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Dissertation Abstract

Incremental Effects of Instructor Leadership Behaviors on Student Commitment and Intent to Continue in Course Studies: A Comparative Study

Tonya F. Mack
April 2011

This quantitative, comparative study investigated the incremental effects of instructor leadership behaviors on higher education student commitment and intent to continue studies after controlling for four critical aspects of the teaching/learning environment. Students enrolled in class, online, and hybrid courses at a 2-year technical college were surveyed to examine their perceptions of instructor leadership behaviors, course design, communication of course expectations, and feedback/assessment of course performance. The study utilized Kouzes and Posner's (2003) Leadership Practices Inventory to examine the leadership behaviors of the instructors. Data were collected via valid and reliable survey questionnaires on student commitment, intent to continue in course studies, and student satisfaction with course design, course expectations, and feedback/ assessment of course performance. Data were analyzed using multiple regression analysis. The study revealed that leadership behaviors (independent variables) had a significant impact on all of the dependent variables (student commitment and intent to continue in course studies). The results obtained from this study provide evidence that although instructors in the teaching/learning environment may not quantify as leaders on college campuses, instructor leadership behaviors can influence how students react and behave in the learning environment.