Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Valeri Helterbran, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Mark Twiest, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

DeAnna Laverick, D.Ed.


Intercollegiate athletic programs claim to develop a variety of skills in their athletes, but how do we really know that this is occurring as a result of the athlete’s participation? Through the review of past studies this study will seek to identify what leadership skills are gained as a result of participation in an intercollegiate athletic program. In addition, the study will examine the influence that these leadership skills have had on the development and growth of former athletes beyond college. Senge’s (1990) learning organization, Astin’s (1993) theory of involvement, and Brungardt’s (1996) theory of leadership development provide the theoretical frameworks for this study. Experiences in situational leadership, application to challenges posed, and through the use of purposeful simulations, athletes are able to develop their leadership skills (Astin, 1993; Brungardt, 1996; Senge, 1990). Kanter’s (2006) confidence provided the guiding leadership framework, as well as identified the specific skills of confidence, accountability, collaboration, and initiative, which were the specific leadership skills, focused on during this study. Former college basketball players will be interviewed for the study. This study expanded upon the literature regarding leadership skills in college, as well as address the development of leadership skills directly or indirectly taught to college athletes. An analysis of how leadership skills have translated into and enhanced the participant’s life after college will enable institutions of higher education to evaluate and assess their athletic programs to better determine if they are providing opportunities for leadership development in their student athletes.