Many civic engagement courses within higher education require students to work with community members to make progress on complex problems, which in itself can comprise leadership practice. Yet, there is little evidence that leadership development is strategically incorporated into such civic engagement courses in general. The authors taught eight leadership sessions over two semesters in the Principled Problem Solving Scholars program at Guilford College. The study discussed in this article examined the perceived impact of a leadership curriculum on the personal leadership practices and the civic engagement of 14 undergraduate students. The authors present their findings in the context of three themes, highlighting (1) the shift in the students’ philosophies of leadership from leader-centric to collective perspectives, (2) the value of civic leadership and democratic engagement praxis, and (3) salient leadership lessons. The authors also discuss implications of their study findings as well directions for future research, calling for greater integration of the fields of civic engagement and leadership studies and more research around the curricular integration of leadership education and civic education.
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Kniffin, L., & Sapra, S. (2021). Enhancing Civic Engagement Through Leadership Education. Ejournal of Public Affairs, 10(3). https://www.ejournalofpublicaffairs.org/enhancing-civic-engagement-through-leadership-education/