Excerpts on Leadership Development

 Women have a variety of opportunities to help lead in their communities and in preparing the next generation.  Leadership ability is enhanced by a variety of skills and attributes developed in higher education.  Following are just a few examples:
  • A broad educational experience provides communication skills as well as creative and critical thinking skills.
  • One report from the American Association of Colleges and Universities stated that this type of “education is the best and most powerful way to build students’ capacities to form reasoned judgments about complex issues.” Importantly, reasoned judgment is not only a critical competency women need in the workplace, but also a skill needed for effective contributions in politics, communities, churches, and homes.
  • Research also shows that women in particular receive valuable development opportunities in the areas of verbal and writing skills, interpersonal and teamwork abilities, quantitative and analysis skills, critical thinking, reflective judgment, principled moral reasoning, integrating ideas and concepts, gaining content knowledge in various fields, and learning effectively on their own.
  • College graduates also have a considerable advantage in comparison to high school graduates when it comes to factual knowledge. College graduates are much more likely to engage in activities that add to their knowledge base after graduation.
  • Under controlled studies that consider age and verbal and mathematical ability, postsecondary educational exposure produces a positive effect on evaluating the strength or weakness of arguments.
  • Compared to incoming freshmen, college seniors are able to address sophisticated problems and provide solutions that encompass greater complexity.  (References for all of the research cited above can be found in The Benefits of Higher Education for Women in Utah.)

These and many other benefits of higher education strengthen a woman’s ability to contribute as a leader in any organization or situation she is associated with.