Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Before exploring the legitimacy of leadership studies as an academic field of study, we will first explore the characteristics of a liberal arts education and establish its legitimacy (through historical analyses) as the "standard" of higher education in America, and the educational approach most associated with cultivating an enlightened citizenry in a democratic society. Once the legitimacy of a liberal arts education is established, this form of education will serve as the benchmark to which we will compare leadership studies. We will apply the same criteria that established the legitimacy of a liberal arts education to the field of leadership studies to determine this particular field's legitimacy. Currently, three universities offer an undergraduate major in leadership. How leadership is taught is slightly different in each program, but ultimately they all recognize the importance and value of leadership within society. We will complete an in-depth analysis of the curriculum of each of the programs offering a major in leadership studies in order to assess the legitimacy of leadership studies as an academic field of study.
Essentially, we will determine the legitimacy of leadership studies as a field of study comparing it to the liberal arts education. We will be looking to see if leadership studies possesses any of the foundations and characteristics that make the liberal arts education "legitimate." Ultimately, we seek to answer the question, how does leadership studies fair as a method of cultivating an enlightened citizenry as compared to the deep-rooted and established liberal arts education?
Moran, Megan and Shortlidge, Joy, "The legitimacy of leadership studies as an academic field of study" (1999). Honors Theses. 1251.