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Danielle Burch
Dr. Marlin R. Clark
Intercultural Communications 2150
May 3, 2014
Student Engagement and Leadership Development in the Higher Education Environment
Thousands of students are looking to further their education by serving in helping
positions in their college which also greatly impacts the students they have contact with.
Leadership positions while in college prove to the most valuable experiences for most college
students. There are many ways that students can get involved on campus and further their career
while going to school. All colleges should seek to involve students from the moment they arrive
until the day they graduate. Students and professionals count on individuals to give them faith to
achieve their dreams. Great leaders inspire those around them to achieve their dreams and give
them faith in themselves.
Leadership positions while in college prove to the most valuable experiences for most
college students. By being in a leadership position you have the potential to make a difference in
your life and in the lives of everyone you help. Peer educators can play a significant role in
assisting students to make connections through information sharing and referral for all members
of the campus community (Newton and Ender 368). While attending college, students mature
by becoming less dependent on others, establishing their own identities, and developing a sense
of purpose, so many times they often look to others for guidance. By helping others not only do
you gain satisfaction but you get to know yourself, The most effective peer educators know
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their strengths and weaknesses and actively pursue courses of action to improve their functioning
both as human beings and as helpers (Newton and Ender 368).
By being a leader, the mentor will serve as a catalyst for change by modeling behavior
and providing support for others. A great mentor displays respect for others while listening and
accepting different points of view. With great power comes even greater responsibility because
anyone can give advice, but It is much harder to find someone who will suspend judgment and
really listen (Newton and Ender 368). To be successful a mentor needs to empathize with others
and make time for all of their duties from students to whichever project they lend support to. A
mentor will be trusted to find the appropriate solution, Thus other students will look to your
words and actions for guidance and leadership in regard to their own behavior (Newton and
Ender 368).
Mentors look for conditions that promote student development by encouraging and
supporting an individuals learning experience. Not only are this conditions mandatory for the
interactions with other students but also the student leader; such as, having opportunities to
review developmental needs and having a voice in deciding what is pursued. Leaders need
opportunity to practice by Receiving accurate and usable cognitive and effective feedback and
reinforcement in response to behavior (Newton and Ender 368). Leaders can then pass this
information on to students who will also be using the same processes during their own learning
processes. Most students emulate their leaders around them in certain ways, so its important for
leader to be a positive role model because, The behaviors they emulate support positive
qualities that show responsibility and respect, promote growth, and enhance their educational
success (Newton and Ender 368).
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There are many ways that students can get involved on campus and further their career
while going to school. The first step towards becoming more involved is to change the mind-set
from what can college to for me to what can I do to enrich my experience here in higher
education. To start a student must become an achiever by building a network and remember
Dare to experience college as your own laboratory, not as an isolated ivory tower (Scheele
212). Building a network consists of joining or starting a study group, check out and join
campus activities, and being people friendly because this will build self-worth with
accomplished people someday. Nothing happens overnight but students Can use college to
discover talents and build on them to create passionate interests and ways to explore them
(Scheele 212).
Clubs and activities arent extracurricular but co-curricular because they offer a second
curricular that expands what is learned in the classroom. People work in groups in the real world,
so being involved in activities allows those communication skills to develop for the future. When
recruiters for different companies visit colleges they state That these interpersonal skills are
actually more important to them, because your engagement and leadership in co-curricular
activities reveals how well you will perform in their organization (Scheele 212). While in
college, its possible to learn the correct way to experiment with planned events, budget,
publicity, and people to manage without getting fired. Employers search for students not only
with excellent grades but Those students who have proven records of taking responsibility,
being motivated, and willingness to go beyond merely what is expected (Scheele 212).
All colleges should seek to involve students from the moment they arrive until the day
they graduate. There are many staff members that students can utilize to get the most from their
college experience including student affairs personnel, peer counselors, faculty, and
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administrators. There are systems, however; in place to warn students of unsatisfactory progress.
If a student, after a number of warnings and interventions, fails to show satisfactory progress, he
or she is placed on probation, which will eventually lead to dismissed if all attempts to assist the
student in achieving satisfactory progress fail (Roueche and Baker 202). The hope from staff is
that they will be able to help faltering students achieve academic success.
Faculties and staff make clear expectations of the skills students need to graduate, and by
knowing expectations students are better prepared to reach their full potential. Requirements are
expanded and revised to meet the needs of the school and the students, so the curriculum is up to
date. Skill development for students is a necessity so, Curricular content is directly addressed
not only to subject matter but also to the development of capacities of analysis, problem solving,
communication, and synthesis (Roueche and Baker 202) which students gain from various
disciplines. Reading and writing components are required in every course offered for credit to
teach students the skills necessary for living productively in society. College presidents not only
look to represent high academics at their college but also certain intentions that Ensure that the
behavior of their institutions evidences the ideals of honesty, justice, freedom, equality,
generosity, and respect for others-the necessary values of communities (Roueche and Baker
Students and professionals count on individuals to give them faith to achieve their
dreams. Some students need a teacher to awaken their mind by capturing their attention and
opening their minds to the endless possibilities. Teachers arent always the ones doing the
teaching either, teachers instead Are unanimous in the belief that they also gained much from
the students (Casazza and Smith Bauer 224). Many students are looking for help to navigate the
institutional system and realize their dreams. Teachers are there for a purpose and want to help
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when possible, You will never forget what you feel and what you get back from students that
you really help (Casazza and Smith Bauer 224).
Many educators and colleges seek to make a difference in the lives of their students that
will eventually lead to achievement. Sometimes in order to accomplish the goals that set it takes
tough love and increasing the challenges, while other times students need a gentler approach and
more resources. There are student scholars that Have expectations of failure and low self-
concepts (Casazza and Smith Bauer 224) that need someone to desire their success with them.
The road may not always be smooth, but if a student has the support they need, then they will
feel the freedom to realize there isnt anything holding them back. College teaches students to
learn from their experiences, My best college experience is realizing I can be successful
(Casazza and Smith Bauer 224) so, if they learn to be successful they will prepared for their
Great leaders inspire those around them to achieve their dreams and give them faith in
themselves. Leaders restore hope when there is danger and help those around conquer their fears.
True-leaders-those who can inspire others to risk going places they wouldnt go themselves-
search their own conscience for truth and understanding (Seymour 206). A leader trusts
themselves, their abilities, and their correct decisions when it comes to course of action. When a
leader can believe fully in themselves then, And only then, do they step resolutely onto the log
with a strong personal conviction that they can make a difference (Seymour 206).
A leader cant change the world if their actions dont show personal commitment, but
instead their words become hypocrisy. If a leader removes themselves from the solution the
result will be no change. If there is never change needed from the leader but its always needed
from the followers then no one will follow Not onto a log, not anywhere that they would not go
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(Seymour 206). Change becomes dead when the leader stops striving forward and all the
training of those that follow is wasted. Behavior needs to follow the goals that are set not the
other way around, Most performance evaluation is top down (Seymour 206).
Becoming a leader is not an easy task but when someone commits their whole heart to
bettering the lives of others, it is a worthy cause. Leadership positions in college prove how
successful a student is at solving problem, which employers look for. The college campus
includes several different ways to become involved so that a student can find the right niche for
them. The college faculty wants to see the students succeed in their higher education, so they are
available for help any way that they can offer. Students and professors can always learn from
each other and strive forward together. Ultimately there is opportunity to become a leader in
higher education, but the experience is up to the student to take advantage of all the resources
that are given.

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Title Page
Casazza, Martha E., and Laura Lee Smith Bauer. Access, Opportunity, and Success: Keeping the
Promise of Higher Education. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006. 224. Print.
Newton, Fred B., and Steven C. Ender. Students Helping Students: A Guide for Peer Educators
on College Campuses. 2nd. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2010. 368. Print.
Roueche, John E., and George A. Baker. Access and Excellence: The Open Door College.
Washington, D.C.: Community College Pr/Amer Assoc, 1987. 202. Print.
Scheele, Adele M. Launch Your Career in College: Strategies for Students, Educators, and
Parents. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005. 212. Print.
Seymour, Daniel. Once Upon a Campus: Lessons for Improving Quality and Productivity in
Higher Education. Pheonix, AZ: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1995. 206. Print.