Conducting leadership program reviews in US higher education: A comparative case study

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Journal of Leadership Education


Program reviews are standard practice in higher education. Yet, due to the infancy of the leadership discipline, little is known about the process of conducting reviews of leadership programs. Through interviewing 13 experienced leadership program reviewers in both curricular and co-curricular contexts, the authors of this study aim to address this gap in the literature. A comparative case study was employed to learn more about what encompasses a leadership program review and elicit experience-based practices for facilitating leadership program reviews in higher education. A thematic analysis of the interview transcripts was conducted by the researchers and the four major themes of review logistics, reviewer experiences, review outcomes, and lessons learned are shared in this study. The researchers found contextual factors related to the institutions and leadership programs, reviewer facilitation skills, setting clear expectations of the review process and outcomes, identifying resources, and nuances related to power considerations and political dynamics to be primary factors in conducting leadership program reviews. The authors close by offering implications for research and practice based on these findings.


Association of Leadership Educators