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Predicting Student Leaders’ Political Participation, Interest and Efficacy

Sat, September 2, 8:00 to 9:30am, Westin St. Francis, Yorkshire


This project shares the results of the inaugural project of the Intercampus Consortium for SoTL Research. The National Survey of Student Leaders reflects the responses of student officers representing 5,567 registered student organizations on 36 college campuses. These 36 colleges and universities, including community colleges, regional public universities, small liberal arts colleges and large research-intensive universities, are scattered across every major geographical region of the continental United States, as well as one European country. This paper assesses whether campus organizations provide political socialization comparable to that provided by civic voluntarism. Analysis identifies the organizational features and individual characteristics that predict anticipated political participation, political interest, and political efficacy. Findings emphasize disturbingly low level of these outcomes among campus leaders, as well as the equally troubling gender gap in political leadership training. We document the problem and propose campus-based solutions and campus-community partnerships to address these deficits.