Sources of self-efficacy and motivations to lead for Asian American college students

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2019-05-10

Authors

Wang, Jennifer L.

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Abstract

Despite the increasing college and university enrollment rates of Asian Americans, research on Asian Americans in higher education, specifically of college students, remains an important growing area of research with much more to be examined. Asian Americans can be considered one of the more misunderstood populations in higher education and are at risk of being left out of important conversations. Furthermore, Asian Americans continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions across industries in the United States. This population also has one of the lowest reported levels of leadership self-efficacy. Researchers agree that leadership development is a key outcome of higher education, which creates a compelling case for more literature on Asian American college student leadership development in order to better understand this population. This phenomenological study explored the explores of Asian American college students, specifically examining the sources of leadership self-efficacy and motivations to lead. Three key findings from this study revealed the centrality of cultural identity to participants’ leadership experiences, the relevance of the theoretical framework used in this study, and the significance of environment in students’ leadership experiences. Given these findings, the study expanded and contributed to existing literature on Asian American undergraduate students, identified opportunities for further research, and also offered recommendations for high schools and institutions of higher education to enhance the Asian American college student leadership experience.

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