the process of expanding one's capacity to be effective in leadership roles (McCauley, Van Veslor, & Rudeman, 2010). For the purposes of this study, leadership development has focused more on developing human capital by focusing on individual intra-personal abilities instead of social capital and investing in interpersonal development and community relationships compared to the industrial philosophy of leadership and developing individual skills and abilities (Komives, Owen, Longerbeam, Mainella, & Osteen, 2005).

Given that leadership is an integral purpose of higher education (Dugan & Komives, 2007), it is important to understand how students fit into this complex concept. Komives, et al. (2005) found that as students entered college, their approach to leadership appeared to be consistent to the industrial forms of the leader-centric and personal abilities models. As students developed throughout their years in higher education, their understanding of leadership shifted to become more relational, similar to the post-industrial leadership model (Komives, et al., 2005). This provides an important awareness to the present study that individuals' concept of leaders and leadership can change over time. …

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