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Undergraduate Student Involvement in Collegiate Student Organizations in Colleges of Agriculture

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Title:
Undergraduate Student Involvement in Collegiate Student Organizations in Colleges of Agriculture
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Von Stein, Marlene
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[Gainesville, Fla.]
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Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( M.S.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Agricultural Education and Communication
Committee Chair:
Ball, Anna Leigh
Committee Members:
Carter, Hannah Sewell
Graduation Date:
8/9/2008

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Subjects / Keywords:
Agricultural colleges ( jstor )
Agriculture ( jstor )
College students ( jstor )
Colleges ( jstor )
Fan clubs ( jstor )
Fitness centers ( jstor )
Golf clubs ( jstor )
Sports clubs ( jstor )
State universities ( jstor )
Student organizations ( jstor )
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
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Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.

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Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics of collegiate student organizations that are related to higher levels of leadership and personal development as experienced by positional leaders of the student organizations. The study population consisted of positional leaders of student organizations in colleges of agriculture within institutions created by the 1862 Land-grant Act. A stratified random sample was taken from the population. Participants completed an online questionnaire with questions seeking to describe the characteristics of the organization and to define the amount of time spent by positional leaders on organizational activities and responsibilities, as measured in hours per week. The independent variables in the study were the characteristics of the undergraduate student organizations. The dependent variable was the organizational leaders' levels of involvement. Results showed that student organizations are highly or moderately structured, perceive varying levels of advisor engagement, plan many or some programs each year, and are deeply or mildly embedded in their external environments. Positional leaders spend eight or less hours each week participating in and/or planning for organizational activities and responsibilities. Positional leaders in more highly structured organizations and in organizations that plan more programs tend to more hours per week involved in the organization. The engagement level of the advisor nor the engagement level of the organization in its external environment are related to the involvement level of the organization?s positional leaders. ( en )
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Thesis:
Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local:
Adviser: Ball, Anna Leigh.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Marlene Von Stein.

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remaining respondents (27.4%, n=62) selected the description for the second highest level of

involvement: "He/she provides support in planning by assuming minimal specific

responsibilities. He/she almost always attends organization events." Table 4-16 illustrates the

level of involvement by the organization's lead advisor.

Table 4-16. Advisor's involvement in student organization (n=226)
Level of involvement of lead advisor n %
He/she provides only advice, information, and a signature when we 50 22.1
request it. He/she sometimes attends organization events.
He/she provides insight and steers us in the proper direction, but does not assume 107 47.3
a role in planning. He/she usually attends organization events.
He/she provides support in planning by assuming minimal specific 62 27.4
responsibilities. He/she almost always attends organization events.
He/she directs the organization by informing us of activities and planning 7 3.15
events. He/she always attends events because he/she planned it.

Organization Programs

In the third section of the questionnaire, questions surrounded the concept of

organizational programming. Twelve questions sought to describe the type of programs hosted

and/or planned by student organizations, as well as how those programs were planned and

funded. Potential programs were sorted into six categories-fundraisers, socials, educational

events for members, events for the public, community service, and member recognition. The first

six questions in this section asked participants if their organization hosted each of these six types

of events, with only "yes" and "no" as possible responses, as shown in Table 4-17.

Most (83.2%, n=188) respondents reported their organization planned and/or hosted

fundraisers for their organization. Almost all (92.5%, n=210) indicated their organization

planned and/or hosted social events for organization members. About three-fourths (73.5%,

n=166) reported their organization planned and/or hosted educational events for organization

members, such as professional development events. Just over half reported that events or

activities for the public (56.2%, n=127) and community service activities (56.9%, n=128) were









These student statements demonstrate the relation of student organization involvement,

specifically here in a student newspaper organization and a sorority, has with career preparation.

Lasting views on volunteering and community service

Students involved in student organizations feel more strongly about service in the

community. Eklund-Leen and Young (1997) conducted a study of campus-wide organizations,

professional clubs, honorary societies, and special interest clubs. The research compared student

organization members and nonmembers in regards to both attitudes toward community

involvement and the participation in community activities. A strong relationship was found

between leadership designation and attitude toward community involvement, leaders more so

than members, and members more so than nonmembers. Students who were intensely involved

in a student organization had a more positive attitude toward community involvement (Eklund-

Leen and Young 1997).

Positional Leaders of Student Organizations

This study focused on the involvement of positional leaders within collegiate student

organizations. As discussed throughout the review of student development literature, positional

leaders in student organizations have a high potential for growth and development.

Students who hold leadership positions in student organizations have been found to score

higher than members but nonleaders on portions of the SDLTI (Cooper, Healy, and Simpson

1994). While these students typically start at a higher developmental stage, positional leadership

roles provide opportunities for students to keep growing. Foubert and Grainger's 2006 study of

student organization members reported that students "who either joined or led an organization

tended to have higher levels of development than those who just attended a meeting" (Foubert

and Grainger 2006). Given Astin's theory of student involvement, these positional leaders who

are experiencing higher levels of development will tend to be more involved in the student









CHAPTER 5
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Summary

The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics of collegiate student

organizations that are related to higher levels of leadership and personal development as

experienced by positional leaders of the student organizations. The components of Astin's theory

of student involvement formed the theoretical foundation from which to examine leadership and

personal development through involvement in collegiate organizations.

The research objectives were as follows:

* Objective 1: To describe the specific organizational characteristics of undergraduate
student organizations in 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture.

* Objective 2: To determine the level of physical involvement of positional leaders of
undergraduate student organizations in 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture as measured
in time.

* Objective 3: To describe the relationship between organizational characteristics and level
of involvement by positional leaders of undergraduate student organizations in 1862 land-
grant colleges of agriculture.

Procedures

The population for this study consisted of all undergraduate student organizations in

colleges of agriculture at universities established by the Land-Grant Act of 1862. A stratified

random sample of 275 organizations was taken from the population, which consisted of 979

student organizations. After student contact information was requested from the 275

organizations in the sample, contact information for 460 students was obtained. An email request

was sent to the sample to participate in an online survey. Of those 460 students, 265 responded to

the survey request, with 232 usable responses. This accounted for a 50.4% response rate.












Nati a S d of C e oI f Aric r i.kden Org anizion S ffi
20. Does your organization have a mission statement?
O Yes
O No
21. Does your organization have a constitution?
O Yes
SNo








































i.,,.,' 5









Name of university














Washington State
University





























West Virginia University


Name of collegiate student organization
FAN
Food Science Club
Horticulture Club
MANNRS
Poultry Science Club
PAS
Pre-Veterinary Club
Student Dietetics Association
Turfgrass Club
Collegiate 4-H
W.B. Alwood Entomological Society
Young Farmers


ACT
Ag Econ/Agribusiness
Ag Education
Ag TM Club
Block and Bridle
Collegiate Horsemen's Association
Cougar Cattle Feeders
Crop & Soils Club
Dairy Club
Economics Club
Entomology Club
Food Science Club
Forestry Club
Horticulture Club
Human Development, Family and
Consumer Science Club
International Interior Design Association
International Textiles and Apparels
Association
Landscape Architecture
Organization of Future Veterinarians
SNAC
Sustainability Club
Turf Club
Viticulture/Enology
Wildlife Society

Agriculture & Resource Economics Club
American Fisheries Society
American Society of Interior Designers
Block and Bridle









Name of university


University of Rhode Island











Clemson University


Name of collegiate student organization
Environmental Society
Equestrian Club
Fly Fishing Club
Food Science Club
Horticulture Club
International Internship Club
Poultry Science Club
Pre-Vet Club
Sustainable Agriculture Club
SRUA
Turfgrass Club
American Fisheries Society
ASABE
AWRA
Coaly Society
Collegiate 4-H
Collegiate FFA
FPS
IAAW
MANNRS
NAMA
SOSNR
SAF
Wildlife Society

American Society of Landscape Architects
Animal Veterinary Science Club
Down to Earth, Up to Us
Geology Club
HOPE
Marine Science Society
Nutrition Club
Outing Club
Plant Sciences Club
Wildlife Society

Ag Econ Club
Ag Mechanization and Business Club
Biochemistry & Genetics Club
Biological Sciences Club
Biosystems Engineering Club
Block and Bridle Club
Clemson Collegiate FFA
Dairy Science Club
Entomology Club









Name of university


North Carolina State
University


Name of collegiate student organization
Hortus Forum
Institute of Biological Engineering
MANNRS
Minority Business Students Association
Multicultural Organization for
Communication Affairs
National Broadcasting Society
New World Agriculture and Ecology
Group
Pre-vet Society
Public Relations Student Society of
America
Research Paper, Cornell's Undergraduate
Research Magazine
Small Farms Club
Student Association of the Geneva
Experiment Station
Society for Natural Resources
Conservation
Society for Women in Business
Wildlife Society


Agricultural and Extension Education Club
Agribusiness/NAMA
Agricultural Institute Club
Agronomy Club
Animal Science Career Opportunities
Animal Science Club
Biochemistry Club
Biology Club
Botany Club
Biological & Agricultural Engineering
Collegiate 4-H
Collegiate FFA
Collegiate Horseman's Association
Companion Animal Club
Food Science Club
Genetics Club
Golf Course Superintendents Association
of America
Horticulture Club
Jeffersonians Club
Leopold Wildlife Club
March of Dimes Collegiate Council









Students in colleges of agriculture learn the technical and professional skills desired by

employers through a variety of experiences. Students enroll in courses, work in laboratory

experiences and classes, and engage in community and industry practicums and internships.

These learning and developmental experiences are often required of students. However, many

students elect to broaden their college involvement by voluntarily participating in departmental,

college, and university-wide programs and activities such as college ambassador groups, study

abroad programs, student advisory boards, event planning committees, or student organizations.

Students plan college-wide outreach events, chair professional development nights, coordinate

educational visits for elementary students, provide goodwill presentations, and travel

internationally for study and research. Many graduates cite such experiences as a crucial

component to their personal and professional growth while in college (Birkenholz and

Schumacher 1994; Suvedi and Heyboer 2004). It has been posited that the more a student

participates in academic, extracurricular, and career preparation experiences, the more leadership

and personal development they will experience (Astin 1984).

One such venue for leadership and personal development is the dozens of student

organizations that serve undergraduates. Organizations can be found at the department, college,

and university levels. Clubs and organizations are often categorized as academic, special interest,

social, honorary, or political in nature and may serve students across the campus or within

targeted groups.

Student organizations provide extracurricular experiences in which students may choose to

invest energy. This energy investment can be measured quantitatively and qualitatively (Astin

1984). The quantitative dimension is assessed by the amount of physical energy invested, as









If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me at anytime. Thank you for your
participation.


Sincerely,

Marlene F. von Stein

Graduate Assistant
Department of Agricultural Education and Communication
University of Florida
Email: vonstein@ufl.edu
Mobile: 614-570-7589









Name of university





University of Illinois



























Purdue University


Name of collegiate student organization
Soil Stewards
Student Idaho Cattle Association
UI Student Society of Arboriculture

ACE Club
Agricultural Education Club
Agricultural Mechanization Club
ASABE
Association of Food Technologists
Collegiate 4-H Club
Collegiate FFA
Companion Animals Club
Field and Furrow
Hoof 'n' Horn
Horticulture Club
Human Interest Professions Club
Illini Dairy Club
Illini Equestrians
Illini Foresters
Illini Pork Link
Illini Poultry Club
Illini Pullers
James Scholar Media Team
Mini Baja Club
MANNRS
Pre-Vet Club
Turf Club

Agribusiness Club
ACT
Ag Systems Management Club
Agronomy Club
ASAE
Avian Science Club
Biochemical & Food Process Engineering
Club
Biochemistry Club
Block & Bridle Club
Botany Club
Collegiate 4-H Club
Dairy Club
Environmental Science Club
Farm Management Club









measured in time. The depth of psychological energy makes up the qualitative dimension (Astin

1984).

This study examined the role of student organizations in student learning and personal

development by measuring the time positional leaders invest in their student organization and

describing what relationship may or may not exist between the specific characteristics of the

organization and the time invested by the positional leaders. While all students can find

numerous opportunities within collegiate student organizations in which to invest energy,

students serving in a leadership role in the organization are more likely to be more highly

involved than a student who is not serving in a leadership capacity (Astin 1993). Focusing on the

positional leaders of the student organizations allowed an objective approach to selecting highly

involved students within the organization.

Background of the Study

Undergraduate students join and become involved in student organizations for a variety of

reasons. In a study of Pennsylvania State University students who were members of collegiate

student organizations in the College of Agricultural Sciences, 92% of respondents stated they

joined the organization because it related to their major or career goals. Over 80% reported they

joined for the socialization with their peers. Another 72% reported joining for leadership

development opportunities and almost 70% responded that a motivation for joining was to

affiliate with others who shared similar interests (Hoover and Dunigan 2004).

While students might not join solely for the purpose of enhancing their leadership and

personal development potential, research has shown that involvement in student organizations

does increase the leadership capacity of participating students (Cress, Astin, Zimmerman-Oster,

and Burkhardt 2001; Floerchinger 1998; Hernandez, Hogan, Hathaway, and Lovell 1999;

McKinley, Birkenholz, and Stewart 1993; Sommers 1991).









programs tend to more hours per week involved in the organization. The engagement level of the

advisor nor the engagement level of the organization in its external environment are related to

the involvement level of the organization's positional leaders.









Name of university

















Utah State University













University of Vermont





Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State
University


Name of collegiate student organization
Saddle and Sirloin Club
Society for Conservation Biology
Society for Marine Mammalogy
Society for American Foresters
Soil and Water Conservation Society
TAMU Student Society of Arboriculture
Texas Aggie Cattle Women
Toxicology
Texas Aggie Master Gardeners
Turfgrass Club
Undergraduate Biochemistry Society
Wildlife Society
Undergraduate Entomology Student
Organization

Collegiate FFA
Ag Tech Club
ACT
Plant, Soils, and Climate Club
Animal Science Club
Pre-Vet Club
USU Sheep Club
Dietetics Club
Food Science Club
Agribusiness Club
Student Chapter of UAFCS
HOHA

Common Ground Farm
Dairy Club
Food and Nutrition Club
Horticulture Club
Pre-Vet Club



NAMA
Agricultural Education Society
Agronomy Club
ASAE
Biochemistry Club
Block and Bridle Club
Dairy Club
Environmental Student Organization
Exercise Science Student Organization









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Completing this project would not have been possible without the support and

encouragement of several individuals to whom I am most grateful.

First, I express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Anna Ball, my adviser, for her guidance in this

process. Her ability to assist in molding my ideas into tangible research objectives has been

immensely valuable throughout the evolution of this project. Dr. Ball always delivered exactly

what I needed, whether that was patience, a philosophical challenge, practicality, or even a little

extra motivation. Throughout my graduate program, she consistently held me to a high standard

of excellence in my research and studies, and for that I am most appreciative. I consider her a

mentor and friend.

I also wish to thank Dr. Hannah Carter, not only for serving on my committee, but also

providing insights into the field of leadership development throughout my graduate school

experience. Whether I was working on a research project, leadership workshop, or class

assignment, I could always count on Dr. Carter to provide a real-world approach to leadership

theories and models. I truly appreciate her perfect balance of professionalism and practicality.

I may not have even seriously considered graduate school if not for the Spaghetti

Warehouse lunches I had with Dr. Steven Gratz and Dr. Jamie Cano during my undergraduate

years at Ohio State. These two gentlemen challenged me to think differently, to explore the

philosophical concepts behind my work, and ultimately, to pursue a graduate degree. I am very

thankful they saw in me what I did not yet see in myself.

A number of individuals have been instrumental in my personal and professional

development while completing this project. I wish to thank Chris Vitelli, Charlotte Emerson, and

Dr. Kirby Barrick for the opportunity to work with undergraduate students in the College of

Agricultural and Life Sciences and for providing resources for this project. I thank Mark Sanborn














Organization Structure

5. How many students belong to your organization?
S1-25
0 26-50
S51-75
076-100
0 More than 100
6. What is the average number of members in attendance at general organization meetings?
O1-25
0 26-50
S51-75
0 76-100
0 More than 100
7. How frequently does your organization hold general meetings?
O Never
Q Sometimes, but not regularly
O Once a semester/quarter
O Once a month
O Twice a month
O Once a week
8. Does your organization use an agenda for meetings?
O Yes
0 No (Skip to Question 10)
9. (If Yes to Question 8) Is the agenda distributed/posted prior to the general meetings?
O Yes
Q No
10. Does your organization's meeting include business items for the members to discuss?
O Yes
O No
11. Does your organization's meeting typically include a program, such as a speaker or activity?
O Yes
ONo


Page 3









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46(4), 393-408.

Love, G. M., & Yoder, E. P. (1989). An assessment of undergraduate education in American
colleges of agriculture. State College, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University.

McCannon, M., & Bennett, P. (1996). Choosing to participate or not: A study of college students'
involvement in student organizations. College Student Journal, 30(3), 4.

McKinley, B. G., Birkenholz, R. J., & Stewart, B. R. (1993). Characteristics and experiences
related to the leadership skills of agriculture students in college. Journal ofAgricultural
Education, 34(3), 76-83.

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45-50.

Olivares, O. J., Peterson, G., & Hess, K. P. (2007). An existential-phenomenological framework
for understanding leadership development experiences. Leadership & Organization
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research (Vol. 2). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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outcomes at AAU public research universities. Journal of College Student Development,
44(3), 369-382.

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38(1), 15-18.

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Florida.

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Sommers, W. B. (1991). Relationship between college student organization leadership
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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT INVOLVEMENT IN COLLEGIATE STUDENT
ORGANIZATIONS IN COLLEGES OF AGRICULTURE

By

Marlene F. von Stein

August 2008

Chair: Anna L. Ball
Major: Agricultural Education and Communication

The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics of collegiate student

organizations that are related to higher levels of leadership and personal development as

experienced by positional leaders of the student organizations. The study population consisted of

positional leaders of student organizations in colleges of agriculture within institutions created by

the 1862 Land-grant Act. A stratified random sample was taken from the population. Participants

completed an online questionnaire with questions seeking to describe the characteristics of the

organization and to define the amount of time spent by positional leaders on organizational

activities and responsibilities, as measured in hours per week. The independent variables in the

study were the characteristics of the undergraduate student organizations. The dependent variable

was the organizational leaders' levels of involvement.

Results showed that student organizations are highly or moderately structured, perceive

varying levels of advisor engagement, plan many or some programs each year, and are deeply or

mildly embedded in their external environments. Positional leaders spend eight or less hours

each week participating in and/or planning for organizational activities and responsibilities.

Positional leaders in more highly structured organizations and in organizations that plan more









involved in activities beyond the traditional domain of such organizations," (Abrahamowicz

1988) meaning that members went beyond the scope of effort that might have been associated

with being a member of a student organization. Students who were members of student

organizations "seemed to have connected with their university in a special way" (Abrahamowicz

1988).

Job procurement skills and experience

Student organization involvement has been shown to relate to a more favorable attitude

toward career preparation. The recent graduates in Suvedi and Heyboer's study (2004) were

asked to "respond a scale from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree" whether they felt their

participation had a positive impact on their career preparation." The results showed a mean of

4.2 out of 5, indicating that most respondents did indeed feel that their participation had

contributed to their career preparation.

Two particular qualitative examples from Kuh's 1995 study that used interviews to

examine the changes students experience in college provide support for the notion that students

enhance their career preparations and clarify vocational goals.

The first student worked with the university's student newspaper:

Working with the Stanford Daily made me realize that I didn't want to go into newspaper
writing. When I decided, 'Do I want to work for a newspaper and deal with what I am
dealing with the Daily every day? No!' So then it was like, 'Okay, let's find something
where you can take a little more time to do something that you want to do and think about
it and you don't have to rush it off in an hour or two.' (Kuh 1995)

The second student served as president of her sorority:

We had some problems with Panhellenic and some rushing rules... So I went...through all
sorts of national rules and Wichita State rules and then I had to go to a meeting and I had
to present our case and I loved it. And that's how I got involved in [law]...through my
[extracurricular] activities. (Kuh 1995)









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A CK N O W LED G M EN T S ................................................................. ........... ............. .....

LIST OF TABLES .......................... .........................................9

L IST O F F IG U R E S ........ ................ ............ ............ ............................ ................ 11

ABSTRAC T ................................................... ............... 12

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ............... .......................................................... 14

Introdu action to the Study ............................................................................. .....................14
Background of the Study ................................. .. .. ................. ........ 16
State ent of Problem ..................................... ................... ........... .. ............ 17
Purpose and Objectives ..................................... ................ ............. ... ........ 18
Significance of Study ............... ............... ......... ......................... .... 18
D definition of T erm s .............. ............................................ ............... 19
Lim stations and A ssum options of the Study..................................... ......................... ......... 20

2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ............................................... ............................. 22

Context of Collegiate Student Organizations in Colleges of Agriculture ............................22
C onceptual F ram ew ork .......... ........................................................................ ........ .. ....... .. 24
L literature R review ...............................................................28
Astin's Theory of Student Involvement ......................... .... ..............28
Student Development through Involvement in Student Organizations...........................32
Increased retention .......................................... .. .. .... ........ ......... 33
E enhanced interpersonal skills........................................................ ............... 33
Positive influence on life skills ........................................ .......................... 35
Greater satisfaction w ith college .................................................... ...... ........ 37
Job procurement skills and experience............... ............................. ...............38
Lasting views on volunteering and community service............... .... ....... .....39
Positional Leaders of Student Organizations ...................................... ............... 39
S u m m ary ................... ...................4...................0..........

3 METHODOLOGY ............................. ...................... ........41

In tro d u ctio n ................... ...................4...................1..........
R e se a rc h D e sig n ............................................................................................................... 4 2
P o p u latio n ................... ...................4...................2..........
Sam pling P procedure ................................................................................ 43
Instrum entation ......... ..................................... ...........................47
D ata C o lle ctio n ................................................................................................................. 4 9


6









land-grant colleges of agriculture. The final criteria was that the organization has been

established for at least two years.

Therefore, according to the definition used in this study, the following types of student

groups often considered and recognized as student organizations by the college of agriculture

were excluded in this study for the accompanying reasons:

* Honoraries (such as Alpha Zeta)-This group was excluded due to the highly selective
nature of admission to the group.

* Fraternities, sororities, and cooperatives (such as Alpha Gamma Rho, Farm House, Sigma
Alpha, Ceres)-This group was excluded due to ambiguous nature of distinguishing an
accurate level of involvement since members often live in the house. Lines between
involvement and merely being at the house are difficult to distinguish.

* Student councils (such as college or school councils)-This group was excluded due to the
elective nature of admission to the group.

* Ambassador groups (such as college or department ambassadors)-This group was
excluded due to the highly selective nature of admission to the group.

* Judging and/or competition teams (such as meats, livestock, soils, and dairy judging teams
and equestrian, drill, polo, and rodeo teams)-This group was excluded due to the central
goal and objective being preparation for competition.

The results of this compilation yielded a list of 979 organizations and can be found in

Appendix A.

Sampling Procedure

A proportional stratified random sample was taken from the population to appropriately

represent all four regions of the United States as defined by the National Association of State

Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC). These regions consist of Western, Southern,

(North) Central, and (North) Eastern. The universities that comprise each region are shown in

Figure 3-1, along with the number of student organizations at the institution that were included in

the population.









Finally, participants were asked how they would best describe how their organization

funded activities. Of four possible choices, the majority (57.3%, n=129) reported mostly funding

activities through fundraisers. Respondents also indicated mostly funding activities through

funding from the department, college, and university (22.2%, n=50);, member dues (13.8%,

n=31), and outside donations (6.7%, n=15).

Table 4-19. Organization program funding (n=225)
Primary funding source n %
Funding from the department, college, and university 50 22.2
Fundraisers 129 57.3
Member dues 31 13.8
Outside donations 15 6.7

Upon coding the individual responses for organizational programs, the following overall

program scores were calculated for participants: few programs (0-6 program points), some

programs (7-13 program points), and many programs (14-19 program points). As shown in Table

4-20, half (50.7%, n=l 15) of participants reported organizations that had some programs. One-

third (33.0%, n=75) reported many programs, with 16.3% (n=37) indicating few programs.

Table 4-20. Programs in student organizations (n=227)
Combined program score n %
Few programs and planning mechanisms 37 16.3
Some programs and planning mechanisms 115 50.7
Many programs and planning mechanisms 75 33.0

Organization Context

The fourth section of the questionnaire had six questions aimed at the context of the

student organization. These questions sought to describe the external environment of the

organization, including the department, college, university, and national organization.

First, participants were asked to describe the relationship their organization had with the

department in which it is housed. Few (8.6%, n=19) respondents indicated their organization was

not housed in a specific department. The remaining participants responding to this question









Name of university






Michigan State University































University of Minnesota


Name of collegiate student organization
Pre-Veterinary and Animal Science Club
Goat Group
Sheep Group
Belted Galloway Group

Food Marketing Association
Dairy Club
Block & Bridle
Poultry Science Club
Horseman's Association
Pre-Vet Med Association
Student Builders and Contractors
Association
National Association of Women in
Construction of MSU
National Agri-Marketing Association
ACT
Agriscience Education Club
Park and Recreation Resources Club
Environmental Journalism Association
American Society of Agricultural
Engineers
Electrical Technology Club
MSU Agronomy Club
Turfgrass Club
Food Science Club
Society of American Foresters
Fisheries and Wildlife Club
Sport Fishing Club
Older Adult Students in Horticulture
Institute of Packaging Professionals
Women in Packaging

Agricultural Education Club
Block & Bridle
Collegiate Agri-Women
Crops and Soils Club
Fisheries and Wildlife Club/Student
Chapter of the Wildlife Society
Environmental Studies Club
Food Science and Nutrition Club
Forestry Club
Gopher Dairy Club
Horticulture Club









APPENDIX B
STUDENT CONTACT INFORMATION REQUESTS

Initial Advisor Contact

> Last Name>
>, >
>


February 7, 2008


Dear > LastName>>,
I am writing to request your assistance in the information gathering process of a
nationwide study of student organization officers in 1862 land-grant university colleges of
agriculture. Briefly stated, this study will help determine the organizational characteristics that
most impact student development. You can learn more about the study and view the Institutional
Review Board approval at the following website:
.
You have been identified as the advisor or contact person for one of the student
organizations in the study's sample. I am requesting the name and email addresses for the top
four ranking student officers in the <> at >. The students identified
should be officers currently serving during Spring Semester 2008. Most likely this will be the
organization's president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. If your organization does not
have four officers, you may choose additional students to fill the four spots.
Later this semester, students will be sent an email much like this with a link to an online
survey. Students' contact information will be used only for the purpose of mailing them the
survey link. While the sharing of this information is completely voluntary, I would greatly
appreciate your assistance with this important nationwide study.
A Word document containing a very short form for the information requested can be
downloaded directly from the page:
http://web.mac.com/marlenevonstein/Thesis/ForAdvisors.html>. Thank you in advance for
taking a few moments to complete the attachment and email it back to me at vonstein@ufl.edu.









Name of university



















Texas A&M University


Name of collegiate student organization
Equestrian Team
Food Science Club
Horse Association
Horticulture Society
MANNRS
NAMA
Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences
Club
Poultry Science Club
SAES
Society of American Foresters
Student Cattlemen's Association
Pre-Veterinary Association
Tennessee Turf Club
Weed Science Club
Wildlife and Fisheries Society

AgForLife Student Association
Aggie Pullers
Agricultural Economics/Agribusiness
Association
Agricultural Finance, Insurance, and Real
Estate
Agricultural Leadership Society
Agricultural Systems Management Club
Agronomy Society
American Fisheries Society
American Society of Agricultural
Engineers
Beef Cattle Association
Collegiate 4-H
Dairy Science Club
Floriculture-Horticulture Society
Genetics Society
Horseman's Association
Institute of Food Technologists Student
Association
MANNRS
NAMA
National Association of Environmental
Professionals
Nutrition and Dietetics Association
Poultry Science Club
RPTS Club
Range Club









These findings are closely related to the findings of a 1994 study. Cooper et. al. reported

that students who were members of student organizations showed more growth than

nonmembers as assessed by the Student Developmental Task and Lifestyle Inventory (SDTLI) in

the areas that included Developing Purpose, Career Planning, Lifestyle Planning, and Life

Management (Cooper, Healy, and Simpson 1994). Findings of this study suggest that time

invested in programs and program planning is also reflected as developmental gains in

educational and career planning.

Organization context

The level of engagement of the organization in its external environment is not related to

the level of involvement of positional leaders in the student organization. While one might

expect an organization who is more engaged with its external environment (attending

conferences, participating in university-wide activities) to have positional leaders who invest

more time, this study did not find a significant relationship between the participants'

organization context scores and involvement scores.

This is somewhat surprising, given that students who participate in student organizations

are more connected to their university and college (Abrahamowicz 1988) and have a more

positive attitude toward community involvement (Eklund-Leen and Young 1997). Perhaps

relationships might exist for specific components of engagement in the external environment, but

on the whole, a significant relationship did not exist. For example, student organizations could

participate in university-wide or college-wide activities, but not participate in activities hosted by

the national organization or in training hosted by the college. There may be specific components

of the external environment that organizations are participating in that would lend to more

positive attitudes toward community involvement.









UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT INVOLVEMENT IN COLLEGIATE STUDENT
ORGANIZATIONS IN COLLEGES OF AGRICULTURE





















By

MARLENE F. VON STEIN


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2008










Mobile: 614-570-7589


Please note: If you do not wish to receive further emails regarding this study, please click the
link below, and you will be automatically removed from the mailing list for this study.
httD://www.survevmonkev.com/oDtout.asDx









addressed in chapter one. According to Lindner, Murphy, and Briers (2001), nonresponse error

"exists to the extent that people included in the sample fail to provide usable responses and are

different than those who do on the characteristics of interest in the study." Comparing early to

late respondents is an effective method in addressing nonresponse error (Ary et al. 2006;

Lindner, Murphy, and Briers 2001; Miller and Smith 1983). Linder, Murphy, and Briers (2001)

"recommend that late respondents be defined operationally and arbitrarily as the later 50% of the

respondents." Early respondents were compared to late respondents on the basis of the key

variables of interest, including organization structure score, organization programs score,

organization advisor score, organization context score, and time involvement score.

With respect to the main variables measured in this study, there were no significant

differences between early and late respondents as demonstrated by an independent samples t-test

for each variable (Table 4-1).

Table 4-1. Key variables t-test for significant differences between early and late respondents.
Key variable Early respondents Late respondents t-value Sig.
M SD M SD
Organization structure score 2.47 .598 2.44 .591 .860 .412
Organization program score 2.20 .669 2.14 .699 .630 .872
Organization advisor score 2.15 .725 2.08 .832 .701 .133
Organization context score 2.43 .656 2.38 .650 .579 .794
Time involvement score 2.16 1.081 2.13 .964 .262 .368

Demographics of Respondents

The questionnaire included four questions regarding information about the participant.

When asked to report gender, 223 of the 232 respondents provided gender information as shown

in Table 4-2. Eighty-nine (39.9%) were male and 134 (60.1%) female.

Table 4-2. Participants by gender (n=223)
Gender n %
Male 89 39.9
Female 134 60.1









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics of collegiate student

organizations that are related to higher levels of leadership and personal development as

experienced by positional leaders of the student organizations. The components of Astin's theory

of student involvement formed the theoretical foundation from which to examine leadership and

personal development through collegiate organizations.

The research objectives were as follows:

* Objective 1: To describe the specific organizational characteristics of undergraduate
student organizations in 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture.

* Objective 2: To determine the level of physical involvement of positional leaders of
undergraduate student organizations in 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture as measured
in time.

* Objective 3: To describe the relationship between organizational characteristics and level
of involvement by positional leaders of undergraduate student organizations in 1862 land-
grant colleges of agriculture.

The population for this study consists of all undergraduate student organizations in

colleges of agriculture at universities established by the Land-Grant Act of 1862. Following the

data collection procedures outlined in Chapter 3, 460 students were emailed a request to

participate in an online survey. Of those 460 students, 265 responded to the survey request, with

232 usable responses. This accounted for a 50.4% response rate. The response rate was deemed

more than sufficient, as compared to response rates as low as 9.05% of other studies that were

considered sufficient (Sha & Toth, 2005). Additionally, a study describing the use of email

surveys in research studies reported an average response rate of 36.83% (Sheehan, 2001), which

this study exceeds.

Dillman (2007) lists four possible sources of error in sample survey research sampling

error, coverage error, measurement error, and nonresponse error. The first three have been









Annual recognition banquet .169*
Calendar of events .274**
Budget .241**
Program of work .279**
Standing committee descriptions, assignments, goals .180**
Member directory .200**
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

Summary

This chapter reviewed the results of the three research objectives of this study.

Organization characteristics were described, level of involvement by positional leaders

measured, and the relationship between the two was shown. The next chapter discusses these

findings and gives recommendations for future research and practice.









The next organizational variable is organization programs, here defined as the programs

typically hosted and/or conducted by the student organization. The variable includes the type of

activities, as well as how they are planned and funded. Most participants in Hoover and

Dunigan's study reported their organization developed a calendar of events (91%), an officer list

(89%), a member contact sheet (80%), and a program of activities (85%) (Hoover and Dunigan

2004).

The final organizational variable is the external environment that surrounds the student

organization, referred to here at the organization context. This includes how the organization

interacts with its external environment on the department, college, and university level and also

within its national organization and the community and industry.

The next component of the model is the act of involvement, following Astin's theory of

student involvement in which students invest both physical and psychological energy to their

academic experience (Astin 1984). This study measured, in time, the quantity of physical energy

invested by the student.

The final piece of the model, as illustrated on the right hand side, summarizes the

developmental outcomes associated with a student's involvement in student organizations. These

categories are organized according to Floerchinger's review of the literature on student

involvement (Floerchinger 1998), discussed later in the chapter. The six components of

Floerchinger's review are increased retention, enhanced interpersonal skills, positive influence

on life skills, greater satisfaction with college, useful job procurement skills and experience, and

lasting views on volunteering and community service (Floerchinger 1998).

The organizational characteristics are unknown and serve as the independent variable in

this study. Students participate in the experience created by the organizational characteristics.









LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

2-1 C onceptual fram ew ork ............................................................................. ....................25

3-1 Student organizations in population by region. ..................................... ............... 44









Name of university












North Dakota State
University
























Ohio State University


Name of collegiate student organization
Microbiology Club
MANNRS
NC Student Mechanization Branch of the
American Society of Agricultural
Engineers
Poultry Science Club
Pre-Health Club
Pre-Veterinary Medical Association
Student Engineering Branch of ASAE
Zoology Club


Agribusiness Club
Agricultural Systems Management Club
ACT
Agronomy Club
ASABE
Biotechnology Club
Bison Dairy Club
Collegiate 4-H
Collegiate Farm Bureau
Collegiate FFA
Entomology Club
Equine Club
Farmers Union Collegiate Chapter
Food Science/Food Safety Club
Horticulture and Forestry Club
Natural Resources Management Club
Pre-veterinary Club
Range Club
Rodeo Club
Saddle and Sirloin Club
Turf Club
Veterinary Technology Club

ACSM Club
NAMA Club
ACT
AES
ASAE
Buckeye Dairy Club
Collegiate 4-H
Collegiate Young Farmers
Crops and Soils Club









effectiveness of the organization. This study found that advisors always or usually attend

organization meetings, which is consistent with the results in Hoover and Dunigan's 2004 study.

Some developmental outcomes, such as increased retention, are associated with student-faculty

interaction (Astin 1993). The engagement level of the advisor could affect these developmental

outcomes, although as reported in the results of research objective three, in this study the

engagement level of the advisor was not associated with the involvement level of the student.

Organization programs

Collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture plan and/or host a variety of

programs and activities. However, a higher number of these activities are focused internally on

members with fundraisers for organization activities, socials for members, and educational

programs for members. A smaller number of organizations held programs and activities for

groups outside the organization, such as events for the public or community service activities.

Even so, it is interesting to note that the event held least often as reported by participants was an

annual recognition banquet for members. This finding might suggest that student organizations

are focused on developing and building up their organization's members as a primary goal, but

are not as concerned with rewarding and recognizing members.

Given the number of programs that organizations plan and host, not as many organizations

develop a calendar of events, member directories, or even programs of work. While half of

organizations do employ standing committees, there is still a significant portion of organizations

that do not use standing committees and do not use other typical planning mechanisms. This

study found far fewer organizations utilizing planning mechanisms than Hoover and Dunigan

found in their study at Pennsylvania State University. For example, 85% of participants in

Hoover and Dunigan's 2004 study reported their organization developed a program of work,

while only 31% of participants in this study responded that their organization developed a









Key Findings

Objective 1: To Describe the Specific Organizational Characteristics of Undergraduate
Student Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture

Objective 1 sought to describe the characteristics of the student organizations. As reported

in Chapter 4, data were analyzed and results reported according to the four organization areas of

the conceptual model (and accompanying sections of the questionnaire)-structure, advisor,

programs, and context.

Organization structure

Most participants reported organizational memberships of less than 50 students, with

42.4% of participants noting memberships of 1-25 students and 37.2% reporting a membership

of 26-50. About a tenth (9.1%) reported that their organization had a membership of more than

100 students. A majority (78.8%) responded that average attendance at regular organization

meetings was 1-25 students, with another 10.4% reporting average attendances of 26-50

students.

About half (54.7%) indicated their organization held regular meetings twice a month. A

quarter (25.9%) reported monthly meetings, with 12.5% indicating weekly meetings and the rest

of respondents reporting infrequent meetings.

About three-fourths (76.8%) reported using an agenda, but only about a third (35.6%)

distributing the agenda prior to the meeting. Most participants (88.6%) indicated their

organization's meetings included business items to discuss and six out of ten (61.9%) reported

their meeting typically included a program.

The majority of respondents suggested they use parliamentary procedure at meetings, with

12.6% responding "completely" and 52.2% responding "somewhat". The remaining 35.2%









Recommendations


The following recommendations result from the findings of this study:

Recommendations for Practice

* Collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture should pursue a more highly
structured organization to maximize involvement of positional leaders. One area of
potential growth is the use of standing committees (currently only used by about half of
organizations) to involve not only positional leaders, but also additional members.

* Collegiate student organizations should enhance programming to maximize involvement of
positional leaders by planning an adequate variety of programs and also developing the
necessary planning mechanisms (calendar of events, budget, program of work, etc.) that
allow for effective planning of organization programs. One area of potential growth is the
additional of more programming targeted at audiences external to the student organization.

* While the majority of student organizations do not report participating in training offered
by the college, colleges of agriculture should consider providing resources that encourage
student organizations to increase the level of structure and program capacity of their
organization. Resources could include short activities facilitated at organization meetings,
templates available for budget or program of work development, and online links to
additional resources for program planning.

Recommendations for Future Research

* Since this study focused only on positional leaders, future research should include all
members of student organizations in colleges of agriculture. Furthermore, additional
research should include all colleges of agriculture, not just the 1862 land-grant institutions
included in this study. This suggested research will obtain a clearer viewpoint of the total
organization picture, since perspectives by officers may not represent the perspectives of
all members of student organizations.

* Future research should examine the similarities and/or differences between student
involvement in organizations found in colleges of agriculture and student involvement in
other colleges within the university.

* Future research should examine what differences may or may not exist between male and
female students and also between students of different ranks/classifications (freshmen,
sophomores, juniors, seniors) regarding student involvement in organizations.

* Suggested research also includes an examination of the role the advisor has within the
organization as a whole and if this role contributes to the effectiveness of the student
organization.

* Since this study found that student organizations host a variety of programs, but that levels
of planning mechanisms were less than the level of programming, future research should














Organization Programs

27. Does your organization plan and/or host fundraisers for your organization?
O Yes
ONo

28. Does your organization plan and/or host social events for organization members?
O Yes
ONO

29. Does your organization plan and/or host educational events for organization members (such as
professional development events)?
O Yes
O No
30. Does your organization plan and/or host events or activities for the public (such as hosting a
judging clinic, a livestock show, a training event for youth)?
O Yes
O No
31. Does your organization plan and/or host community service activities (such as Relay for Life or
Adopt a Highway)?
O Yes
O No

32. Does your organization plan and/or host an annual recognition banquet for organization members?
SYes
ONo

33. Does your organization develop a calendar of events?
O Yes
O No
34. Does your organization develop a budget?
OYes
O No

35. Does your organization develop a yearly program of work that includes a comprehensive
description of programs, events, and activities, along with the budgets and task lists associated with
each?
O Yes
O No


F.,,n, 8









through involvement in student organizations and provides a solid conceptual framework that

links student organizations to other forms of involvement in college.

Student Development through Involvement in Student Organizations

Many studies have centered on the perceived benefits to leadership development that are

experienced through student involvement (Abrahamowicz 1988; Astin 1977; Astin 1993; Astin

1996; Birkenholz and Schumacher 1994; Cooper, Healy, and Simpson 1994; Cress et al. 2001;

Foubert and Grainger 2006; Kuh 1995; McCannon and Bennett 1996; McKinley, Birkenholz,

and Stewart 1993; Pike 2003; Sommers 1991; Suvedi and Heyboer 2004), each focusing on

student involvement with a variety of variables and populations. Collegiate student organizations

provide both leader development and leadership development (Olivares, Peterson, and Hess

2007), enhancing both the skills of the individual and the social capital of the entire group

belonging to the organization and society.

Astin (1993) reported a significant relationship between hours spent per week participating

in student organizations and interpersonal skills, leadership abilities, public speaking ability, and

elected student offices. Floerchinger (1998) lists six key benefits of student involvement in

collegiate activities as a result of a review of the literature: 1) increased retention: 2) enhanced

interpersonal skills; 3) positive influence on leadership, communication, teamwork, organization,

decision making and planning skills; 4) greater satisfaction with their college experience; 5)

useful job procurement skills and experience; and 6) lasting views on volunteering and

community service.

While participation has been shown to be significantly related to perceived development, it

is unclear whether this relationship is symbiotic or causal (Birkenholz and Schumacher 1994;

Foubert and Grainger 2006). Involvement in student organizations may result in student

development, but it is also plausible that students who have higher developmental levels are









organization than students who are member but not serving in a positional leadership capacity.

Furthermore, a 1993 study conducted by Astin reported a significant relationship between hours

spent per week participating in student organizations and elected student offices (Astin 1993).

Summary

While there is a breadth of research surrounding the developmental outcomes associated

with involvement in student organizations, it is unknown which organizational characteristics

contribute to more or less student involvement in such organizations. This chapter provided the

context for the student organizations in 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture, described the

conceptual model for the study, and reviewed the current theories and literature on student

development through student organizations. The next chapter will describe the research methods

used to achieve the objectives of this study.









D ata A analysis ................................................... 51
S u m m ary ................... ...................5...................2..........

4 R E S U L T S ..........................................................................5 3

D em graphics of R respondents .................................................................................... .... 54
Objective 1: To Describe the Specific Organizational Characteristics of Undergraduate
Student Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture ..............................55
O organization Structure ................................................... ........ .. ...... ... 56
Organization Advisor ........................ ........ ..... ......... .. .............. 60
Organization Program s .................. ...................................... .. ............ 62
O organization C ontext.......... ...... .......... .......... .. .... .......... .... .......... .............. 64
Objective 2: To Determine the Level of Physical Involvement of Positional Leaders of
Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture as
M measured in T im e ............................................. .. ........... ...................... 66
Objective 3: To Describe the Relationship Between Organizational Characteristics and
Level of Involvement by Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organizations
in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture.................... .......... ..... .. .............. 68
Sum m ary ............ ....... .. .. ................................... ..................... ......... ...... 7 1

5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS ..........72

S u m m ary ............. ...... ...........72................. .........
Procedures ............................................................................. .........................72
K ey F in d in g s ................................ .. ... ... ... .. ....... .. .............................7 3
Objective 1: To Describe the Specific Organizational Characteristics of
Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of
A agriculture ............... .......... .......................... ...........................73
O organization structure .................. ............................ ...................... 73
O organization advisor ...................................... ................. .... ....... 74
O organization program s .............................................. ....... .............................. 75
O organization context ................ ................................................ ... .......... .... 76
Objective 2: To Determine the Level of Physical Involvement of Positional Leaders
of Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of
A agriculture as M measured in Tim e .................................. ........... ............... .... 77
Objective 3: To Describe the Relationship between Organizational Characteristics
and Level of Involvement by Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student
Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture .............. ..................78
C o n c lu sio n s................................................................................................... ............... 7 9
D discussion and Im plications ................. ....... ......................... .... ..................... 80
Objective 1: To Describe the Specific Organizational Characteristics of
Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of
A agriculture ............................................................. ..... ..... ......... 80
O organization structure .................. ............................ ...................... 80
Organization advisor .................. ........................................ .... ........ 81
O organization program s .............................................. ....... .............................. 82
O organization context .......................................... ................... .. .... .. 83










He/she directs the organization... 4
27 Yes 2
No 0
28 Yes 2
No 0
29 Yes 2
No 0
30 Yes 2
No 0
31 Yes 2
No 0
32 Yes 2
No 0
33 Yes 1
No 0
34 Yes 1
No 0
35 Yes 2
No 0
36 Yes 2
No 0
37 Yes 1
No 0
39 The department provides a faculty advisor, but other... 1
The department provides resources we need and readily... 2
The department provides resources and space we... 3
N/A 0
40 Yes 2
No 0
41 Yes 2
No 0
42 Yes 1
No 0
43 Yes 1
No 0
44 Yes 2
No 0









When an overall program score was calculated, half of participants (50.7%) reported

organizations with some programs and one-third (33.0%) reported organizations with many

programs.

Organization context

In the final section seeking to describe organizational characteristics, participants were

asked about their organization's engagement in its external environment, such as the department,

college, university, and industry. When asked to select from three responses the best description

of how their organization fit into the academic department in which it was housed, participants

were relatively split among levels of support and resources. One-third (33.5%) selected the

description with the highest level of support and resources. Just over one-third (36.7%)

responded with the description of the second highest level of support and resources and less than

a quarter (21.3%) indicated the level of least support and resources.

Most participants (81.6%) responded that their organization participated in college-wide

activities as an organization, with just over half (57.7%) reporting their organization participated

in university-wide activities as an organization.

Just over a third (37.4%) of respondents reported their organization participated in training

opportunities provided by the college of agriculture, with about half (51.4%) reporting their

organization received funding from the college of agriculture.

About two-thirds (68.3%) of participants indicated their organization participated in

conferences and/or activities hosted by the regional or national organization with which they are

affiliated.

Upon analysis of participants' context responses, half (49.3%) were considered to have an

organization deeply embedded in its external environment with another 41.6% reporting

organizations that were mildly embedded in their external environment.









APPENDIX C
QUESTIONNAIRE CONTACTS

Initial Contact to Participants

To: [Email]
From: vonstein@ufl.edu
Subject: [CustomValue]-Student Organization Study
Body:
Dear [FirstName] [LastName],


Greetings! I hope you enjoyed your recent spring break. Earlier this semester, your student
organization advisor or department was contacted with a request for contact information of
officers and participating members. From that request, you have been identified as a current or
recent officer or member of the [CustomValue].


I am conducting a study of student organizations in colleges of agriculture across the United
States. Briefly stated, the study will examine how student organizations impact participating
students. In a few days, you will be receiving an email with "Ag Student Organization Survey"
in the subject line. In this email will be a link to an online survey. Since I know your time is
valuable, it is a brief survey that should only take about 10 minutes to complete. The survey is
completely voluntary, but your participation is greatly valued in this important nationwide study.


If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me at anytime. The survey will
arrive in your email in a few days. Thank you in advance for your participation.


Sincerely,


Marlene F. von Stein
Graduate Assistant
Department of Agricultural Education and Communication
University of Florida


Email: vonstein@ufl.edu
Mobile: 614-570-7589









Objective 2: To Determine the Level of Physical Involvement of Positional Leaders of
Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture as
Measured in Time

Students indicated through a short series of questions how much time they spent each week

participating in and/or planning for their student organization responsibilities and activities.

Participants were asked to identify how much time, on average, they invested each week during

fall semester and then each week during spring semester. No one category captured the majority

of participants' responses. In describing the amount of time during fall semester, about one-third

(32.0%) reported spending less than 2 hours each week, 42.8% reported spending 2-4 hours,

16.2% reported spending 5-8 hours, 4.1% reported spending 9-12 hours, and 5.0% reported

spending more than 12 hours.

In regards to the time invested each week during the spring semester, 30.2% reported

spending less than 2 hours each week, 36.9% spent 2-4 hours each week, 21.2% spent 5-8 hours,

4.5% spent 9-12 hours, and 7.2% spent more than 12 hours.

Participants were also fairly distributed when describing the most time they had spent in

one week participating in and/or planning for their student organization responsibilities and

activities. One-tenth (10.3%) reported spending less than 2 hours, 17.9% reported 2-5 hours,

25.6% reported 6-10 hours, 12.6% reported 11-15 hours, 12.6% also reported 16-20 hours, 6.3%

reported 21-25 hours, 4.0% reported 26-30 hours, 0.4% reported 31-35 hours, 1.3% reported 36-

40 hours, and 9.0% reported spending more than 40 hours. Almost two-thirds (62.4%) of

participants indicated there were also weeks when they spent no time at all participating in

and/or planning for their student organization responsibilities and/or activities.









Taking interpersonal skills one step further, student organizations can provide students

with a formal, consistent group of students with whom they can interact. Kuh et. al. (2005)

reported: "By becoming more involved with people with similar interests inside and outside the

classroom, students develop support networks that are instrumental to helping them deal

effectively with academic and social challenges" (Kuh, Kinzie, Schuh, and Whitt 2005). More

than half of the respondents of a 1996 study reported joining for one of two reasons meeting

people with similar interests or to list membership on a resume (McCannon and Bennett 1996).

Other research findings indicate that college students who participate in extracurricular

activities have more tolerance of and acceptance for other people (Hood 1984). In a study that

examined students' growth along three cognitive and three psychosocial dimensions from their

freshman to their senior year, results reported that students demonstrated growth along five of

the six dimensions. When growth patterns were examined in relationship to specific college

experiences, only two subscales or dimensions-interpersonal relationships and establishing

identify-showed any trends. Both were related to students' participation in campus organizations

(Hood 1984).

In Abrahamowicz's 1988 study of undergraduates who were members of student

organizations and undergraduate who were nonmembers of student organizations, the largest

differences in the estimate of gains section on the College Student Experiences questionnaire

were for items reflecting interpersonal areas (Abrahamowicz 1988), in that more positive gains

had been made by members of student organizations as compared to nonmembers. This, in

combination with elevating self-confidence, results in an increased capacity for developing more

mature interpersonal relationships (Abrahamowicz 1988; Hood 1984).









between the advisor's involvement and individual students' involvement, perhaps there are

relationships between the advisor's involvement and the success of the organization as a whole.

Organization programs

Positional leaders whose organization plans and/or hosts more programs and has in place

more planning mechanisms tend to spend more hours per week involved in the student

organization. Similar to the discussion related to the organization's structure, the act of planning

more programs does require students to spend more time, although this does not automatically

mean that it is the positional leaders of the organization spending time planning additional

programs. Nonetheless, an organization that plans and hosts more programs for both its

membership and the outside community is related to positional leaders spending more time on

student organization responsibilities.

Specifically, the development of a budget, program of work, membership directory, and

standing committee descriptions offer more substantial planning mechanisms, but also demand

more time invested in order to develop these mechanisms. Typically, these planning mechanisms

are initially developed by positional leaders even if implemented by committee chairpersons or

members.

A puzzling result here was the slight negative correlation found between hosting

educational events for organization members and leaders' involvement in the organization.

About three-fourths of participants reported that their organization hosted educational events for

organization members. Perhaps these educational events are primarily planned and/or developed

by individuals outside the organization or, since this study surveyed positional leaders, members

within the organization who are not positional leaders. This could account for positional leaders

spending less time as related to educational events for members.















Thank You

Thank you for your time.



















































Page 16









APPENDIX A
STUDY POPULATION


Table A-1. Study population
Name of university
Auburn University





















University of Alaska







University of Arizona


Name of collegiate student organization
Agronomy Club
American Fisheries Society
American Society of Agricultural
Engineers
Auburn Young Farmers
Block & Bridle Club
Collegiate 4-H Club
Collegiate FFA
F.S. Arant Entomology Club
Golf Course Superintendents Association
of America
Horseman's Club
Horticulture Forum
MANNRS
NAMA
Poultry Science Club
Pre-Veterinary Medical Association
Soil and Water Conversation Society

American Fisheries Society
Collegiate FFA
Northern Alaska Environmental Center,
Student Chapter
Resource Management Society
Wildlife Society

ACT
Agriculture Business Club
American Society of Ag. Engineers
Collegiate Cattle Grower's Association
Future Retail Leaders Association
Horticulture Club
Jacobs-Cline Society
MANNRS
Nutritional Sciences Club
Pre-Veterinary Club
Race Track Industry Club
Rodeo Club
Soil, Water, and Environmental Science
Club









Organizational Behaviors &
Program Opportunities

Structure
Officers
Committees
Missions
Constitution
Meetings

Advisor
Involvement of
advisor


Programming
Type of activities
Funding for activities
Planning for activities

Context and Resources
Department
College
University
National organization
Community
Industry


Student Involvement
Astin's Theory of Student Involvement
Physical energy
Psychological energy


Developmental
Outcomes Associated
with Involvement
Increased retention

Enhanced
interpersonal skills


Positive influence on skills:
Leadership
Communication
Teamwork
Organization
Decision making
Planning


Greater satisfaction
with college


Useful job procurement
skills and experience

Lasting views on
volunteering and
community service


Floerchinger, 1998


Figure 2-1. Conceptual framework










Contact with Link to Questionnaire
To: [Email]
From: vonstein@ufl.edu
Subject: Ag Student Organization Survey
Body:
Dear [FirstName] [LastName],


Greetings! Earlier this semester, your student organization advisor or department was contacted
with a request for contact information of officers and participating members. From that request,
you have been identified as a current or recent officer or member of the [CustomValue].


I am conducting a study of student organizations in colleges of agriculture across the United
States. These organizations are not necessarily "agriculture" student organizations, but all
organizations that are housed within a college of agriculture or school of natural resources.


Briefly stated, the study will examine how student organizations impact participating students.
Below is a link to an online survey. Since I know your time is valuable, it is a brief survey that
should only take about 10 minutes to complete. The survey is completely voluntary, but your
participation is greatly valued in this important nationwide study.


Here is the survey link:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx


If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me at anytime. Thank you in
advance for your participation.


Sincerely,


Marlene F. von Stein


Graduate Assistant
Department of Agricultural Education and Communication
University of Florida












Nat U S Sio SU f C e Sici. zatiSn S ffi
Thank You

Thank for your time and effort in completing this survey. Your contributions are important for
this national study. Results of the study will be available in May on the following website:
http://web.mac.com/marlenevonstein/Thesis/Home.html












































Page 15









Name of university



University of Missouri


Montana State University


Name of collegiate student organization
Student Dietetic Association
Turf Club

Independent Aggies
MANNRS
Mizzou 4-H
Mizzou FFA Alumni
Tigers for Tigers
Shooting Club
NAMA
Mizzou Collegiate Farm Bureau
Agricultural Economics Club
Ag Ed Society
ACT
Agricultural Systems Management Club
Biological Engineers Club
Torque N Tigers
Block and Bridle
Collegiate Cattle Women Association
Collegiate Horseman's Association
Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club
Meteorology Club
Mizzou Storm Chase Team
Biochemistry Club
Student Chapter of the Soil and Water
Conservation Society
Forestry Club
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Society
Wildlife Society
Student Parks, Recreation, and Tourism
Association
Food Science Association
Society of American Foresters
Club Managers Association of America
Hospitality Managers Association
Mizzou Meeting Planners Association
Agronomy Club
Horticulture Club
MU Student Chapter of the Golf Course
Superintendents Association of America


Block and Bridle Club
Collegiate 4-H
Collegiate Cattlewomen
Collegiate FFA









qualifying question items of the questionnaire that confirmed that the participant was indeed a

member of the population, the first four sections of the questionnaire addressed these four areas.

Organization Structure

Organization structure refers to how the organization conducts business and the systems in

place to do so. The questionnaire included seventeen questions regarding organization structure.

First, participants were asked to report how many students belonged to the organization, as

shown in Table 4-6. Of 231 responses, 42.4% (n=98) reported a membership of 1-25 students

and 37.2% (n=86) reported a membership of 26-50 students. A smaller number of respondents

reported larger memberships. About six percent (6.1%, n=14) reported 51-75 students in their

organization and 5.2% (n=12) reported a membership of 76-100 students. However, the third

highest percentage was the largest membership group of more than 100 students in the

organization (9.1%, n=21). When asked about their organization's average meeting attendance, a

majority (78.8%, n=182) reported 1-25 students. The remaining respondents reported larger

average meeting attendances of 26-50 students (10.4%, n=24), 51-75 students (7.8%, n=18), 76-

100 students (2.6%, n=6), and in one case, more than 100 students (0.4%, n=l).

Table 4-6. Organization membership and average meeting attendance
Number of 1-25 26-50 51-75 76-100 More than n total
students 100
n % n % n % n % n %
Organization 98 42.4 86 37.2 14 6.1 12 5.2 21 9.1 231
membership
Average meeting 182 78.8 24 10.4 18 7.8 6 2.6 1 0.4 231
attendance

As Table 4-7 illustrates, the majority of students reported holding organization meetings

either twice a month (54.7%, n=127) or once a month (25.9%, n=60). Respondents also reported

meeting frequencies of once a week (12.5%, n=29), once a semester/quarter (3.0%, n=7), or in

the "sometimes, but not regularly" category (3.9%, n=9).









Objective 2: To Determine the Level of Physical Involvement of Positional Leaders
of Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of
Agriculture as Measured in Time ...................... .... ..... .......................84
Objective 3: To Describe the Relationship between Organizational Characteristics
and Level of Involvement by Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student
Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture ................................84
O rg anization al structu re ........................................ ............................................84
O organization advisor ...................................... ............... .... ....... 85
O organization program s ......... ................. ..................................... ............... 86
O organization context .......................................... ................... .. .... .. 87
R ecom m en nation s...... .................................................................................. .................... 88
R ecom m endations for Practice.............................................. .............................. 88
Recom m endations for Future Research...................................... ......................... 88

APPENDIX

A ST U D Y P O P U L A T IO N ......... ................. .........................................................................90

B STUDENT CONTACT INFORMATION REQUESTS.................... ..................................115

Initial A dvisor C contact .............................................................................. ............. .. 115
F first F follow -up to A dvisors......................................................................... ........ .......... 117
Second Follow -up to A dvisor.......................................................................... ............... 119

C QUESTIONNAIRE CONTACTS ......................................................... ...............121

Initial C contact to P participants ....................................................................... ..................12 1
F first F follow -up to P participants ..................................................................... ..................125
F inal F ollow -U p to P articipants............................................. ......................................... 127

D Q U E ST IO N N A IR E ............................................................................. ...........................129

E CODING REFERENCE FOR CALCUATED INDEPENDENT VARIABLES................. 146

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S .................................................................................. ..................... 14 8

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ......................................................................... ... ..................... 152









Name of university













University of Connecticut





















University of Delaware










University of Georgia


Name of collegiate student organization
Block & Bridle
Collegiate 4-H Club
Collegiate Horseman's Association
Colorado State University Farm Bureau
Gilette Entomology Club
Horticulture Club
MANNRS
Mountain Riders Horse Club
Turf Club

Student Chapter of American Society of
Landscape Architects
Block & Bridle
Collegiate Chapter of the National FFA
Dairy Club
EcoGarden Club
Forestry and Wildlife Club
Horticulture Club
MANNRS
Nutrition Club
Outing Club
Poultry Science Club
Pre-Vet Club
Resource Economics Club
Soil and Water Conservation Society
Student Educational Network for the
Appreciation of Animals
Wildlife Society
Turf Club

Animal Science Club
Collegiate 4-H
Collegiate FFA
Food Science Club
Horticulture Club
National Agrimarketing Association
Wildlife Society

American Society of Heating,
Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning
Engineering
ACT
AGHON









About half (54.4%) reported that the most involved advisor of the organization always

attended the organization's general meetings. About a quarter (24.1%) indicated that the most

involved advisor usually attended the general meetings of the organization. Only 27.9% reported

that the most involved advisor always attended officer/executive meetings, with 17.3% reporting

that their more involved advisor usually attended. Fourteen percent (14.6%) reported that the

lead advisor never attended officer/executive meetings.

When asked to select between four levels of involvement which response best described

how their most involved advisor was engaged with the organization, almost half (47.3%) chose

the second lowest involvement level. About a quarter each selected the lowest level (22.1%) and

the second highest (27.4%), with only a few (3.1%) indicating the highest involvement level of

the advisor.

Organization programs

Participants were asked to indicate which programs their organization planned and/or

hosted. Most participants (83.2%) reported their organization planned and/or hosted fundrasiers

for their organization, 92.5% held social events, 73.5% held educational events for members,

56.2% held events or activities for the public, 56.9% planned community service activities, and

46.2% hosted an annual recognition banquet for members.

Almost two-thirds (63.3%) developed a calendar of events, more than half (57.5%)

developed a budget, almost one-third (31.1%) developed a program of work, less than half

(44.2%) developed standing committee descriptions, and over half (57.1%) developed a member

contact information sheet.

Most participants (57.3%) indicated their organization primarily funded programs through

fundraisers. Less than a quarter (22.2%) used funding their department, college, and university as

the primary means to fund programs.










Email: vonstein@ufl.edu
Mobile: 614-570-7589


Please note: If you do not wish to receive further emails regarding this study, please click the
link below, and you will be automatically removed from the mailing list for this study.
http://www.survevmonkev.com/optout.aspx









Name of university



























University of Hawaii






University of Idaho


Name of collegiate student organization
Agricultural & Environmental Economics
Agronomy
ASABE
Block & Bridle
Cattlemen's Association
Collegiate 4-H
Collegiate FFA
Dairy Science
Entomology
Horseman's Association
Horticulture
Food Science
Landscape Club
MANNRS
Poultry Science
Pre-Vet Club
Society of Women Engineers
Student Association of Family and
Consumer Sciences
Student Dietetics Association
Student Merchandising Association
Turf Club

Friends of the Family
Horticulture Council
Horticulture Society
Innovators of Fashion
Biosystems Engineering Club

Agribusiness Club
AAFCS Club
ASABE
ASABE
Collegiate FFA
Dairy Club
Food & Nutrition Club
Food Science Club
International Textile & Apparel
Association
MMBB Club
PAAEYC-SA
Plant and Soil Science Club
Pre-Vet Club












Natio l S d of C gf A ric r S n Oi. zation S fficS
Preliminary Questions

The first three questions of the survey serve as screening questions to confirm eligibility to
participate in the study. Answers are required ONLY on these three questions.

2. Your organization's membership is predominately what kind of student?
0 Undergraduate students
Q Graduate students
3. Has your organization existed for at least two years on your campus?
O Yes
SNo

4. Have you served as an officer for your organization for at least two months in the last year?
O Yes
SNo































i. 2











National S d of C e of A ric r i.kden Org aniz ion S ffi
Demographics
Just a few questions about yourself to end the survey...

50, Gender:
O Male
O Female
51. Rank/classification:
O Freshman
O Sophomore
O Junior
O Senior
52, G.P.A.:
03.5-4.0
0 3.0-3.4
0 2.5-2.9
02.0-2.4
0 Below 2.0
53. Are you currently an officer of another student organization?
O Yes
O No



















Page 13









Individuals who chose not to participate were directed to a thank-you screen to exit the survey.

Next, students were asked if their organization served primarily undergraduate students and then

if their organization had existed for at least two years. In both cases, answers of "no" directed

students to a thank-you screen to exit the survey.

The first section asked questions to gather information about the organization's structure.

Questions 3 through 21 asked participants about the organization's membership, meeting

structure and frequency, presence of absence of meeting agendas and minutes, officer and

committee norms, and the presence of absence of a mission statement and constitution.

The second section collected information regarding the organization's advisor. Question 22

asked students how many advisors their organization had and then asked them choose the most

involved advisor (if their organization had more than one) to complete questions 23 through 26.

Question 23 asked the students to identify the advisor's position as either a faculty, staff, or

graduate student inside or outside the department in which their organization was housed.

Questions 24 and 25 asked about the advisor's attendance at organization's meetings and events.

Finally, question 26 asked students to select the best description of their advisor's level of

involvement in the organization.

The third section (questions 27 through 38) asked students about the details of the

programs their organization hosted and/or planned. Questions 27 through 32 asked students if

their organizations planned and/or hosted fundraisers, social events, educational events, public

activities, community service activities, and member recognition banquets. Questions 33 through

38 focused on the funding and planning aspects of such activities.

The fourth section sought to describe the organization's context. Questions 39 through 43

focused on the organization's relationship to and participation in the local department and









focus on how collegiate student organization plan programs and activities and how such
processes involve members and leaders of the organization.

* More research is needed on the intricacies and possible direction of the relationship
between student involvement in organizations and student leadership and personal
development. While associations and relationships have been found, it is not known
whether these relationships are causal or merely correlational.









program of work. Differing definitions of "program of work" might account for this difference or

perhaps, again, differing norms found between a single campus and national trends. The question

posed in the questionnaire asked, "Does your organization develop a yearly program of work that

includes a comprehensive description of programs, events, and activities, along with the budgets

and task lists associated with each?" If the participants in Hoover and Dunigan's 2004 study

defined "program of work" as a less comprehensive document than what was used in this study

(and used in the question item in this study to ensure a consistent perspective among

participants), perhaps more students in the Penn State sample would have considered a document

existing in their organization to be a program of work, whereas it might not have been identified

as one according to a more stringent definition used here.

With just one third of student organizations planning many programs each year, the

opportunity for growth is present. While half of organizations do plan some programs and

activities, organizations can revisit the focus of their program offering in order to ensure a

diverse plan of programming that meets the needs of all members of their organizations.

Organization context

Collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture experience varying levels of

support and resources from the department in which they are housed. The departmental context

ranges from the bare minimum resources required by the university to a fully engaged faculty

and ample support and resources. While this study did not examine how the level of support

from the department affects the organization directly, it would be interesting to identify how

varying levels of support impact the success of the student organization.

Only a few participants reported an overall low level of engagement between their

organization and its external environment. While there was no relationship found between the









and becomes involved, actively exploiting the opportunities to change or grow that the

environment presents" (Pascarella and Terenzini 2005).

Most significant to student organizations is the fourth and fifth postulate, which begins to

explain the trends that are seen in the literature regarding student organizations. Essentially, the

more the student is involved, the more development they experience. Pascarella and Terenzini's

2005 synthesis of research has shown that the more a student is involved, the more learning and

develop that occurs. The more effective a student organization can be at increasing member's

physical and psychological involvement in the organization, the more personal and professional

development student members can experience.

It is important to note that while the theory does deal with development, the theory

describes how only involvement occurs. While it does not describe how development occurs, it

predicts the increase in development of the individual based on his or her involvement.

However, there are critics of Astin's theory, mostly as to whether his propositions actually

constitute a theory. Ary et. al. (2006) define a theory as "a set of interrelated constructs and

propositions that presents an explanation of phenomena and makes predictions about

relationships among variables relevant to the phenomena. Ary and colleagues also go on to list

four criteria for theories, including: "A theory should be able to explain the observed facts

relating to a particular problem" (Ary et al. 2006). Astin's theory of student involvement fails to

explain the "how" and "why" of student development as related to the amount of involvement.

While describing the factors of involvement well, the theory does not dig deeper into the

processes from which student involvement results in student development. Nonetheless, Astin's

theory of student involvement sets a foundation from which to examine student development









organization structure, organization programs, organization advisor, and organization context.

Several questions were asked regarding each area. As discussed in chapter 3, the responses to

these individual questions were scored by the researcher to determine a category score for each

respondent. Likewise, responses given on the section of the questionnaire regarding time were

scored to determine an involvement score for each respondent.

A shown in Table 4-26, a moderate positive correlation (r=.343, significant at the 0.01

level) was found between organization structure and involvement. A small positive correlation of

.275 (also significant at the 0.01 level) was also found to exist between organization programs

and involvement. A very insubstantial negative correlation (r=-.058) was found between

organization advisor and involvement. Finally, a positive but insubstantial correlation (r=. 110)

was found between organization context and involvement.

Table 4-26. Relationship between involvement and organization characteristics
Organization characteristic category score Correlation between characteristic
and involvement score
Structure .343**
Programs .275**
Advisor -.058
Context .110
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level.

The researcher examined data from specific questions in the structure and programs areas

of the questionnaire for significant correlations between particular characteristics and the

involvement score.

As shown in Table 4-27, characteristics regarding organization structure with positive

correlations significant at the 0.01 level included organization membership, average meeting

attendance, meeting frequency, use of parliamentary procedure for meetings, distribution of

meeting minutes, number of organization officers, use of standing committees, presence of

mission statement, and presence of a constitution. Characteristics regarding organization









the characteristics of their respective student organization, the fifth section of the questionnaire

asked participants to think about the time they spent on their activities and responsibilities as a

positional leader in their respective student organization. The first question asked in this section

was how much time students spent the previous week participating in and/or planning for their

student organization responsibilities and activities. The purpose of this question was to focus the

participant's thoughts on an accurate pciture of how many hours they spent each week on their

organizational involvement. The results of that question are not reported here as they are not

relevant to the research objectives.

The section's other four questions focused on describing both the average amount of time

spent as well as the range of time spent by positional leaders each week. When asked how much

time they spent, on average, during the fall semester (or fall quarter) participating in and/or

planning for your student organization responsibilities and activities, the category with the most

responses (42.8%, n=95) was "2-4 hours". The category with the next most responses (32.0%,

n=71) was "less than 2 hours". Only 5.0% (n=l 1) reported spending more than 12 hours a week

on average during the fall semester.

When asked about their same involvement during the spring semester (or winter or spring

quarters), category rankings remained the same with only slight variations in percentages. Thirty-

six percent (36.9%, n=82) indicated spending 2-4 hours and seven percent (7.2%, n=16) reported

spending more than 12 hours each week on average. Table 4-24 shows the results of these two

questions.

Table 4-24. Time spent by positional leaders in student organizations
Hours per week Less than 2 2-4 5-8 9-12 More than n total
12
n % n % n % n % n %
Fall semester 71 32.0 95 42.8 36 16.2 9 4.1 11 5.0 222
Spring semester 67 30.2 82 36.9 47 21.2 10 4.5 16 7.2 222









student has created personal direction that is aligned with personal values and goals, and how

well the student has structure their life environment to meet their daily needs as well as work

toward goals. It is important to note that these individuals arrived at college with somewhat

higher SDLTI scores than their counterparts, so it is unknown whether they developed any more

than their peers or simply maintained the same level of growth as their peers, resulting in a still

higher score in these areas. In either case, leadership positions in student organizations provide

avenues to both experience growth and maintain skills.

In another study, student organization members experienced more growth than

nonmembers over a three-year time span in Chickering and Reisser's vector of establishing and

clarifying purpose (Foubert and Grainger 2006). In addition, students "who either joined or led

an organization tended to have higher levels of development than those who just attended a

meeting" (Foubert and Grainger 2006).

Greater satisfaction with college

In recent studies, students who participated in student organizations were found to be more

connected to their university and college and are more favorable toward their college courses

than students who are not members of student organizations (Abrahamowicz, 1998; Suvedi &

Heyboer, 2004).

In a study of recent graduates of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at

Michigan State University, individuals who were involved in collegiate student organizations,

clubs, or teams were more favorable toward the courses they had taken in the college (Suvedi

and Heyboer 2004).

Abrahamowicz reported student organization members to have scored significantly higher

than nonmembers in each of fourteen college activities categories (Abrahamowicz 1988). Stated

Abrahamowicz, "...the results of this study indicated members of student organizations were









APPENDIX E
CODING REFERENCE FOR CALCUATED INDEPENDENT VARIABLES

Table E-1. Coding reference
Question item Response Points
7 Never 0
Sometimes, but not regularly 1
Once a semester/quarter 2
Once a month 3
Twice a month 4
Once a week 5
8 Yes 2
No 0
9 Yes 1
No 0
10 Yes 2
No 0
11 Yes 2
No 0
12 Completely 2
Somewhat 1
Not at all 0
13 Yes 2
No 0
14 None 0
One 1
Two 1
Three 2
Four 2
Five 3
Six or more 3
15 Yes 2
No 0
16 The same day as the organization meeting 1
Two or more days prior to the meeting 2
17 Yes 2
No 0
18 Yes 1
No 0
20 Yes 2
No 0
21 Yes 2
No 0
26 He/she provides only advice... 1
He/she provides insight... 2
He/she provides support... 3









Name of university
New Mexico State
University





















Cornell University


Name of collegiate student organization
Association of Family and Consumer
Sciences
Block and Bridle
Collegiate CowBelles
Collegiate 4-H
Collegiate FFA
Collegiate Farm and Livestock Bureau
Dairy Science Club
Environmental Science Student
Organization
Horticulture Forum
Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism
Management Student Association
Human Nutrition and Food Science
Association
NAMA
Pre-Vet Club
Range Club
Student Association of Fashion
Merchandising and Marketing

Agricultural Science
ALS Alumni Association Student
Leadership Team
American Meteorology Society
American Society of LARCH
Association for Women in Communication
Birding Club at Cornell
Block and Bridle
Collegiate 4-H
Collegiate FFA
Cornell Accounting Association
Cornell Education Society
Cornell Entrepeneur Organization
CU Food Science Club
Cornell Forensics Society
Cornell Science and Technology Magazine
CUDS
Development Sociology Undergraduate
Club
Dilmun Hill Student Farm
Financial Management Group of Cornell
Health Nuts
Help a Life Organization
Herpetological Society















Thank You

Thank you for your time. This study focuses on student organizations that serve
Undergraduate students and have existed for more than two years. Additionally, participants
need to have served as an officer for at least two months in the last year. If you and/or your
organization does not fit these descriptors, unfortunately you are ineligible for this study.















































Page 14









Name of university






























Louisiana State University


Name of collegiate student organization
Agronomy Club
American Society of Landscape Architects
Association for Family and Consumer
Sciences
Block and Bridle
UK Collegiate FFA Chapter
UK Dairy Club
UK Student Dietetic Association
Educators of Family and Consumer
Sciences
Food Science Club
Forestry and Wildlife Association
Golf Course Superintendents Association
Horse Racing Club
Horticulture Club
Hospitality Management Association and
Society of Hosteurs
Kentucky Student Association of Family
Relations
MANNRS
Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles Club
Pre-Vet Club
The Society for Engineering in
Agriculture, Food, and Biological Systems

Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
Club
Agronomy Club
American Association of Textile Chemists
& Colorists
Biological Engineering Student
Organization
Block & Bridle Club
Collegiate 4-H
Collegiate FFA
Collegiate Farm Bureau
Dairy Science Club
Environmental Management Society
Association of Family and Consumer
Sciences
Food Science Club
Horticulture Club
MANNRS
Poultry Science Club









structure with positive correlations significant at the 0.05 level included the use of an agenda for

organization meetings and the presence of officer/executive meetings.

Table 4-27. Relationship between specific structure characteristics and involvement
Structure characteristics Correlation with
involvement score
Organization membership .269**
Average meeting attendance .192**
Meeting frequency .240**
Use of agenda for organization meetings .172*
Use of parliamentary procedure for organization meetings .262**
Distribution of meeting minutes .185**
Number of organization officers .312**
Presence of officer/executive meetings .161*
Use of standing committees .309**
Presence of mission statement .242**
Presence of constitution .175**
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

Characteristics regarding organization programs with positive correlations significant at

the 0.01 level included planning/hosting fundraisers, planning/hosting events for the public, a

developed calendar of events, a developed budget, a developed program of work, standing

committee descriptions, and having a member contact information directory (see Table 4-28).

Characteristics regarding organization programs with positive correlations significant at the 0.05

level included planning/hosting community service activities and planning/hosting an annual

recognition banquet for members. Only one significant negative correlation was found between

any organization structure or organization program items-planning or hosting educational events

for members (-. 139 at the 0.05 level).

Table 4-28. Relationship between specific program characteristics and involvement
Program characteristics Correlation with
involvement score
Fundraisers .250**
Educational events for members -.139*
Events for public .183**
Community service activities .171*









Second Follow-up to Advisor


> Last Name>
<>, >
>

March 3, 2008

Dear <> Last Name>>,

Over the last few weeks, you've probably become familiar with the one, two, or three
emails you've received from me requesting your assistance in a nationwide study of student
organization officers in colleges of agriculture. This is the last reminder email asking for your
help. Briefly stated, this study will help determine the organizational characteristics that most
impact student development. If you'd like more details, you can learn more about the study and
view the Institutional Review Board approval at the following website:
.
You have been identified as the advisor or contact person for one of the student
organizations in the study's sample. I am requesting the name and email addresses for the top
four ranking student officers in the Organizationo at oUniversityo. The students identified
should be officers currently serving in the spring semester or winter quarter. I realize that if your
institution is on the quarter system, the quarter is winding down, but the survey will be asking
students about their immediate recent experiences. Most likely this will be the organization's
president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. If your organization does not have four
officers, you should choose additional students to fill the four spots.
Later this semester, students will be sent an email much like this with a link to an online
survey. Students' contact information will be used only for the purpose of mailing them the
survey link. While the sharing of this information is completely voluntary, I would greatly
appreciate your assistance with this important nationwide study.
A Word document containing a very short form for the information requested can be
downloaded directly from the page:
http://web.mac.com/marlenevonstein/Thesis/ForAdvisors.html>. Thank you in advance for
taking a few moments to complete that very brief document and email it back to me at









Name of university

















Mississippi State
University


Name of collegiate student organization
MANNRS
NAMA
Pre-Vet Club
Recreation Resource Management Club
Student Chapter of Forest Products Society
Student Chapter of the Society of
American Foresters
Student Organization of Nutrition and
Dietetics
Technical Association of Pulp and Paper
Industry
Urban & Community Forestry Club
Water Resources Students in Action
Applied Environmental Solutions

Agricultural Engineering Technology
Business Club
Agronomy Club
Student Chapter of the American Institute
of Floral Designers
American Society of Landscape
Architecture
American Society of Agricultural
Engineers Student Club
Associate Landscape Contractors of
America
Biochemistry Club
Block & Bridle Club
Collegiate FFA
Dairy Science Club
Fashion Focus
Food Science Club
Horticulture Club
Human Development and Family Studies
Club
Human Sciences Association
Institute of Biological Engineering
MANNRS
MSU Cattlemen's Club
MSU Horseman's Association
NAMA
Oktibbeha County Humane Society
Student Chapter
Poultry Science Club
Pre-Veterinary Club












National S d of C e of A ric r i.kden Org aniz ion S ffi
49, On average, how much time do you spend each week during the spring semester (or winter and
spring quarters) participating in and/or planning for your student organization responsibilities and
activities?
O Less than 2 hours
O 2-4 hours
Q 5-8 hours
0 9-12 hours
O More than 12 hours







































Page 12









part of their organization's programming. Just under half (46.2%, n=104) reported that their

organization held an annual recognition banquet for organization members.

Table 4-17. Programs planned and/or hosted by the organization
Presence of program Yes No n total
n % n %
Fundraisers for the organization 188 83.2 38 16.8 226
Social events for organization members 210 92.5 17 7.5 227
Educational events for organization members 166 73.5 60 26.5 226
Events or activities for the public 127 56.2 99 43.8 226
Community services activities 128 56.9 97 43.1 225
Annual recognition banquet for members 104 46.2 121 53.8 225

The last six questions of the questionnaire section regarding organizational programs

sought to describe how organizations plan for and fund the programs mentioned above. These

results are given in Table 4-18. More than 60% (63.3%, n=143) reported developing a calendar

of events with slightly less (57.5%, n=130) reporting developing a budget.

Next, participants were asked if their organization developed a yearly program of work that

included a comprehensive description of programs, events, and activities, along with the budgets

and task lists associated with each. Just seventy (31.1%) respondents indicated their organization

did so. Almost half (44.2.%, n=99) reported their organization developed standing committee

descriptions, assignments, and goals. Many respondents (57.1%, n=129) indicated their

organization developed a contact information sheet or member directory for organization

members.

Table 4-18. Program planning
Presence of planning mechanism Yes No n total
n % n %
Calendar of events 143 63.3 83 36.7 226
Budget 130 57.5 96 42.5 226
Annual program of work 70 31.1 155 68.9 225
Standing committee descriptions 99 44.2 125 55.8 224
Member directory 129 57.1 97 42.9 226









Additionally, the researcher determined which organizations met the qualifications of the

study from the complete student organization listing without a thorough investigation of each

individual organization. In many cases, decisions were made on only the name of the

organization.

Sampling error "is a result of measuring a characteristic in some, but not all, of the units or

people in the population of interest" (Lindner, Murphy, and Briers 2001). The complete sample

for this study could not be identified due to not all of the sample organizations' advisors

providing officer contact information for distribution of surveys. Less than half of the sample

organizations provided contact information for student officers after email and phone contacts.

The researcher attempted to identify student officers by website searches, but any names found

cannot be guaranteed current.

Measurement error "is contained in the instrument used to collect the data" (Lindner,

Murphy, and Briers 2001). This type of error is discussed in Chapter 3 and was addressed with

the use of a pilot study. Nonresponse error, "the extent that people included in the sample fail to

provide usable responses and are different than those who do on the characteristics of interest in

the study" (Lindner, Murphy, and Briers 2001), is addressed in Chapter 4.

It is assumed that the contact information provided by student organization advisors and

college or department contacts was accurate at the time of the study. It is also assumed that the

participants of the study were honest and accurate in their responses.

Finally, the researcher approached this study from a positivist epistemological perspective

and the assumptions that accompany such stance, including understanding an objective reality

that can be measured (Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh, and Soresen 2006).









Name of university



University of New
Hampshire













Rutgers State University


Name of collegiate student organization
Student Association for International
Water Issues
Student Nutrition Association

Collegiate FFA
Dairy Club
Health Outreach Club
Horsemen's Club
Horticulture Club
Organic Garden Club
Pre-Vet Club
Student Nutrition Association
Student Environmental Action Coalition
TSAS Horticulture Club
Wildlife Society
Woodsmen Club

Collegiate 4-H
Turf Club
Designer Genes
Equine Science Club
George H. Cook Biochemistry Club
H.O. Sampson Collegiate FFA
Society of Animal Science
Undergraduate Food Science Club
Veterinary Science Club
Cook College Seeing Eye Puppy Raising
Club
Rutgers Naturalists
Rutgers Outdoor Club
Students for Environmental Awareness
Organic Garden Club
Roots and Shoots
Environmental Sciences Engineering Club
Business Economics Club
Cook Pre-Med/Pre-Dent Society
Landscape Architecture Club
Meteorology Club
Nutrition Club
Ecological Change Coalition
Mounted Patrol
Pilot Me Mentoring
Latin American Student Organization
Minority Education at Cook College
Alliance









Construct validity is "the degree to which inferences are warranted from the study's

observed persons, settings, and cause-effect operations to the constructs that these instances

represent" (Ary et al. 2006). In this study, construct validity is concerned with how well the

instrument measured what it was intended to measure. To minimize threats to construct validity,

a reliable instrument (Hoover and Dunigan 2004) was used as the foundation for a modified

instrument for this study. The modified and expanded instrument was reviewed by an expert

panel.

Statistical conclusion validity is "concerned with errors in statistical interpretations" (Ary

et al. 2006). As described previously in this chapter, a pilot study was conducted to measure the

reliability of the instrument to ensure validity in statistical conclusions.

Finally, external validity is "the validity of the inference about whether the cause-effect

relationship holds up with other subjects, settings, and measurements" (Ary et al. 2006). Early

and late responders were compared in their results to determine if any differences could be

identified between responders and nonresponders.

Data Analysis

The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistical analysis, employing the

Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics, including frequencies,

were calculated for the appropriate questionnaire items. In addition, a Spearman rho correlation

analysis was used to examine the relationship between the independent and dependent variables,

with the significance level set at 0.05 a priori. Correlations were categorized according to

Cohen's (Ary et al., 2006) approach of the following minimum levels to describe the

relationship:

* r = Less than .10-insubstantial
* r= .10: small









Students invest themselves through both physical and psychological energy in their college

experience and the level of leadership and personal development a student experiences through

involvement is positively correlated to the amount of energy invested (Astin 1977; Astin 1984;

Astin 1993). As such, the more involved a student is in a collegiate student organization, the

more the student will experience leadership and personal development.

All students engaged in the activities of a student organization can develop leadership

qualities (Cress et al. 2001). While it is not known if the relationship between student

organization participation and development of leadership qualities is causal or symbiotic

(Birkenholz and Schumacher 1994), it is known that collegiate student organizations can play a

vital role in the leadership and personal development of students (Astin 1993; Cooper, Healy,

and Simpson 1994; Floerchinger 1998; Foubert and Grainger 2006; Hood 1984; Hoover and

Dunigan 2004; Kuh 1995; Pascarella and Terenzini 2005; Pike 2003; Sommers 1991).

Even though leadership and personal development can be gained by all participating

students, this study focused on the positional leaders of student organizations since those

students serving in leadership roles were more likely to have invested significant energy in their

experience with the organization (Cooper, Healy, and Simpson 1994; Foubert and Grainger

2006). It has been reported that a significant relationship exists between hours spent per week

participating in student organizations and elected student offices (Astin 1993). Focusing on

positional leaders also enabled the researcher to objectively identify participants for the study.

Statement of Problem

The specific elements and factors of collegiate student organizations that contribute to

leadership and personal development are unknown. Student organizations serve a key role in

undergraduate student development (Hoover and Dunigan 2004) and are looked to by employers

to cultivate industry leaders (Radhakrishna and Bruening 1994).









* r = .30: medium or moderate
* r= .50: large

The researcher coded the appropriate responses in each of the four sections of the

questionnaire that described the four independent variables in order to calculate a score for each

respondent in each of those four areas. The four scores were used as the measurement of the

independent variables for the purposes of the correlation analysis. The point values assigned to

each questionnaire item response are included in Appendix E.

Summary

This chapter reviewed the methodology used in this study used to meet the research

objectives established in Chapter 1. The independent variables were the specific characteristics

of the student organizations, while the dependent variable was the amount of time invested by

officers in their respective organization. The research design and selection of population was

described, as well as the procedure and data collection and analysis. The next chapter will

describe the results of these methods.

































To my parents, Dean and Nicolette von Stein, for their constant support of my ambitions.










Stanford, S. W. (1992). Extracurriculuar Involvement and Development among Undergraduate
Student Leaders. College Student Affairs Journal, 12(1), 17-24.

Suvedi, M., & Heyboer, G. (2004). Perceptions of recent graduates and employers about
undergraduate programs in the college of agriculture and natural resources at Michigan
State University: A follow-up study. NACTA Journal, 48(1), 22-27.










Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO 12
College of Agricultural Sciences
University of Hawaii, Manoa, HI 5
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 16
College of Agricultural & Life Sciences
Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 10
College of Agriculture
University of Nevada, Reno, NV 8
College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 15
College of Agriculture and Home Economics
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 30
College of Agricultural Sciences
Utah State University, Logan, UT 12
College of Agriculture
Washington State University, Spokane, WA 24
College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
University of Wyoming, Cheyenne, WY 14
College of Agriculture
Figure 3-1. Continued

Using a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of + or 5, a sample size of

275 organizations was calculated. The sample was determined using a random drawing, pulling

51 organizations from the Northeastern region, 87 organizations from the North Central region,

86 organizations from the Southern region, and 51 organizations from the Western region for the

stratified random sample.

Once the sample of student organizations was identified, the researcher identified the

advisor of each of the 275 organizations in the sample. This was accomplished mostly through

researching the student organization online and, in some cases, contacting the department to

request the contact information for the organization's current advisor.

Each of the 275 advisors were sent an email explaining the study and requesting the name

and email address of each of their organization's four most top ranking officers. The top four

officers were used to eliminate subjectivity on part of the advisors in selecting specific students









Name of university










University of Wisconsin






















University of Wyoming


Name of collegiate student organization
Collegiate 4-H
Fashion Business Association
Forest Products Society
Forestry Club
Plant & Soil Science Club
Society of American Foresters
Student Dietetic Association
Student Society of Landscape Architects

Agricultural Business Club
American Society of Agricultural
Engineers Pre-professionals
American Society of Landscape Architects
Association of Women in Agriculture
Badger Crops Club
Badger Dairy Club
Badger Turf and Grounds Club
Dietetics and Nutrition Club
Forestry Club
Horticulture Society
Microbiology Club
NAMA
Poultry Science Club
Pre-Veterinary Club
Saddle and Sirloin Club
Undergraduate Biochemistry Student
Organization
Undergraduate Genetics Association
Wildlife Society

ACT
Agroecology Club
Ag Econ Club
American Association of Family and
Consumer Sciences
Block and Bridle
Collegiate FFA
Collegiate 4-H
Fitting and Showing Club
Food Science Club
Microbiology Club
Pre-Vet Club
Range Club
Student Dietetic Association
SIFE









Name of university



























Iowa State University


Name of collegiate student organization
Food Science Club
Forest Products Society
Horsemanship Club
Horticulture Club
Indiana Association of Agricultural
Educators
MANNRS
PLANET
Pre-Vet Club
Purdue Animal Bioscience Club
Purdue Society of Landscape Architects
Purdue Student Chapter of American
Fisheries Society
Purdue Student Chapter Society of
American Foresters-Purdue Student
Chapter of the Wildlife Society
Purdue Student Chapter of the Wildlife
Society
Purdue Student Society of Arboriculture
Purdue Young Farmers
Soil and Water Conservation Society
Thomas Say Entomological Society
Turf Club

Ag Systems Technology Club
Agricultural Business Club
ACT
Ag Ed Club
Agronomy Club
American Society of Safety Engineers
Aboriculture Club
Beginning Farmers Network
Block & Bridle
Block & Bridle Horse Show Committee
Collegiate Beef Team
Collegiate 4-H
Collegiate Farm Bureau Club
Dairy Science Club
Entomology Club
Farm Operations Club
Food Science Club
Forest Products Society
Forestry Club
Horticulture Club












Nati a S d of C e oI f Aric r i.den Og aniz ion SO ffic
Survey Complete

This completes the National Survey of College of Agriculture Student Organi-ation Officers.
You may exit the survey by clicking "Done".













































Page 17









Association; National Postsecondary Agricultural Student Organization; Professional Landcare

Network; and Sigma Alpha Sorority.

Students enrolled in an American college of agriculture have dozens of organizations to

choose from if they wish to become involved in a collegiate student organization. Combined

with the rich history of collegiate student organizations in agriculture, the opportunity for

involvement is vast.

Conceptual Framework

A conceptual model (Figure 3-1) was created by the researcher to illustrate the

relationships between characteristics of student organizations, student involvement in such

organizations, and the developmental outcomes that are associated with such involvement.

First, a concept map was created from the researcher's experience and research to illustrate

all possible variables and factors present in a collegiate student organization. The concept map

was then simplified into four categories or areas that describe the characteristics of the

organization-structure, advisor, programs, and context.

As the model shows on the left side, student involvement takes place according to the

characteristics of the student organization itself. There may be meetings a member could attend,

an event or program a member could participate in or be responsible for planning, or perhaps a

social function in which to interact with peers. All student involvement through student

organizations takes place within the context of the characteristics specific to that organization.









Additionally, the temporary nature of residences of college students can make mailing addresses

on record outdated.

An email was drafted and sent to student officers that contained the link to the

questionnaire, conducted through the online survey program Survey MonkeyTM. Data collection

began in late March 2008 and followed Dillman's tailored design method (Dillman 2007). From

a practical perspective, this timing ensured that students had been serving for at least two months

in their officer position (had they perhaps been elected in January 2008) and also eliminated the

data being collected in the middle of the spring break season.

The first contact, informing participants they would soon be receiving an important email,

was made on March 25, 2008, by email. The email containing the survey link and asking for

students' participation was sent on March 31. On April 7, a follow-up reminder was sent only to

those students who had not yet participated in the online questionnaire. A final contact asking for

the students' participation and informing them of the upcoming deadline to participate was sent

on April 16 only to students who had not yet responded. The survey was closed on April 23.

Contacts made to survey participants are included in Appendix C.

Ary et al. (2006) defined validity as "the extent to which an instrument measured what it

claimed to measure" (p. 243). The four types of validity discussed by Ary et al. are internal

validity, construct validity, statistical conclusion validity and external validity (Ary et al. 2006).

Internal validity "refers to the inferences about whether the changes in observed in a

dependent variable are, in fact, caused by the independent variable in a particular experimental

situation rather than by some extraneous factors" (Ary et al. 2006). This study utilized a random

sampling procedure to diminish the threat of selection effects on validity. Organizations could

not volunteer to be part of the study; they were randomly chosen from the total population.









Final Follow-Up to Participants


To: [Email]
From: vonstein@ufl.edu
Subject: [CustomValue]-national study of student organizations
Body:
Dear [FirstName],


Over the past few weeks, you have received emails requesting your participation in a nationwide
study of collegiate student organizations. The purpose of this study is to examine the
characteristics of student organizations and identify how much time officers invest in these
organizations.


Your academic department has identified you as a current or recent officer or member of the
[CustomValue]. Since I know your time is valuable, it is a brief survey that should only take
about 10 minutes to complete.


Here is a link to the survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx


The study is drawing to a close and this is the final contact that will be made asking for your
participation. Hearing from everyone in the small sample is important to assure the survey results
are as accurate as possible.


I also want to assure you that your response to this survey is voluntary, and if you prefer not to
respond that's fine. I appreciate your willingness to consider this request as I conclude this effort
to better understand the role of student organizations.


Please contact me at the information below if you have any questions about this study.


Sincerely,


Marlene F. von Stein











National S d of C e of A ric r i.kden Org aniz ion S ffi
12. Does your organization use parliamentary procedure, such as Robert's Rules of Order, for
meetings?
O Completely
O Somewhat
0 Not at all
13. Does your organization post or distribute minutes from the meetings?
O Yes
O No
14. How many officers does your organization have?
O None
O One
O Two
O Three
O Four
O Five
O Six or more
15. Does your organization hold officer/executive meetings?
O Yes
O No (Skip to Question 17)
16. (If Yes to Question 15) When do you typically hold officer/executive meetings?
O The same day as the organization meeting
O Two or more days prior to the meeting
17. Does your organization have standing committees?
O Yes
O No (Skip to Question 20)
18. (If Yes to Question 17) Do standing committees provide a report at organization meetings?
O Yes
0 No (Skip to Question 20)
19. (If Yes to Question 18) Are the reports ?
0 Written
O Oral
O Both written and oral



r.,,4,' 4









"According to this [I-E-O] model, college outcomes are viewed as functions of three sets
of elements: inputs, the demographic characteristics, family backgrounds, and academic
and social experiences that students bring to college; environment, the full range of people,
programs, policies, cultures, and experiences that students encounter in college, whether on
or off campus; and outcomes, students' characteristics, knowledge, skills, attitudes, values,
beliefs, and behaviors as they exist after college" (Pascarella and Terenzini 2005).

Pascarella and Terenzini (2005) went on to state that "studies adopting this conceptual

approach attempt to explain the effects of environmental influences on student change and

growth, focusing on factors over which college faculty and administrators have some

programmatic and policy control".

Astin's later theory of student involvement, though, focuses on the component that faculty

and administrators cannot control the energy a student chooses to invest in the various

environmental opportunities. Astin defined the term "involvement" as used in the theory of

student involvement as "the amount of physical and psychological energy that the student

devotes to the academic experience" (Astin 1984).

Through this theory, students invest themselves in the college experience in two ways: 1)

physical energy, often measured in time, and 2) psychological energy (Foubert and Grainger

2006). Pascarella and Terenzini (2005) describe how Astin relates these two notions to other

theories and concepts.

The concept of investment of physical energy relates closely to the learning theory concept

of time-on-task (Pascarella and Terenzini 2005). Examples are the amount of time a student

invests in studying, the number of visits a student spends with a faculty member, the time

commitment a student gives to a service project, or to the weekly hours a student uses to conduct

student organization responsibilities.

The concept of psychological energy is similar to the Freudian notion of cathexis (Astin

1984; Pascarella and Terenzini 2005). "Freud believed that people invest psychological energy in









CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Introduction

The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics of collegiate student

organizations that are related to higher levels of leadership and personal development as

experienced by positional leaders of the student organizations. While the literature presents

specific developmental outcomes of student involvement, limited research exists pertinent to

which organizational characteristics relate to different levels of involvement. The components of

Astin's theory of student involvement formed the theoretical foundation from which to examine

leadership and personal development through collegiate organizations.

This chapter describes the methodology used to answer the research questions presented in

the study.

The research objectives were as follows:

* Objective 1: To describe the specific organizational characteristics of undergraduate
student organizations in 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture.

* Objective 2: To determine the level of physical involvement of positional leaders of
undergraduate student organizations in 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture as measured
in time.

* Objective 3: To describe the relationship between organizational characteristics and level
of involvement by positional leaders of undergraduate student organizations in 1862 land-
grant colleges of agriculture.

The independent variables in the study are the characteristics of the undergraduate student

organizations. The dependent variables are the organizational leaders' levels of involvement.

This chapter also addresses the research design, population, procedure, instrumentation, data

collection, and data analysis that will be used in this study.









more likely to be the members and participants in collegiate student organizations. More research

is needed on the intricacies and possible direction of the relationship between student

involvement in organizations and student development.

In this section, Floerchinger's (1998) six key benefits will be used as the framework for

reviewing the research literatures on student development through involvement in collegiate

student organizations.

Increased retention

Astin's 1989 study of 11,079 college students reveals variables with positive effects on

retention in college (Astin 1993). Variables having positive associations were all facilitated by

student-student and student-faculty interaction. Involvement in student organizations can greatly

enhance the amount of time spent in student-student interactions, as well as student-faculty

interactions if the student organization facilitates student-faculty relationships and mentoring.

"Practically all the involvement variables showing positive associations with retention suggest

high involvement with faculty, with fellow students, or with academic work" (Astin 1993).

Enhanced interpersonal skills

Students grow through the interaction they have with other organization members. Astin

stated "the strongest single source of influence on cognitive and affective development is the

student's peer group" (Astin 1996). The second and third highest were involvement with faculty

and academic involvement. Students who are members of student organizations interact by way

of attending meetings together, serving on planning committees together, participating in

activities and programs together, and socializing together throughout the above means. Students

might also have the opportunity to interact with a faculty member more frequently if the student

organization is advised by a faculty member, thereby further involvement.









Objective 3: To Describe the Relationship between Organizational Characteristics and
Level of Involvement by Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organizations in
1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture

Statistically significant correlations were found between participants' involvement (time

invested) score and their organization's structure score (r = .343) and participant's involvement

score and programs score (r = .275). An insubstantial negative correlation (r = -.058) was found

between participants' involvement score and their organization's advisor score. An insubstantial

positive correlation (r = .110) was found between the participants' involvement score and their

organization's context score.

Further analysis indicated several statistically significant positive correlations between

participants' involvement score and specific organizational characteristics in the structure and

program areas. In the structure area, moderate correlations significant at the 0.01 level included

the number of organization officers (r = .312) and use of standing committees (r = .309).

Slight positive correlations significant at the 0.01 level include organization membership (r

=.269), average meeting attendance (r = .192), meeting frequency (r = .240), level of use of

parliamentary procedure (r = .262), distribution of meeting minutes (r = .185), presence of

mission statement (r = .242), and presence of constitution (r = .175). Finally, statistically

significant slight positive correlations significant at the 0.05 level occurred between both the use

of agenda for organization meetings (r = .172) and the use of officer/executive meetings (r =

.161) and the participants' involvement score.

Additionally, slight positive correlations significant at the 0.01 level were found between

the participants' involvement score and the program area variables including the presence of

fundraisers (r = .250), events for the public (r = .183), a calendar of events (r = .274), a budget (r

= .241), a program of work (r = .279), standing committee descriptions (r = .180), and a

membership directory (r = .200). A slight positive correlation significant at the 0.05 level was









CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

The previous chapter introduced the problem and provided the background for examining

student organizations in colleges of agriculture. This chapter reviews the current literature in the

field of student development as related to leadership and personal development through

involvement in student organizations and the theories related to student involvement that form

the framework for this study. The context of student organizations will be described and a

conceptual framework discussed. Next, a theory of student involvement will be examined for use

in this study and finally, a thorough review of the research surrounding the problem will be

conducted.

Context of Collegiate Student Organizations in Colleges of Agriculture

The Land-Grant Act of 1862 (also called the Morrill Act) was the materialization of the

beliefs of Jonathan Baldwin Turner of Illinois (Herren and Edwards 2002; Roberts 2003), the

belief of making higher education available to the common people. Forming these state

universities that specialized in the agricultural and mechanical sciences would produce educated

citizens among the common people, broadening higher education from the just the classical

studies (Roberts 2003).

Further legislation was passed in 1890 and 1994 to provide such resources for African

Americans and Native Americans (Charles 1997; Roberts 2003; Sherwood 2004), resulting in a

total of 105 land-grant colleges and universities today (Charles 1997). Colleges of agriculture

flourished at these land-grant institutions, attracting many students, mostly young men.

Students in colleges of agriculture later began to form clubs, organizations, and fraternities

to promote their fields of study and to build up students. The very first agricultural professional

society was formed in 1897 at The Ohio State University by two young men and named Alpha












National S d of C e of A ric r i.kden Org aniz ion S ffi
Time

For the rollowjing questions, think only about the time you spend on the one organization for
which you are completing this survey.

45. How much time did you spend last week participating in and/or planning for your student
organization responsibilities and activities?
0 Less than 2 hours
O 2-4 hours
0 5-8 hours
0 9-12 hours
Q More than 12 hours
46. What is the most time you have spent in one week participating in and/or planning for your student
organization responsibilities and activities?
0 Less than 2 hours
0 2-5 hours
O 6-10 hours
0 11-15 hours
0 16-20 hours
0 21-25 hours
0 26-30 hours
O 31-35 hours
0 36-40 hours
O More than 40 hours
47. Are there weeks when you spend no time at all participating in and/or planning for your student
organization responsibilities and activities?
O Yes
O No
48. On average, how much time do you spend each week during the fall semester (or fall quarter)
participating in and/or planning for your student organization responsibilities and activities?
O Less than 2 hours
O 2-4 hours
O 5-8 hours
O 9-12 hours
O More than 12 hours



Page 11









Involvement is understood in this study through the lens of Astin's theory of student

involvement. The next section of this chapter will thoroughly review the current research

literature on student involvement and the specific outcomes of student involvement in student

organizations.

Literature Review

Astin's Theory of Student Involvement

The previous sections described the context of student organizations in colleges of

agriculture and then explored a conceptual model for considering the factors in this study.

Research has shown the link between involvement in student organizations and an increase in

leadership capacity (Astin 1993; Birkenholz and Schumacher 1994; Pike 2003; Suvedi and

Heyboer 2004). While it is not known if this relationship is causal or correlated, research shows

that the more a student is involved, the more he or she grows in personal development

(Hernandez et al. 1999; Kuh 1995; Logue, Hutchens, and Hector 2005; Pascarella and Terenzini

2005; Stanford 1992). A review of specific research outcomes regarding student learning and

personal development through collegiate student organizations is discussed later in this chapter.

Alexander W. Astin provided a foundational theory to describe how student involvement

occurs. Building upon his then twenty years of research studying college students, Astin

developed a student involvement theory in 1984 (Astin 1984), although he also refers to the

factors of involvement and influential variables in other works (Astin 1977; Astin 1993; Astin

1996).

The theory of student involvement is built upon Astin's earlier input-environment-outcome

(I-E-O) model (Pascarella and Terenzini 2005). The I-E-O model was "less an effort to explain

theoretically why or how students change than a conceptual and methodological guide to the

study of college effects" (Pascarella and Terenzini 2005).










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1 UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT INVOLVE MENT IN COLLEGIATE STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS IN COLLEGES OF AGRICULTURE By MARLENE F. VON STEIN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Marlene F. von Stein

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3 To my parents, Dean and Nicolette von Stei n, for their constant support of my ambitions.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Com pleting this project w ould not have been possible without the support and encouragement of several individuals to whom I am most grateful. First, I express my sincere grat itude to Dr. Anna Ball, my adviser, for her guidance in this process. Her ability to assist in molding my ideas into tangible research objectives has been immensely valuable throughout the evolution of th is project. Dr. Ball always delivered exactly what I needed, whether that was patience, a philo sophical challenge, practicality, or even a little extra motivation. Throughout my graduate program, she consistently held me to a high standard of excellence in my research and studies, and fo r that I am most appreciative. I consider her a mentor and friend. I also wish to thank Dr. Hanna h Carter, not only for serving on my committee, but also providing insights into the fiel d of leadership development throughout my graduate school experience. Whether I was working on a resear ch project, leadership workshop, or class assignment, I could always count on Dr. Carter to provide a real-w orld approach to leadership theories and models. I truly appreciate her perf ect balance of professi onalism and practicality. I may not have even seriously considered graduate school if not for the Spaghetti Warehouse lunches I had with Dr. Steven Grat z and Dr. Jamie Cano during my undergraduate years at Ohio State. These two gentlemen cha llenged me to think differently, to explore the philosophical concepts behind my work, and ultima tely, to pursue a graduate degree. I am very thankful they saw in me what I did not yet see in myself. A number of individuals ha ve been instrumental in my personal and professional development while completing this project. I wish to thank Chris Vitelli, Charlotte Emerson, and Dr. Kirby Barrick for the opportunity to work with undergraduate students in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and for providing resources for this project. I thank Mark Sanborn

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5 for allowing me the time to stay engaged with the progress of this study during my internship with Sanborn & Associates, even when that m eant attending class over the phone in the middle of the workday. The network of my fellow graduate students has been a tremendous source of support and encouragement and I am most grateful for the friendships I have formed in the department. Specifically, I thank Rochelle Strickland and Audr ey Vail for their friendship as we together found our way at UF and discovered life as a Gator. I cant imagine what my Florida experience might have been like without the camaraderie of so many good people to work with day in and day out. I thank my fianc, B.J., for his patience and listening ear as I comple ted this project. His encouragement kept me focused on the end goal during frustrating times when motivation ran low. I could always expect to gi ve a daily report on my thesis progr ess. I am very thankful for his diligence in maintaining my motivation. Finally, I thank my family. Without their consta nt love and support, I certainly wouldnt be living in Florida completing a graduate degree. I am blessed with the love of two Christian parents, Dean and Nicki von Stein, who have always supported my goals and done everything in their power to help me achieve them. My two br others, Craig and Brent, have taught me more than they probably realize and I am grateful to have them as friends. My family has provided a foundation of integrity, service, and a relentless wo rk ethic. As I complete my graduate program and move to the next step of my career and life, I am blessed to have them as my foundation.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........9LIST OF FIGURES.......................................................................................................................11ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................12 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................14Introduction to the Study........................................................................................................14Background of the Study........................................................................................................16Statement of Problem........................................................................................................... ..17Purpose and Objectives...........................................................................................................18Significance of Study..............................................................................................................18Definition of Terms................................................................................................................19Limitations and Assumptions of the Study............................................................................. 202 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE........................................................................................ 22Context of Collegiate Student Organizat ions in Colleges of Agriculture.............................. 22Conceptual Framework........................................................................................................... 24Literature Review.............................................................................................................. .....28Astins Theory of Student Involvement..........................................................................28Student Development through Involve ment in Student Organizations........................... 32Increased retention...................................................................................................33Enhanced interpersonal skills................................................................................... 33Positive influence on life skills................................................................................ 35Greater satisfaction with college.............................................................................. 37Job procurement skills and experience..................................................................... 38Lasting views on volunteering and community service........................................... 39Positional Leaders of Student Organizations.................................................................. 39Summary.................................................................................................................................403 METHODOLOGY................................................................................................................. 41Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........41Research Design.....................................................................................................................42Population..................................................................................................................... ..........42Sampling Procedure................................................................................................................43Instrumentation................................................................................................................ .......47Data Collection.......................................................................................................................49

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7 Data Analysis..........................................................................................................................51Summary.................................................................................................................................524 RESULTS...............................................................................................................................53Demographics of Respondents...............................................................................................54Objective 1: To Describe the Specific Orga nizational Characteris tics of Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Landgrant Colleges of Agriculture..................................55Organization Structure.....................................................................................................56Organization Advisor......................................................................................................60Organization Programs....................................................................................................62Organization Context.......................................................................................................64Objective 2: To Determine the Level of Phys ical Involvement of Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture as Measured in Time............................................................................................................... 66Objective 3: To Describe the Relationship Between Organizational Characteristics and Level of Involvement by Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture.......................................................................68Summary.................................................................................................................................715 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS........... 72Summary.................................................................................................................................72Procedures..................................................................................................................... ..........72Key Findings...........................................................................................................................73Objective 1: To Describe the Specific Organizational Characteristics of Undergraduate Student Organizatio ns in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture...................................................................................................................73Organization structure..............................................................................................73Organization advisor................................................................................................74Organization programs............................................................................................. 75Organization context................................................................................................76Objective 2: To Determine the Level of P hysical Involvement of Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organizati ons in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture as Measured in Time................................................................................ 77Objective 3: To Describe the Relationshi p between Organizational Characteristics and Level of Involvement by Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Land-gran t Colleges of Agriculture........................................ 78Conclusions.............................................................................................................................79Discussion and Implications................................................................................................... 80Objective 1: To Describe the Specific Organizational Characteristics of Undergraduate Student Organizatio ns in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture...................................................................................................................80Organization structure..............................................................................................80Organization advisor................................................................................................81Organization programs............................................................................................. 82Organization context................................................................................................83

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8 Objective 2: To Determine the Level of P hysical Involvem ent of Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organizati ons in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture as Measured in Time................................................................................ 84Objective 3: To Describe the Relationshi p between Organizational Characteristics and Level of Involvement by Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Land-gran t Colleges of Agriculture........................................ 84Organizational structure........................................................................................... 84Organization advisor................................................................................................85Organization programs............................................................................................. 86Organization context................................................................................................87Recommendations................................................................................................................ ...88Recommendations for Practice........................................................................................ 88Recommendations for Future Research...........................................................................88APPENDIX A STUDY POPULATION.........................................................................................................90B STUDENT CONTACT INFORMATION REQUESTS...................................................... 115Initial Advisor Contact........................................................................................................ .115First Follow-up to Advisors.................................................................................................. 117Second Follow-up to Advisor...............................................................................................119C QUESTIONNAIRE CONTACTS........................................................................................121Initial Contact to Participants............................................................................................... 121First Follow-up to Participants............................................................................................. 125Final Follow-Up to Participants............................................................................................ 127D QUESTIONNAIRE..............................................................................................................129E CODING REFERENCE FOR CALCUATED INDEPENDENT VARIABLES .................146LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................148BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................152

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9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Key variables t-test for significant diffe rences between early and late respondents. ........544-2 Participants by gender ( n =223)..........................................................................................544-3 Participants by rank ( n=219)..............................................................................................554-4 Participants by grade point average ( n=222).....................................................................554-5 Multiple officer positions ( n=223).....................................................................................554-6 Organization membership a nd average meeting attendance.............................................. 564-7 Frequency of organizational meetings ( n=232).................................................................574-8 Organizational use of structural components..................................................................... 574-9 Parliamentary procedure us e by student organizations ( n=230)........................................584-10 Structure of organization officers......................................................................................584-11 Structure of organization committees................................................................................ 594-12 Level of structure in student organizations ( n =232).......................................................... 594-13 Advisors for student organization ( n =229)........................................................................604-14 Role of lead organization advisor ( n =210)........................................................................614-15 Advisor attendance at meetings......................................................................................... 614-16 Advisors involvement in student organization ( n=226)...................................................624-17 Programs planned and/or hosted by the organization........................................................ 634-18 Program planning.......................................................................................................... .....634-19 Organization program funding (n=225).............................................................................644-20 Programs in student organizations (n =227).......................................................................644-21 Relationship between organization and academic department ( n=221)............................654-22 Context within external environment................................................................................. 664-23 Context of student organizations (n =219)......................................................................... 66

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10 4-24 Time spent by positional leaders in student organizations................................................ 674-25 Range of time spent by positional leaders in student organizations.................................. 684-26 Relationship between involvement and organization characteristics................................694-27 Relationship between specific struct ure characteristics and involvement......................... 704-28 Relationship between specific prog ram characteristics and involvement......................... 70A-1 Study population........................................................................................................... .....90E-1 Coding reference........................................................................................................... ...146

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11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Conceptual framework....................................................................................................... 253-1 Student organizations in population by region.................................................................. 44

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12 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT INVOLVE MENT IN COLLEGIATE STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS IN COLLEGES OF AGRICULTURE By Marlene F. von Stein August 2008 Chair: Anna L. Ball Major: Agricultural Ed ucation and Communication The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics of collegiate student organizations that are related to higher levels of leadersh ip and personal development as experienced by positional leaders of the student organizations. The study population consisted of positional leaders of student organizations in college s of agriculture within institutions created by the 1862 Land-grant Act. A stratified random samp le was taken from the population. Participants completed an online questionnaire w ith questions seeking to descri be the characteristics of the organization and to define the amount of time spent by positional leaders on organizational activities and respons ibilities, as measured in hours per week. The independent variables in the study were the characteristics of the undergraduat e student organizations. The dependent variable was the organizational leader s levels of involvement. Results showed that student organizations ar e highly or moderately structured, perceive varying levels of advisor engagement, plan many or some programs each year, and are deeply or mildly embedded in their external environments. Positional leaders spe nd eight or less hours each week participating in and/or planning for organizational activities and responsibilities. Positional leaders in more highly structured orga nizations and in organiza tions that plan more

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13 programs tend to more hours per week involved in the organization. The engagement level of the advisor nor the engagement level of the organizat ion in its external environment are related to the involvement level of the or ganizations positional leaders.

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14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Introduction to the Study Through an appropriate balance of structure, program opportunities, leadership role availability, and advisor guidance, student organizations in colleges of agriculture are in position to provide a leadership and development opportunity that can enhance a st udents preparation for career and citizenship. American colleges of agriculture are produc ing tomorrows agricultu ral leaders for the nation. Through technical and theoretical course work, academic and extracurricular programs, and a variety of opportunities for participation and campus engagement, these colleges provide venues for student developmentacademically, pe rsonally, and profession ally. Evidence shows that American colleges of agriculture contribute to the achievements of college of agriculture alumni (Andelt, Barrett, and Bosshamer 1997; Birkenholz and Schumacher 1994; Graham 2001; Love and Yoder 1989; Radhakrishna and Bruening 1994; Suvedi and Heyboer 2004). The agricultural industry seek s new employees from prospective college of agriculture graduates because of those individuals poten tial for achievement (Suvedi and Heyboer 2004). Employers have stated that interpersonal and communication skills are required of new employees in order to be successful (Radhakr ishna and Bruening 1994) and that these new employees will need to increase leadership abi lities in order to succe ed on the job (Andelt, Barrett, and Bosshamer 1997). Employers seek gra duates who possess charac ter traits such as dependability and integrity and communicati on (Graham 2001; Radhakrishna and Bruening 1994). Overall, employers rate graduates of colleg es of agriculture highly in career performance (Suvedi and Heyboer 2004).

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15 Students in colleges of agriculture learn th e technical and professional skills desired by employers through a variety of experiences. Stud ents enroll in courses, work in laboratory experiences and classes, and engage in comm unity and industry practicums and internships. These learning and developmental experiences ar e often required of students. However, many students elect to broaden their college involvement by voluntarily participating in departmental, college, and university-wide progr ams and activities such as college ambassador groups, study abroad programs, student advisory boards, even t planning committees, or student organizations. Students plan college-wide outreach events, chai r professional developmen t nights, coordinate educational visits for elementary students, provide goodwill presentations, and travel internationally for study and re search. Many graduate s cite such experiences as a crucial component to their personal and professiona l growth while in college (Birkenholz and Schumacher 1994; Suvedi and Heyboer 2004). It ha s been posited that the more a student participates in academic, extracurricular, and caree r preparation experiences, the more leadership and personal development they will experience (Astin 1984). One such venue for leadership and personal development is the dozens of student organizations that serve undergra duates. Organizations can be found at the department, college, and university levels. Clubs and or ganizations are often categorized as academic, special interest, social, honorary, or political in nature and may serve students across the campus or within targeted groups. Student organizations provide extracurricular expe riences in which students may choose to invest energy. This energy investment can be measured quantitatively and qualitatively (Astin 1984). The quantitative dimension is assessed by the amount of physical energy invested, as

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16 measured in time. The depth of psychological en ergy makes up the qualitative dimension (Astin 1984). This study examined the role of student or ganizations in studen t learning and personal development by measuring the time positional leaders invest in their student organization and describing what relationship may or may not exis t between the specific ch aracteristics of the organization and the time invested by the positional leaders. While all students can find numerous opportunities within co llegiate student organizations in which to invest energy, students serving in a leadership role in the organization are more like ly to be more highly involved than a student who is not serving in a leadership cap acity (Astin 1993). Focusing on the positional leaders of the student organizations al lowed an objective approach to selecting highly involved students within the organization. Background of the Study Undergraduate students join and becom e involved in student or ganizations for a variety of reasons. In a study of Pennsylva nia State University students w ho were members of collegiate student organizations in the Co llege of Agricultural Sciences, 92% of respondents stated they joined the organization because it related to their major or career goals. Over 80% reported they joined for the socialization with their peers. Another 72% reported joining for leadership development opportunities and almost 70% resp onded that a motivation for joining was to affiliate with others who shared similar interests (Hoover and Dunigan 2004). While students might not join solely for the purpose of enhancing their leadership and personal development potential, re search has shown that involvement in student organizations does increase the leadership capac ity of participating students (Cress, Astin, Zimmerman-Oster, and Burkhardt 2001; Floerchinger 1998; Hern andez, Hogan, Hathaway, and Lovell 1999; McKinley, Birkenholz, and Stewart 1993; Sommers 1991).

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17 Students invest themselves through both physical and psychological energy in their college experience and the level of lead ership and personal developmen t a student experiences through involvement is positively correlated to the amount of energy invested (Astin 1977; Astin 1984; Astin 1993). As such, the more involved a student is in a collegiate st udent organization, the more the student will experience l eadership and personal development. All students engaged in the act ivities of a student organiza tion can develop leadership qualities (Cress et al. 2001). While it is not known if the relationship between student organization participation and de velopment of leadership qual ities is causal or symbiotic (Birkenholz and Schumacher 1994), it is known that collegiate stude nt organizations can play a vital role in the leadership and personal development of stude nts (Astin 1993; Cooper, Healy, and Simpson 1994; Floerchinger 1998; Foubert and Grainger 2006; Hood 1984; Hoover and Dunigan 2004; Kuh 1995; Pascarella and Terenzini 2005; Pike 2003; Sommers 1991). Even though leadership and personal devel opment can be gained by all participating students, this study focused on the positional le aders of student organizations since those students serving in leadership roles were more lik ely to have invested significant energy in their experience with the organization (Cooper, H ealy, and Simpson 1994; Foubert and Grainger 2006). It has been reported that a significant relationship exists between hours spent per week participating in student organizations and elec ted student offices (Astin 1993). Focusing on positional leaders also enabled the researcher to objectively identify participants for the study. Statement of Problem The specific elem ents and factors of collegiat e student organizations that contribute to leadership and personal development are unknown. Student organizations serve a key role in undergraduate student development (Hoover and Dunigan 2004) and are looked to by employers to cultivate industry leaders (R adhakrishna and Bruening 1994).

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18 Minimal research has been conducted on how st udent organizations can best serve students in their leadership and personal development. While it has been documented that involvement is significantly related to leadership potentia l (Astin 1984; Birkenholz and Schumacher 1994; Cooper, Healy, and Simpson 1994; Foubert a nd Grainger 2006; Suvedi and Heyboer 2004), exactly how organizations directly affect development and what organizational characteristics most impact students are yet to be discovered. Purpose and Objectives The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics o f collegiate student organizations that are related to higher levels of leadersh ip and personal development as experienced by positional leaders of the student organizations. The following research objectives were used: Objective 1: To describe the specific organiza tional characteristic s of undergraduate student organizations in 1862 landgrant colleges of agriculture. Objective 2: To determine the level of physical involvement of positional leaders of undergraduate student organizati ons in 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture as measured in time. Objective 3: To describe the relationship between organizational charac teristics and level of involvement by positional leaders of unde rgraduate student organizations in 1862 landgrant colleges of agriculture. Significance of Study This study facilitated de scriptive research of a nationwide scope needed in order to further exam ine student involvement in student organizati ons. This research serves programs that focus on developing students in colleges of agriculture by identifying the particular characteristics of student organizations that infl uence student involvement in the organization. Characterizing student organizations that more deeply involve students will enable college administrators, organizational advisors, and organizations themselves to benchmark their current organizational

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19 characteristics against those that are related to higher levels of student involvement. Organizations may choose to set appropriate goals for improvement when compared to the findings of this study in order that they may continue to provide experiences for their membership that are most suited for higher levels of involvement. Kunkel and Skaggs (2001) discuss the need for a shift of perspectiv e in how colleges of agriculture prepare undergraduates for successful careers in todays society. Colleges must prepare society-ready graduates who will have the technical skills needed, but also be prepared in leadership, interperso nal, and problem-solving skills to ad apt to an ever-changing industry and workplace (Graham 2001; Kunkel and Skaggs 2001; Radhakrishna and Bruening 1994). Student organizations can help to fill this need as colleges of agriculture reshape their approach to undergraduate education and prep aration, but a clearer picture of how student organizations involve students is needed. Definition of Terms For the purpose of this study, the following term s are defined: 1862 land-grant college of agriculture: a college of agriculture/ college of agricultural and life sciences within a university established by the Land-grant Act of 1862. Organization advisor: the individual formally servi ng as the student organizations supervisor as registered or rec ognized by the college or university. Organization context: the national organization, academic department, college, and university in which the st udent organization exists. Organization programs: the programs typically hosted and/or conducted by the student organization. Organization structure: the systems and infrastructure of the student organization, including number of officers, presen ce of committees, and meeting norms. Physical energy: the quantity dimension of Astin s theory of student involvement. Measured as the time invested in various activities. For example, number of hours a student spends attending an or ganization meeting (Astin 1984).

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20 Psychological energy: the quality dimension of Astins theory of student involvement. For example, what level of engagement a student has in attending a meeting, such as discussing business or leading the meeting as compared to mindless attendance (Astin 1984). Student involvement: the quantity and quality of th e physical and psychological energy that students invest in the college expe rience (Astin 1984). In this study, student involvement was measured onl y in the physical dimension. Student organization: a formally organized, register ed student organization serving primarily undergraduate college students. The organization does not have a selective admissions process (such as election to a council, bid acceptance in Greek community, selection as an ambassador, or application to an honorary) nor a competitive central focus (such as a judging or competition team). In th is study, student organizations were housed within 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture. The organization has been established for at least two years. Positional leaders: the top four ranking officers of a student organization; typically, the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Limitations and Assumptions of the Study This study seeks to describe the organizat ional characteristics and related student involvem ent levels of collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture. The data were collected on student organizations in all 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture in the United States and are therefore not generalizable to other populations. Limitations of survey research include sampling error, coverage error, measurement error, and nonresponse error (Dillman 2007; Lindner, Murphy, and Briers 2001). Coverage error exists when the list or frame from which the sample is drawn failes to contain all of the subjects in the population of interest (L indner, Murphy, and Briers 2001) In this study, the population was determined using mostly listings of such organizations as found on college websites and cannot be verified as completely current and accurate. In a four cases where website listings could not be located, contacts were made to the college of agriculture o ffice, resulting in an listing that was emailed to the researcher.

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21 Additionally, the researcher de termined which organizations met the qualifications of the study from the complete student organization li sting without a thorough investigation of each individual organization. In many cases, deci sions were made on only the name of the organization. Sampling error is a result of measuring a characte ristic in some, but not all, of the units or people in the population of interest (Lindner, Murphy, and Briers 2001). The complete sample for this study could not be identified due to not all of the sample organizations advisors providing officer contact information for distributi on of surveys. Less than half of the sample organizations provided contact in formation for student officers after email and phone contacts. The researcher attempted to identify student officers by website search es, but any names found cannot be guaranteed current. Measurement error is contained in the instru ment used to collect the data (Lindner, Murphy, and Briers 2001). This type of error is discussed in Chapter 3 and was addressed with the use of a pilot study. Nonresponse error, the extent that people included in the sample fail to provide usable responses and are different than those who do on the character istics of interest in the study (Lindner, Murphy, and Briers 2001), is addressed in Chapter 4. It is assumed that the contact information provided by student orga nization advisors and college or department contacts was accurate at the time of the study. It is also assumed that the participants of the study were honest and accurate in their responses. Finally, the researcher approached this study from a positivist epistemological perspective and the assumptions that accompany such stance including understanding an objective reality that can be measured (Ary, J acobs, Razavieh, and Soresen 2006).

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22 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE The previou s chapter introduced the problem and provided the background for examining student organizations in colleges of agriculture. This chapter review s the current literature in the field of student development as related to leadership and persona l development through involvement in student organizatio ns and the theories related to student involvement that form the framework for this study. The context of st udent organizations will be described and a conceptual framework discussed. Next, a theory of student involvement will be examined for use in this study and finally, a thorough review of the research surrounding the problem will be conducted. Context of Collegiate St udent Organi zations in Colleges of Agriculture The Land-Grant Act of 1862 (also called the Morrill Act) was the materialization of the beliefs of Jonathan Baldwin Turner of Illin ois (Herren and Edwards 2002; Roberts 2003), the belief of making higher education available to the common people. Forming these state universities that speciali zed in the agricultural and mechanical sciences would produce educated citizens among the common people, broadening highe r education from the just the classical studies (Roberts 2003). Further legislation was passed in 1890 and 1994 to provide such resources for African Americans and Native Americans (Charles 1997; Roberts 2003; Sherwood 2004), resulting in a total of 105 land-grant colleges and universities today (Charles 1997). Colleges of agriculture flourished at these land-grant institutions attracting many students, mostly young men. Students in colleges of agriculture later began to form clubs, organiza tions, and fraternities to promote their fields of study and to build up students. The very first agricultural professional society was formed in 1897 at The Ohio Stat e University by two young men and named Alpha

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23 Zeta (2008). The fraternity was rooted in foster ing leadership in the college of agriculture and promoting scholarship. Alpha Ga mma Rho Fraternity was formed in 1904 by chapters at The Ohio State University and the University of Illinois. The FarmHouse Fraternity was formed in 1905 at the University of Missour i. Alpha Tau Alpha was created in 1921 at the University of Illinois, promoting the ideals of agricultural ed ucation, character, and service to rural life. Later, students formed field-sp ecific national student organi zations such Block & Bridle (1919), Collegiate FFA (1931), the student chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association (1970), Agricultural Communicator s of Tomorrow (1970), and the student chapter of the Professional Landcare Network (2005). At the 1862 land-grant institutions alone, more than 1,200 student fraternities, sororities, organizations, and groups existed in 2007 to se rve the purposes of ag riculture undergraduate students. Many of these organizations belong to national organizations that hold annual conferences, such as the National Agri-Marketing Association, Block & Bridle, and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. Student organizations are also advancing their presence be yond their typical university setting. Sixteen national organizations have jo ined to form the Consortium of Collegiate Agricultural Organizations, with the mission of maximizing collaboration of collegiate agricultural organizations and indus try partners to enhance the pe rsonal, organizational, career, and community education of future leaders. Me mbers include Agriculture Future of America; Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow; Alpha Gamma Rho Fr aternity; Alpha Gamma Sigma Fraternity; Alpha Tau Alpha; Al pha Zeta; Block and Bridle; Collegiate 4-H; Collegiate FFA; FarmHouse Fraternity; Minoritie s in Agriculture, Natural Re sources, and Related Sciences; National Agri-Marketing Association; National Agricultural Alumni and Development

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24 Association; National Postseconda ry Agricultural St udent Organization; Professional Landcare Network; and Sigma Alpha Sorority. Students enrolled in an American college of agriculture have dozens of organizations to choose from if they wish to become involved in a collegiate student organization. Combined with the rich history of colle giate student organizations in agriculture, the opportunity for involvement is vast. Conceptual Framework A conceptual m odel (Figure 3-1) was crea ted by the researcher to illustrate the relationships between characteri stics of student organizations, student involvement in such organizations, and the developmental outcomes th at are associated with such involvement. First, a concept map was created from the resear chers experience and research to illustrate all possible variables an d factors present in a collegiate st udent organization. The concept map was then simplified into four categories or areas that describe the characteristics of the organizationstructure, adviso r, programs, and context. As the model shows on the left side, student involvement takes place according to the characteristics of the student or ganization itself. There may be meetings a member could attend, an event or program a member could participate in or be responsible for planning, or perhaps a social function in which to interact with peers. All student involvement through student organizations takes place within the context of the characteristic s specific to that organization.

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25 Figure 2-1. Conceptual framework Student Involvement Astins Theory of Student Involvement Physical energy Psychological energy Developmental Outcomes Associated with Involvement Increased retention Enhanced interpersonal skills Positive influence on skills: Leadership Communication Teamwork Organization Decision making Plannin g Greater satisfaction with college Useful job procurement skills and experience Lasting views on volunteering and community service Floerchinger, 1998 Advisor Involvement of advisor Structure Officers Committees Missions Constitution Meetings Programming Type of activities Funding for activities Planningforactivities Context and Resources Department College University National organization Community Industr y Organizational Behaviors & Program Opportunities

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26 These characteristics could lend themselves to more or less involvement on the part of the student. This study will identify what, if any, characteristi cs are positively correlated with student involvement. The first variable, structure, is defined in chap ter 1 as the systems and infrastructure of the student organization, including number of officers, presence of committees, and meetings norms. Hoover and Dunigans 2004 study of Pennsylvani a State University collegiate student organizations in the College of Agricultural Scien ces reported that 81% of the students reported that their organization held officer meetings, with 45% noting they were held the same day as the regular business meeting and 32% stating they were held several days prior (Hoover and Dunigan 2004). Almost all particip ants in their study reported thei r organization used an agenda and about two-thirds reported using parliament ary procedure for their organization meetings. Furthermore, 60% noted that minutes of the mee tings were posted or distributed. About half reported having a mission statement and a cons titution. About three-fourths used standing committees (Hoover and Dunigan 2004). The second variable of organizational character istics is the advisor. The advisor is the individual formally serving as the student organi zations supervisor, as re gistered or recognized by the college or university. The fit of the advi sor and his or her level of involvement is considered here. Hoover and Dunigan found that al most all student organizations had a faculty advisor and almost three-fourths reported that their advisor was always at club meetings (Hoover and Dunigan 2004). Research in the 4-H organi zation have also explored the level of involvement between the advisor and the club me mber, reporting positive relationships between volunteer advisor support and enjoyment of 4-H ( Homan 2006 ).

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27 The next organizational variable is organization programs, here defined as the programs typically hosted and/or conducted by the student organization. The variable includes the type of activities, as well as how th ey are planned and funded. Most participants in Hoover and Dunigans study reported their organization developed a calendar of events (91%), an officer list (89%), a member contact sheet (80%), and a program of activities ( 85%) (Hoover and Dunigan 2004). The final organizational variable is the exte rnal environment that surrounds the student organization, referred to here at the organization context. This includes how the organization interacts with its external envi ronment on the department, college, and university level and also within its national organization and the community and industry. The next component of the model is the act of involvement, followi ng Astins theory of student involvement in which students invest bo th physical and psychological energy to their academic experience (Astin 1984). This study measur ed, in time, the quantity of physical energy invested by the student. The final piece of the model, as illustra ted on the right hand side, summarizes the developmental outcomes associated with a studen ts involvement in student organizations. These categories are organized according to Floerchi ngers review of the literature on student involvement (Floerchinger 1998), discussed late r in the chapter. Th e six components of Floerchingers review are increas ed retention, enhanced interper sonal skills, positive influence on life skills, greater sati sfaction with college, useful job proc urement skills and experience, and lasting views on volunteering and commun ity service (Floerchinger 1998). The organizational characteris tics are unknown and serve as th e independent variable in this study. Students participate in the experience created by the organizati onal characteristics.

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28 Involvement is understood in this study thr ough the lens of Astins theory of student involvement. The next section of this chapte r will thoroughly review the current research literature on student involvement and the specific outcomes of student involvement in student organizations. Literature Review Astins Theory of Student Involvement The previous sections described the context of student organizations in colleges of agricu lture and then explored a conceptual m odel for considering the factors in this study. Research has shown the link betw een involvement in student orga nizations and an increase in leadership capacity (Astin 1993; Birkenholz and Schumacher 1994; Pi ke 2003; Suvedi and Heyboer 2004). While it is not known if this relationship is causal or corr elated, research shows that the more a student is involved, the more he or she grows in personal development (Hernandez et al. 1999; Kuh 1995; Logue, Hutchens and Hector 2005; Pas carella and Terenzini 2005; Stanford 1992). A review of specific rese arch outcomes regarding student learning and personal development through collegiate student organi zations is discussed la ter in this chapter. Alexander W. Astin provided a foundational theo ry to describe how student involvement occurs. Building upon his then twenty years of research studying college students, Astin developed a student involvement theory in 1984 (Astin 1984), although he also refers to the factors of involvement and influential variables in other works (Astin 1977; Astin 1993; Astin 1996). The theory of student involvement is built upon Astins earlier input-environment-outcome (I-E-O) model (Pascarella and Terenzini 2005). The I-E-O model was less an effort to explain theoretically why or how students change than a conceptual and methodological guide to the study of college effects (P ascarella and Terenzini 2005).

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29 According to this [I-E-O] mode l, college outcomes are viewed as functions of three sets of elements: inputs, the demographic characteristics, family backgrounds, and academic and social experiences that students bring to college; environment the full range of people, programs, policies, cultures, a nd experiences that students en counter in college, whether on or off campus; and outcomes students characteristics, knowle dge, skills, attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors as they exist afte r college (Pascarella and Terenzini 2005). Pascarella and Terenzini (2005) went on to st ate that studies adop ting this conceptual approach attempt to explain the effects of e nvironmental influences on student change and growth, focusing on factors over which colleg e faculty and administrators have some programmatic and policy control. Astins later theory of stude nt involvement, though, focuses on the component that faculty and administrators cannot control the energy a student chooses to in vest in the various environmental opportunities. Astin defined the te rm involvement as used in the theory of student involvement as the amount of physical and psychological ener gy that the student devotes to the academic experience (Astin 1984). Through this theory, students invest themselves in the college experience in two ways: 1) physical energy, often measured in time, and 2) psychological energy (Foubert and Grainger 2006). Pascarella and Terenzini (2005) describe how Astin relates these two notions to other theories and concepts. The concept of investment of physical energy re lates closely to the learning theory concept of time-on-task (Pascarella a nd Terenzini 2005). Examples ar e the amount of time a student invests in studying, the number of visits a student spends with a faculty member, the time commitment a student gives to a service project, or to the weekly hours a student uses to conduct student organization responsibilities. The concept of psychological energy is similar to the Freudian notion of cathexis (Astin 1984; Pascarella and Terenzini 2005). Freud belie ved that people invest psychological energy in

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30 objects outside of themselves. In other words, people can cathect on their friends, families, schoolwork, and jobs (Astin 1984). This dimensi on of the theory adds another layer to the investment of energy. For example, a student co uld spend two hours studying, but if he or she stared blankly at the page for part of that tim e, the student was not investing the psychological energy necessary to fully learn and develop. Students who merely attend a student organization meeting are investing much less psychological ener gy than the president of the organization who is presiding over the meeting, even though they are both investing the same amount of physical energy and time. Astins theory has five basic postulates: 1. Involvement refers to the investment of physical and psychological energy in various objects. The objects may be highly generalized (the student experience) or highly specific (preparing for a chemistry examination). 2. Regardless of the object, involvement occurs along a continuum; that is, different students manifest different degrees of involvement in a given object, and the same student manifests different degrees of involvement in different objects at different times. 3. Involvement has both quantitative and qua litative features. The extent of a students involvement in academic work, for instance, can be measured quantitatively (how many hours the student spends studying) and qualitatively (whether the student reviews and compre hends reading assignments or simply stares at the textbook and daydreams). 4. The amount of student learning and pers onal development associated with any educational program is directly proportional to the quality and quantity of student involvement in that program. 5. The effectiveness of any education policy or practice is directly related to the capacity of that policy or practice to in crease student involvement. (Astin 1984; Foubert and Grainger 2006; Pas carella and Terenzini 2005). The student plays the central ro le in Astins theory, control ling the variables of what, who, and how they involve themselves in their college environment. The student plays the lead role inasmuch as change is likely to occur only the extent that the student cap italizes on opportunities

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31 and becomes involved, actively exploiting the op portunities to change or grow that the environment presents (Pascarella and Terenzini 2005). Most significant to student orga nizations is the fourth and fi fth postulate, which begins to explain the trends that are seen in the literature regarding stud ent organizations. Essentially, the more the student is involved, the more developmen t they experience. Pascarella and Terenzinis 2005 synthesis of research has shown that the more a student is involved, the more learning and develop that occurs. The more effective a stude nt organization can be at increasing members physical and psychological involvement in the organization, the more personal and professional development student members can experience. It is important to note that while the theo ry does deal with development, the theory describes how only involvement occurs. While it does not describe how development occurs, it predicts the increase in development of th e individual based on his or her involvement. However, there are critics of Astins theory, mostly as to whether his propositions actually constitute a theory. Ary et. al. (2006) define a theory as a set of interrelated constructs and propositions that presents an explanation of phenomena and makes predictions about relationships among variables relevant to the phe nomena. Ary and colleagues also go on to list four criteria for theories, incl uding: A theory should be able to explain the observed facts relating to a particular problem (A ry et al. 2006). Astins theory of student involvement fails to explain the how and why of student development as related to the amount of involvement. While describing the factors of involvement well, the theory does not dig deeper into the processes from which student invo lvement results in student deve lopment. Nonetheless, Astins theory of student involvement sets a foundati on from which to examine student development

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32 through involvement in student organizations and provides a solid conceptual framework that links student organizations to other forms of involvement in college. Student Development through Involvement in Student Organi zations Many studies have centered on the perceived bene fits to leadership development that are experienced through student invo lvement (Abrahamowicz 1988; Astin 1977; Astin 1993; Astin 1996; Birkenholz and Schumacher 1994; Cooper, Healy, and Simpson 1994; Cress et al. 2001; Foubert and Grainger 2006; Kuh 1995; McCanno n and Bennett 1996; McKinley, Birkenholz, and Stewart 1993; Pike 2003; Sommers 1991; Suvedi and Heyboer 2004), each focusing on student involvement with a vari ety of variables and populations. Collegiate student organizations provide both leader development and leader ship development (Olivares, Peterson, and Hess 2007), enhancing both the skills of the individua l and the social capital of the entire group belonging to the organi zation and society. Astin (1993) reported a significant relationship between hours spent per week participating in student organizations and inte rpersonal skills, leadership abili ties, public speaking ability, and elected student offices. Floerchi nger (1998) lists six key benefits of student involvement in collegiate activities as a re sult of a review of the literature: 1) increased retention: 2) enhanced interpersonal skills; 3) positive influence on leadership, communication, teamwork, organization, decision making and planning skills ; 4) greater satisfaction with their college experience; 5) useful job procurement skills and experien ce; and 6) lasting views on volunteering and community service. While participation has been shown to be signifi cantly related to perceived development, it is unclear whether this relationship is symb iotic or causal (Birkenholz and Schumacher 1994; Foubert and Grainger 2006). Involvement in student organizations may result in student development, but it is also pl ausible that students who have higher developmental levels are

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33 more likely to be the members and participants in collegiate student organi zations. More research is needed on the intricacies and possible direction of the relationship between student involvement in organizations and student development. In this section, Floerchingers (1998) six key benefits will be used as the framework for reviewing the research literatur es on student development through involvement in collegiate student organizations. Increased retention Astins 1989 study of 11,079 college students rev eals variables with positive effects on retention in college (Astin 1993). Variables ha ving positive associations were all facilitated by student-student and student-facult y interaction. Involvement in st udent organizations can greatly enhance the amount of time spent in student-stu dent interactions, as well as student-faculty interactions if the student or ganization facilitates student-faculty relationships and mentoring. Practically all the involvemen t variables showing positive associ ations with retention suggest high involvement with faculty, with fellow stud ents, or with academic work (Astin 1993). Enhanced interpersonal skills Students grow through the interaction they have with other organization members. Astin stated the strongest single s ource of influence on cognitive a nd affective development is the students peer group (Astin 1996) The second and third highest we re involvement with faculty and academic involvement. Students who are member s of student organizations interact by way of attending meetings together, serving on pl anning committees together, participating in activities and programs together, and socializing together throughout the above means. Students might also have the opportunity to interact with a faculty member more frequently if the student organization is advised by a faculty member, thereby further involvement.

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34 Taking interpersonal skills one step further, student organizations can provide students with a formal, consistent group of students with whom they can inter act. Kuh et. al. (2005) reported: By becoming more involved with people with similar interests inside and outside the classroom, students develop support networks that are instrumental to helping them deal effectively with academic and social challe nges (Kuh, Kinzie, Schuh, and Whitt 2005). More than half of the respondents of a 1996 study repo rted joining for one of two reasons meeting people with similar interests or to list me mbership on a resume (McCannon and Bennett 1996). Other research findings indicate that college students who participate in extracurricular activities have more tolerance of and accepta nce for other people (Hood 1984). In a study that examined students growth along three cognitive and three psychosocial dimensions from their freshman to their senior year, results reported that students dem onstrated growth along five of the six dimensions. When growth patterns were examined in relationship to specific college experiences, only two subscales or dimensions interpersonal relations hips and establishing identifyshowed any trends. Both were related to students participation in campus organizations (Hood 1984). In Abrahamowiczs 1988 study of undergradu ates who were members of student organizations and undergraduate who were nonmem bers of student organizations, the largest differences in the estimate of gains section on the College Student Experiences questionnaire were for items reflecting interpersonal areas (Abrahamowicz 1988), in that more positive gains had been made by members of student organizations as compared to nonmembers. This, in combination with elevating self-c onfidence, results in an increa sed capacity for developing more mature interpersonal relationships (Abrahamowicz 1988; Hood 1984).

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35 Positive influence on life skills Floerchingers (1998) list of key benefits to involvement in student organization from his review of the literature incl udes a positive influence on leadership, communication, organization, decision-making, and planning skills. Leadership. Leadership can be defined in many different ways. In one study, Birkenholz and Schumacher (1994) assessed the leadership skills of College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources graduates from the University of Missouri. The researchers definition of leadership here is closely aligned to the way in which life skills is used in this section. The five factors considered in the st udy were administration, achievement, community, empathy, and problem-solving. College participation in depart mental clubs, fraterniti es/sorities, student government, professional/honorary societies, and in tramurals were significantly related to the perceived leadership development of the stud ents in the study (Birkenholz and Schumacher 1994). Communication. A study of college of agricultu re students found th at communication skills were enhanced through participation in st udent organizations and activities (McKinley, Birkenholz, and Stewart 1993). Desc riptors of the communication fact or consisted of: 1) I am the type of person who is involved with campus and community affairs and 2) Im concerned about maintaining good interpersonal relationships (McKinley, Birkenholz, and Stewart 1993) Organization. In Hoover and Dunigans study of student organization members (2004), 61% of student organization members worked at a job an average of 13.8 hours each week. Additionally, just over ha lf of the respondents in dicated they spend le ss than two hours each week on responsibilities related to their membership in a student organization (Hoover and Dunigan 2004). Multiple responsibilities encourage students to balance and organize priorities, schedules, and tasks.

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36 Decision-making. Gellin (2003) concluded from his me ta-analysis that involvement in clubs and organizations may lead to critical thinking gains because undergraduates must make a conscious effort to seek out groups they are inte rested in, and, therefor e, may bring a high level of commitment to their involvement (Gellin 20 03). Gellin attributes these potential gains to exposure to a variety of viewpoi nts and the unique pe rspective of partic ular organizations. These interactive experiences wi th others and their environments may provide students with the conditions that contribute to gains in critical thinking (Gellin 2003). Planning. Students involved in stude nt organizations are more likely to plan for their future, develop goals, and envision career pa thways. A 1994 study found that students who were members of student organizations showed significant developmental gains, as measured by the Student Development Task and Li festyle Inventory, during their co llege career as compared to their nonmember peers (Cooper, Healy, and Si mpson 1994). Students who were members of student organizations showed more growth than nonmembers as assessed by the Student Developmental Task and Lifest yle Inventory (SDTLI) in the areas of Developing Purpose, Educational Involvement, Career Planning, Lifestyle Planning, Life Management, Cultural Participation, and Academic Autonomy. Furthe rmore, the variable m embership in student organizations showed more significant change than any other variable in the study (Cooper, Healy, and Simpson 1994). In addition, students who held le adership positions in student organizations scored even higher than members but nonleaders on Developing Purpose, including four of the five subtasks Educational Involvement, Career Planning, Lifestyle Planning, and Life Management (Cooper, Healy, and Simpson 1994). These four subtasks measure how well-de fined educational goals are, how well the student has established a good fit of themselves into career goals, how well the

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37 student has created personal dir ection that is aligned with pe rsonal values and goals, and how well the student has structure their life environmen t to meet their daily needs as well as work toward goals. It is important to note that these individuals arri ved at college with somewhat higher SDLTI scores than their counterparts, so it is unknown whether they developed any more than their peers or simply maintained the same leve l of growth as their peers, resulting in a still higher score in these areas. In either case, lead ership positions in student organizations provide avenues to both experience gr owth and maintain skills. In another study, student organization me mbers experienced more growth than nonmembers over a three-year time span in Chicke ring and Reissers vector of establishing and clarifying purpose (Foubert and Grainger 2006). In addition, students who either joined or led an organization tended to have higher levels of development than those who just attended a meeting (Foubert and Grainger 2006). Greater satisfaction with college In recent studies, students who participated in student organizations were found to be more connected to their university and college and are more favorable toward their co llege courses than students who are not members of student organizations (Abrahamowicz, 1998; Suvedi & Heyboer, 2004). In a study of recent graduates of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University, individuals who were involved in collegiate student organizations, clubs, or teams were more favorab le toward the courses they ha d taken in the college (Suvedi and Heyboer 2004). Abrahamowicz reported student organization members to have scored significantly higher than nonmembers in each of fourteen college act ivities categories (Abr ahamowicz 1988). Stated Abrahamowicz, the results of this study indi cated members of student organizations were

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38 involved in activities beyond the traditional domain of such organizations, (Abrahamowicz 1988) meaning that members went beyond the scope of effort that might have been associated with being a member of a student organiza tion. Students who were members of student organizations seemed to have connected with th eir university in a special way (Abrahamowicz 1988). Job procurement skills and experience Student organization involvem ent has been show n to relate to a more favorable attitude toward career preparation. The recent gradua tes in Suvedi and Heyboers study (2004) were asked to respond a scale from strongly disagre e to strongly agree wh ether they felt their participation had a positive impact on their career preparation. The resu lts showed a mean of 4.2 out of 5, indicating that most respondents did indeed feel that their participation had contributed to their career preparation. Two particular qualitative examples from Kuhs 1995 study that used interviews to examine the changes students experience in colle ge provide support for the notion that students enhance their career preparations and clarify vocational goals. The first student worked with the universitys student newspaper: Working with the Stanford Daily made me realiz e that I didnt want to go into newspaper writing. When I decided, Do I want to work for a newspaper and deal with what I am dealing with the Daily every day? No! So th en it was like, Okay, lets find something where you can take a little more time to do some thing that you want to do and think about it and you dont have to rush it o ff in an hour or two. (Kuh 1995) The second student served as president of her sorority: We had some problems with Panhellenic and some rushing rulesSo I wentthrough all sorts of national rules and Wichita State rules and then I had to go to a meeting and I had to present our case and I loved it. And that s how I got involved in [law]through my [extracurricular] activities. (Kuh 1995)

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39 These student statements demonstrate the relation of student orga nization involvement, specifically here in a student ne wspaper organization and a sororit y, has with career preparation. Lasting views on volunteer ing and community service Students involved in student organizations feel more strongly about service in the community. Eklund-Leen and Young (1997) conduc ted a study of ca mpus-wide organizations, professional clubs, honorary societies, and special interest clubs. The research compared student organization members and nonmembers in re gards to both attitudes toward community involvement and the participa tion in community activities. A strong relationship was found between leadership designation a nd attitude toward community i nvolvement, leaders more so than members, and members more so than nonm embers. Students who were intensely involved in a student organization had a more positive at titude toward community involvement (EklundLeen and Young 1997). Positional Leaders of Student Organi zations This study focused on the involvement of pos itional leaders within collegiate student organizations. As discussed throughout the review of student development literature, positional leaders in student organizations have a high potential for growth and development. Students who hold leadership positions in student organizations have been found to score higher than members but nonlead ers on portions of the SDLTI (Cooper, Healy, and Simpson 1994). While these students typically start at a higher de velopmental stage, pos itional leadership roles provide opportunities for students to keep growing. Foubert and Graingers 2006 study of student organization members repor ted that students who either jo ined or led an organization tended to have higher levels of development th an those who just attended a meeting (Foubert and Grainger 2006). Given Astins theory of stud ent involvement, these positional leaders who are experiencing higher levels of development will tend to be more involved in the student

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40 organization than students who are member but not serving in a positional leadership capacity. Furthermore, a 1993 study conducted by Astin repo rted a significant relationship between hours spent per week participating in student organi zations and elected student offices (Astin 1993). Summary While there is a breadth of research surr ounding the developm ental outcomes associated with involvement in student organizations, it is unknown which organizat ional characteristics contribute to more or less stude nt involvement in such organiza tions. This chapter provided the context for the student organiza tions in 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture, described the conceptual model for the study, and reviewed th e current theories and literature on student development through student organizations. The next chapter will describe the research methods used to achieve the ob jectives of this study.

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41 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Introduction The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics o f collegiate student organizations that are related to higher levels of leadersh ip and personal development as experienced by positional leaders of the student organizations. While the literature presents specific developmental outcomes of student involvement, limited research exists pertinent to which organizational characteristics relate to di fferent levels of involve ment. The components of Astins theory of student involvement formed the theoretical foundation from which to examine leadership and personal developmen t through collegiate organizations. This chapter describes the methodology used to answer the research questions presented in the study. The research objectives were as follows: Objective 1: To describe th e specific organizational ch aracteristics of undergraduate student organizations in 1862 landgrant colleges of agriculture. Objective 2: To determine the level of phys ical involvement of positional leaders of undergraduate student organizati ons in 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture as measured in time. Objective 3: To describe the relationship between organizational ch aracteristics and level of involvement by positional leaders of unde rgraduate student organizations in 1862 landgrant colleges of agriculture. The independent variables in the study are th e characteristics of the undergraduate student organizations. The dependent variables are the or ganizational leaders le vels of involvement. This chapter also addresses the research desi gn, population, procedure, instrumentation, data collection, and data analysis th at will be used in this study.

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42 Research Design This study used descriptive survey research with a proportional random sample of the target population. Working through a positivist epistemological stance, the researcher approached the research design w ith a perspective that reality can be objectively measured (Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh, & Soresen, 2006). The survey in strument was developed by the researcher and distributed using Dillmans Tailored Design Me thod (Dillman 2007). An online survey tool was used as it was deemed the most appropriate me thod of survey distribution for the population of college students. Population The population for this study consists of a ll undergraduate student organizations in colleges of agriculture at unive rsities established by the Land-Grant Act of 1862. Institutions in the territories of the United States that have resulted from the Land-Grant Act of 1862 (Northern Marianas College, University of Guam, and the Un iversity of Puerto Rico, University of the Virgin Islands, College of Micr onesia) are not included in this study due to the unique nature of their university systems. A comprehensive listing of all undergraduate student organizations at the fifty 1862 landgrant institutions was compiled by researching each colleges webs ite. In four cases, an online listing could not be found; therefore, the college d eans office at each institution was contacted to obtain a listing of st udent organizations. In this study, a student organiza tion was defined as a formally organized, registered student organization serving primarily undergraduate colle ge students. The organization did not have a selective admissions process (such as election to a council, bid acceptance in Greek community, selection as an ambassador, or application to an honorary) nor a competitive central focus (such as a judging or competition team). In this st udy, student organizations were housed within 1862

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43 land-grant colleges of agriculture. The final criteria was that the organization has been established for at least two years. Therefore, according to the definition used in this study, the follo wing types of student groups often considered and recognized as stud ent organizations by the college of agriculture were excluded in this study for the accompanying reasons: Honoraries (such as Alpha Zeta)This group was excluded due to the highly selective nature of admission to the group. Fraternities, sororities, and cooperatives (such as Alpha Gamma Rho, Farm House, Sigma Alpha, Ceres)This group was excluded due to ambiguous nature of distinguishing an accurate level of involvement since member s often live in the house. Lines between involvement and merely being at th e house are difficult to distinguish. Student councils (such as college or school councils)This group was excluded due to the elective nature of ad mission to the group. Ambassador groups (such as college or department ambassadors)This group was excluded due to the highly selectiv e nature of admission to the group. Judging and/or competition teams (such as m eats, livestock, soils, and dairy judging teams and equestrian, drill, polo, and rodeo teams) This group was excluded due to the central goal and objective being prep aration for competition. The results of this compilation yielded a li st of 979 organizations and can be found in Appendix A. Sampling Procedure A proportional stratified random sample was taken from the population to appropriately represent all four regions of the United States as defined by the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC). These regions consist of Western, Southern, (North) Central, and (North) Eastern. The unive rsities that comprise each region are shown in Figure 3-1, along with the number of student organizations at the inst itution that were included in the population.

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44 Institution and college Student organizations in population Northeastern Region University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT College of Agriculture and Natural Resources 17 University of Delaware, Newark, NJ College of Agriculture & Natural Resources 7 University of Maine, Orono, ME College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, & Agriculture 16 University of Maryland, College Park, MD College of Agriculture & Natural Resources 10 University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA College of Natural Resources and the Environment 9 University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH College of Life Sciences & Agriculture 12 Rutgers State University, New Brunswick, NJ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences 26 Cornell Univers ity, Ithaca, NY College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 37 Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA College of Agricultural Sciences 31 University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI College of the Environment and Life Sciences 10 University of Vermont, Burlington, VT College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 5 North Central Region University of Illinois, Urbana, IL College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences 23 Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN College of Agriculture 32 Iowa State University, Ames, IA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 32 Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS College of Agriculture 23 Michigan State University, Lansing, MI College of Agriculture and Natural Resources 24 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences 21 University of Missouri, Columbia, MO College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources 34 University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources 26 Figure 3-1. Student organizati ons in population by region.

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45 North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources 22 Ohio State University, Columbus, OH College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences 25 South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences 24 University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI College of Agricultural & Life Sciences 18 Southern Region Auburn University, Auburn, AL College of Agriculture 16 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences 19 University of Georgia, Athens, GA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences 24 University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY College of Agriculture 23 Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA College of Agriculture 21 Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 25 North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC College of Agriculture & Life Sciences 29 Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources 31 Clemson University, Clemson, SC College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences 21 University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources 21 Texas A&M University, College Station, TX College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 36 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 21 West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Consumer Sciences 12 Western Region University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK School of Natural Resources & Agricultural Sciences 5 University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ College of Agriculture & Life Sciences 16 University of California, Davis, CA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Did not respond Figure 3-1. Continued

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46 Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO College of Agricultural Sciences 12 University of Hawaii, Manoa, HI College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources 5 University of Id aho, Moscow, ID College of Agricultural & Life Sciences 16 Montana State University, Bozeman, MT College of Agriculture 10 University of Nevada, Reno, NV College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources 8 New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM College of Agriculture and Home Economics 15 Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR College of Agricultural Sciences 30 Utah State University, Logan, UT College of Agriculture 12 Washington State University, Spokane, WA College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences 24 University of Wyoming, Cheyenne, WY College of Agriculture 14 Figure 3-1. Continued Using a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of + or 5, a sample size of 275 organizations was calculated. The sample was determined using a random drawing, pulling 51 organizations from the Northeastern region, 87 organizations from the North Central region, 86 organizations from the Southern region, and 51 organizations from the Western region for the stratified random sample. Once the sample of student organizations was identified, the researcher identified the advisor of each of the 275 organizations in the sample. This was accomplished mostly through researching the student organization online and, in some cases, contacting the department to request the contact information for the organizations current advisor. Each of the 275 advisors were sent an email explaining the study and requesting the name and email address of each of their organization s four most top ranking officers. The top four officers were used to eliminate subjectivity on part of the advisors in selecting specific students

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47 to participate in the study. In ma ny cases, these four officers were the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. In cases where four officers did not ex ist within the organization, the advisor provided contact information for a comm ittee or activity chair. Reminder emails, followup phone calls, and personal contacts were used to solicit the contact inform ation. In all, contact information for 460 students was found to constitu te the sample for this study, resulting in 460 students to be delivered the survey instrument Contacts made to advi sors are included in Appendix B. Instrumentation This study utilized a 49-ques tion questionnaire to exam ine the research objectives. The questionnaire consisted of six sections fo cused on each of the four components of the independent variable (organiza tion structure, advisor, program s, and context), the dependent variable of time invested by the leader in th e organization, and finally a few basic demographic items. Many of the questions in the first four sections of the questionnaire were based upon a questionnaire used by Hoover and Dunigan in a Pennsylvania State University study of collegiate student organizations (Hoover and D unigan 2004). Many questions in the structure area of this studys questionnaire came directly from Hoover and Dunigans 2004 questionnaire. However, since Hoover and Dunigans 2004 st udy surveyed all members of student organizations, several questions we re not pertinent to the focus of this study. Questions asking for the type of involvement perceived by the st udent (member, committee member, leader, etc) did not achieve this studys goals. Other questions such as why participan ts joined the student organization or the length of membership were no t relevant to this st udys objectives and were therefore omitted. A few preliminary questions were asked of participants to determine eligibility to complete the study. First, an informed consent form asked pa rticipants to voluntarily agree to participate.

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48 Individuals who chose not to part icipate were directed to a tha nk-you screen to exit the survey. Next, students were asked if th eir organization served primarily undergraduate students and then if their organization had existed fo r at least two years. In both cases, answers of no directed students to a thank-you screen to exit the survey. The first section asked questions to gather in formation about the organizations structure. Questions 3 through 21 asked participants a bout the organizations membership, meeting structure and frequency, presen ce of absence of meeting agendas and minutes, officer and committee norms, and the presence of absence of a mission statement and constitution. The second section collected information rega rding the organizations advisor. Question 22 asked students how many advisors their organiza tion had and then asked them choose the most involved advisor (if their organization had more than one) to complete questions 23 through 26. Question 23 asked the students to identify the advi sors position as either a faculty, staff, or graduate student inside or outside the depa rtment in which their organization was housed. Questions 24 and 25 asked about the advisors at tendance at organization s meetings and events. Finally, question 26 asked students to select the best description of th eir advisors level of involvement in the organization. The third section (questions 27 through 38) asked students about the details of the programs their organization hoste d and/or planned. Questions 27 through 32 asked students if their organizations planned and/or hosted fundrai sers, social events, educational events, public activities, community service ac tivities, and member recogniti on banquets. Questions 33 through 38 focused on the funding and planning aspects of such activities. The fourth section sought to describe the or ganizations context. Questions 39 through 43 focused on the organizations relationship to an d participation in the local department and

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49 college and also the national organization their local chapte r was a member (if a national organization existed). Finally, the fifth section (que stions 44 through 48) asked students to measure how much time they spend involved in their organization. For example, question 44 asked, How much time did you spend last week participating in and/or planning for your student organization responsibilities and activ ities? Questions 45-48 as ked similar questions, all focused on gaining an accurate measurement of the le vel of time that student officers invest in their respective student organization. The complete ques tionnaire is included in Appendix D. An expert panel consisting of academic f aculty familiar with the study and graduate students similar to the studys population was utilized to establish face and content validity of the questionnaire. A proposal to conduct the study was submitted to and approved by the University of Florida Institutional Review Bo ard (IRB-02 Protocol #2007-U-1016). Prior to the collection of the primary da ta, a pilot study was conducted. The qualifying student organizations within the College of Agricu ltural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida constituted the pilot study population and we re therefore not considered in the primary survey population. Thirty-seven st udents completed the survey. Through analysis of the pilot study data, reliabi lity of the survey instrument was evaluated through establishing Cronbachs alpha effici ent for the response items. Cronbachs alpha measured .827. Data Collection The survey instrum ent was delivered thr ough an online survey tool. Considering the population of college undergraduate students, this was determined to be the most effective method of distribution as a larg e amount of their communication occurs online. All members of the population were required of their respective universities to use em ail addresses regularly.

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50 Additionally, the temporary nature of residences of college st udents can make mailing addresses on record outdated. An email was drafted and sent to student officers that contained the link to the questionnaire, conducted through the online survey program Survey Monkey. Data collection began in late March 2008 and followed Dillman s tailored design method (Dillman 2007). From a practical perspective, this timing ensured that students had been serving for at least two months in their officer position (had they perhaps been elected in January 2008) a nd also eliminated the data being collected in the mi ddle of the spring break season. The first contact, informing participants they would soon be receiving an important email, was made on March 25, 2008, by email. The email containing the survey link and asking for students participation was sent on March 31. On April 7, a follow-up reminder was sent only to those students who had not yet pa rticipated in the online questionnaire. A final contact asking for the students participation and informing them of the upcoming deadline to participate was sent on April 16 only to students who had not yet responded. The survey was closed on April 23. Contacts made to survey particip ants are included in Appendix C. Ary et al. (2006) defined validity as the extent to which an instrument measured what it claimed to measure (p. 243). The four types of validity discussed by Ary et al. are internal validity, construct validity, statis tical conclusion validity and extern al validity (Ary et al. 2006). Internal validity refers to the inferences about whether th e changes in observed in a dependent variable are, in fact, caused by the inde pendent variable in a particular experimental situation rather than by some extraneous factor s (Ary et al. 2006). This study utilized a random sampling procedure to diminish the threat of selection effects on valid ity. Organizations could not volunteer to be part of the study; they were randomly chosen from the total population.

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51 Construct validity is the degree to which inferences are warranted from the studys observed persons, settings, and cause-effect operations to the constructs that these instances represent (Ary et al. 2006). In this study, construct validity is concerned with how well the instrument measured what it was intended to meas ure. To minimize threats to construct validity, a reliable instrument (Hoover and Dunigan 2004) was used as the foundation for a modified instrument for this study. The modified and e xpanded instrument was reviewed by an expert panel. Statistical conclusion validity is concerned with errors in st atistical interpretations (Ary et al. 2006). As described previ ously in this chapte r, a pilot study was c onducted to measure the reliability of the instrument to ensu re validity in statistical conclusions. Finally, external validity is t he validity of the inference about whether the cause-effect relationship holds up with other subjects, setti ngs, and measurements (Ary et al. 2006). Early and late responders were compared in their resu lts to determine if any differences could be identified between responders and nonresponders. Data Analysis The data co llected was analyzed using desc riptive statistical analysis, employing the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive sta tistics, including frequencies, were calculated for the appropria te questionnaire items. In addition, a Spearman rho correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship be tween the independent a nd dependent variables, with the significance level set at 0.05 a priori Correlations were categorized according to Cohens (Ary et al., 2006) a pproach of the following minimu m levels to describe the relationship: r = Less than .10-insubstantial r = .10: small

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52 r = .30: medium or moderate r = .50: large The researcher coded the appropriate respons es in each of the four sections of the questionnaire that described the f our independent variables in orde r to calculate a score for each respondent in each of those four areas. The four scores were used as the measurement of the independent variables for the purpo ses of the correlation analysis The point values assigned to each questionnaire item response are included in Appendix E. Summary This chapter reviewed the m ethodology used in this study used to meet the research objectives established in Chapter 1. The independ ent variables were the specific characteristics of the student organizations, while the dependent variable was the amount of time invested by officers in their respective or ganization. The research design and selection of population was described, as well as the procedure and data collection and analysis. The next chapter will describe the results of these methods.

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53 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics o f collegiate student organizations that are related to higher levels of leadersh ip and personal development as experienced by positional leaders of the student organizations. The components of Astins theory of student involvement formed the theoretical foundation from which to examine leadership and personal development through collegiate organizations. The research objectives were as follows: Objective 1: To describe th e specific organizational ch aracteristics of undergraduate student organizations in 1862 landgrant colleges of agriculture. Objective 2: To determine the level of phys ical involvement of positional leaders of undergraduate student organizati ons in 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture as measured in time. Objective 3: To describe the relationship between organizational ch aracteristics and level of involvement by positional leaders of unde rgraduate student organizations in 1862 landgrant colleges of agriculture. The population for this study consists of a ll undergraduate student organizations in colleges of agriculture at uni versities established by the Land-Grant Act of 1862. Following the data collection procedures outlined in Chapte r 3, 460 students were emailed a request to participate in an online survey. Of those 460 stud ents, 265 responded to the survey request, with 232 usable responses. This accounted for a 50.4% response rate. The response rate was deemed more than sufficient, as compared to response ra tes as low as 9.05% of ot her studies that were considered sufficient (Sha & Toth, 2005). Additionally, a study describing the use of email surveys in research studies reported an aver age response rate of 36.83% (Sheehan, 2001), which this study exceeds. Dillman (2007) lists four possible sources of error in sample survey research sampling error, coverage error, measurement error, a nd nonresponse error. The first three have been

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54 addressed in chapter one. Acco rding to Lindner, Murphy, and Br iers (2001), nonresponse error exists to the extent that people included in the sample fail to provide usable responses and are different than those who do on the characteristics of interest in the st udy. Comparing early to late respondents is an effec tive method in addressing nonresponse error (Ary et al. 2006; Lindner, Murphy, and Briers 2001; Miller and Smith 1983). Linder, Murphy, and Briers (2001) recommend that late respondents be defined operationally and arbitr arily as the later 50% of the respondents. Early respondents were compared to late respondents on the basis of the key variables of interest, includi ng organization structure score, organization programs score, organization advisor score, organization cont ext score, and time involvement score. With respect to the main variables measur ed in this study, there were no significant differences between early and late respondents as demonstrated by an independent samples t-test for each variable (Table 4-1). Table 4-1. Key variables t-test for significant di fferences between early and late respondents. Key variable Early respondents M SD Late respondents M SD t-value Sig. Organization structure score Organization program score Organization advisor score Organization context score Time involvement score 2.47 .598 2.20 .669 2.15 .725 2.43 .656 2.16 1.081 2.44 .591 2.14 .699 2.08 .832 2.38 .650 2.13 .964 .860 .630 .701 .579 .262 .412 .872 .133 .794 .368 Demographics of Respondents The questionnaire included four questions re garding information about the participant. When asked to report gender, 223 of the 232 respondents provided gender inform ation as shown in Table 4-2. Eighty-nine (39.9%) were male and 134 (60.1%) female. Table 4-2. Participants by gender ( n =223) Gender n % Male Female 89 134 39.9 60.1

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55 When asked to provide their rank or classi fication, one participant (0.4%) identified themselves as a freshman, 39 (17.8%) as sophomo res, 73 (33.3%) as juniors, and 106 (48.4%) as seniors (see Table 4-3). Table 4-3. Participants by rank (n=219) Gender n % Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior 1 39 73 106 0.5 17.8 33.3 48.4 Participants also reported their grade point average (G.P.A.) range. Ninety-eight (44.1%) students reported a G.P.A. of 3.5-4.0; 80 (36.0%) students a 3.0-3.4 G.P.A.; 40 (18.0%) a G.P.A. ranging from 2.5-2.9; and four (1.8%) studen ts a G.P.A. of 2.0-2.4 (see Table 4-4). Table 4-4. Participants by grade point average ( n =222) Grade point average n % 3.5-4.0 3.0-3.4 2.5-2.9 2.0-2.4 98 80 40 4 44.1 36.0 18.0 1.8 Finally, participants were asked if they were currently serving as an officer of another student organization other than the one of which they were responding as an officer. Ninety-six (43.0%) reported they were, while 127 (57.0 %) reported they were not (see Table 4-5). Table 4-5. Multiple officer positions ( n=223) Currently serving as an officer of another student organization n % Yes No 96 127 43.0 57.0 Objective 1: To Describe the Specific Organ izational Characteristics of Undergraduate Student Organi zations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture According to the conceptual model described in chapter two, organizational characteristics in this study were measured in four distinct ar eas structure, advisor, programs, and context. The data regarding this research objective were examined according to these four areas. After the

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56 qualifying question items of the que stionnaire that confirmed that the participant was indeed a member of the population, the first four sections of the questionnaire addressed these four areas. Organization Structure Organization structure refers to how the orga nization conducts business and the system s in place to do so. The questionnaire included seventeen questions regarding organization structure. First, participants were asked to report how many students belonged to the organization, as shown in Table 4-6. Of 231 responses, 42.4% (n= 98) reported a membership of 1-25 students and 37.2% (n=86) reported a membership of 2650 students. A smaller number of respondents reported larger memberships. About six percen t (6.1%, n=14) reported 51-75 students in their organization and 5.2% (n=12) reported a member ship of 76-100 students. However, the third highest percentage was the largest membersh ip group of more than 100 students in the organization (9.1%, n=21). When asked about thei r organizations average meeting attendance, a majority (78.8%, n=182) reported 1-25 students. The remaining respondents reported larger average meeting attendances of 26-50 students (10.4%, n=24), 51-75 studen ts (7.8%, n=18), 76100 students (2.6%, n=6), and in one case, more than 100 students (0.4%, n=1). Table 4-6. Organization membership and average meeting attendance Number of students 1-25 26-50 51-75 76-100 More than 100 n total n % n % n % n % n % Organization membership Average meeting attendance 98 182 42.4 78.8 86 24 37.2 10.4 14 18 6.1 7.8 12 6 5.2 2.6 21 1 9.1 0.4 231 231 As Table 4-7 illustrates, the majority of students reported holding organization meetings either twice a month (54.7%, n=127) or once a month (25.9%, n=60). Respondents also reported meeting frequencies of once a week (12.5%, n=29), once a semester/quarter (3.0%, n=7), or in the sometimes, but not regul arly category (3.9%, n=9).

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57 Table 4-7. Frequency of or ganizational meetings ( n=232) Meeting frequency n % Sometimes, but not regularly Once a semester/quarter Once a month Twice a month Once a week 9 7 60 127 29 3.9 3.0 25.9 54.7 12.5 The next organization structure questions aske d participants about th e meetings activities. When asked if the organization used an agenda for general organization meetings, 76.8% (n=179) responded in the affirmative. Of thos e who used an agenda, about one-third 35.6% (n=64) distributed or posted th e agenda prior to the meeting. Most respondents (88.6%, n=202) indicated their meeting includes business items to discuss and six out of ten (61.9%, n=143) reported their meeting typically includes a progr am, such as a speaker or activity. When asked about meeting minutes, about si xty percent (59.1%, n=137) of respondents reported that organizational meeting minutes were distributed/pos ted. Finally, participants were asked if their organization had a mission statement. A majority (81.1%, n=184) reported their organization did have a mission statement. The last question regard ing organization structure asked participants if their organization had a constitution. Most (78.4%, n=181) indicated their organization did have a constitution (see Table 4-8). Table 4-8. Organizational use of structural components Structure question item Yes No n total n % n % Use of agenda for meetings Agenda distributed/posted prior to meeting Meeting includes business items to discuss Meeting typically includes a program Minutes from meeting are distributed/posted Presence of mission statement Presence of constitution 179 64 202 143 137 184 181 76.8 35.6 88.6 61.9 59.1 81.1 78.4 54 116 26 88 95 43 50 23.2 64.4 11.4 38.1 40.9 18.9 21.6 232 180 228 231 232 227 231 Participants were then asked if their organization used parl iamentary procedure, such as Roberts Rules of Order, for meetings. Results are shown in Table 4-9. Given three possible

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58 responses, twelve percent (12.6%, n=29) respon ded completely, with the majority (52.2%, n=120) responding somewhat. About one third (35.2% n=81) indicated not at all regarding their use of parliamentary procedure. Table 4-9. Parliamentary procedur e use by student organizations ( n=230) Level of use n % Completely Somewhat Not at all 29 120 81 12.6 52.2 35.2 Then, participants were asked a series of que stions regarding the us e of officer positions and committees within their organization. Tabl e 4-10 illustrates the organizations officer structures. Almost half (48.9%, n=11 3) indicated the use of six or more officer positions in their organization. About a quarter (24.2%, n=56) report ed five officers, with decreasing percentages for four (19.9%, n=46) and three (5.2%, n=12). A few respondents indicated two (0.4%, n=1), one (0.9%, n=2), or no officers (0.4%, n=1). A majority of respondents (69.9%, n=160) report ed holding officer/executive meetings. Of those that held officer/executiv e meetings, about three-fourths (73.7%, n=115) held them two or more days prior to the meeting, with the rema ining (26.3%, n=41) holding the officer/executive meeting the same day as the organization meeting. Table 4-10. Structure of organization officers Officer structure question items n total n % Number of officers Use of officer/executive meetings Timing of officer/executive meetings None One Two Three Four Five Six or more Yes No Same day as organization mtg. Two or more days prior to mtg. 231 232 156 1 2 1 12 46 56 113 160 72 41 115 0.4 0.9 0.4 5.2 19.9 24.2 48.9 69.0 31.0 26.3 73.7

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59 Respondents were split regarding the use of standing committees, as shown in Table 4-11, with 47.4% (n=109) indicating their organizatio n used standing committees and 52.6% (n=121) reporting their organization did not. Of those that did use st anding committees, most (79.8%, n=91) reported that committees gave a report at organization meetings. Of those indicating committee reports, most (83.0%, n=78) reporte d that committee reports were oral. Two respondents (2.1%) reported that committee gave written reports and fourteen respondents (14.9%) indicated that committee repo rts were both written and oral. Table 4-11. Structure of organization committees Committee structure question items n total n % Use of standing committees Committees provide a report at meetings Type of committee report given Yes No Yes No Written Oral Both written and oral 230 114 94 109 121 91 23 2 78 14 47.4 52.6 79.8 20.2 2.1 83.0 14.9 After coding particip ants responses in the structure component of the questionnaire, overall structure scores were calculated for each participant. Table 4-12 reports the frequencies of each of the three levels of structureloosely structured (0-10 structure points), moderately structured (11-20 struct ure points), and highly st ructured (21-30 structur e points). Half (51.3%, n=119) of participants reported a highly stru ctured organization. Under half (44.4%, n=103) reported a moderately structured organization, with the remaining 4.3% (n=10) reporting a loosely structured organization. Table 4-12. Level of structure in student organizations ( n =232) Combined structure score n % Loosely structured Moderately structured Highly structured 10 103 119 4.3 44.4 51.3

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60 Organization Advisor In the next part of the questi onnaire, participants were asked about the role of the advisor in their organization. First, par ticipants reported the num ber of advisors their organization had. Results are shown in Table 4-13. About half ( 52.4%, n=120) reported having one advisor. About a third (33.6%, n=77) indicated having two advisors. Ten percent (10.9%, n=25) reported having three advisors, with a few (2.6% n=6) reporting four or more advisors and one respondent (0.4%) reporting his or her or ganization had no advisor. Table 4-13. Advisors for student organization (n =229) Number of advisors n % None One Two Three Four or more 1 120 77 25 6 0.4 52.4 33.6 10.9 2.6 For the remaining questions in this secti on of the questionnaire about organizational advisors, participants were asked to choose the most involved advi sor of the organization if their organization had more than one advisor. This individual was referred to as Advisor 1 in the questions that followed. Participants whose organization had just one advisor answered considering their only advisor. Participants were asked to de scribe the position of Advisor 1. Most respondents (78.1%, n=164) reported Advisor 1 to be a faculty memb er in the college of agriculture. Some (13.8%, n=29) indicated that Advisor 1 was a staff member in the college of agriculture. The remaining participants responding to this question described Advisor 1 as a graduate student in the college of agriculture (2.4%, n=5); a faculty, staff, or graduate st udent in another college of the university (5.2%, n=11); or an in dividual from outside the unive rsity (0.5%, n=1). See Table 414.

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61 Table 4-14. Role of lead organization advisor ( n =210) Advisors position n % A faculty member in the college of agriculture. A staff member in the college of agriculture. A graduate student in th e college of agriculture. A faculty, staff, or graduate student in another college of the university. An individual from outside the university. 164 29 5 11 1 78.1 13.8 2.4 5.2 0.5 Then participants were asked to report how frequently Advisor 1 attended meetings. Regarding the organizations general meetings, about half (54.4%, n=124) reported always, 55 (24.1%) reported usually, ni neteen (8.3%) reported somet imes, eighteen (7.9%) reported rarely, and twelve (5.3%) reported never Regarding Advisor 1s attendance at officer/executive meetings, 63 (27.9%) reported always, 39 (17.3%) reported usually, 23 (10.2%) reported sometimes, 17 (7.5%) reported rarely, 33 (14.6%) repor ted never, and 51 (22.6%) indicated their organiza tion did not hold officer/executiv e meetings (see Table 4-15). Table 4-15. Advisor attendance at meetings Attendance frequency Always Usually Sometimes Rarely Never N/A n total n % n % n % n % n % n % General Executive 124 63 54.4 27.9 55 39 24.1 17.3 19 23 8.3 10.2 18 17 7.9 17.5 12 33 5.3 14.6 --51 --22.6 228 226 Finally, participants were asked to choose which of four descri ptions best fit the level of involvement Advisor 1 had in the organiza tion. About half (47.3%, n=107) selected the following description, the second lowest level of involvement: He/she provides insight and steers us in the proper direction, but does not assume a role in planning. He/she usually attends organization events. Fifty respondents (22.1%) sele cted the lowest level of involvement as the best description for Advisor 1: He/she provi des only advice, information, and a signature when we request it. He/she sometimes attends or ganization events. A few (3.1%, n=7) selected the highest level of involvement description: H e/she directs the organization by informing us of activities and planning events. He/she always at tends events because he/she planned it. The

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62 remaining respondents (27.4%, n=62) selected the description for the s econd highest level of involvement: He/she provides support in planning by assuming minimal specific responsibilities. He/she almost always attends organization even ts. Table 4-16 illustrates the level of involvement by the or ganizations lead advisor. Table 4-16. Advisors involvement in student organization ( n=226) Level of involvement of lead advisor n % He/she provides only advice, inform ation, and a signature when we request it. He/she sometimes attends organization events. He/she provides insight and steers us in the proper direction, but does not assume a role in planning. He /she usually attends organization events. He/she provides support in planni ng by assuming minimal specific responsibilities. He/she almost always attends organization events. He/she directs the organization by info rming us of activities and planning events. He/she always attends events because he/she planned it. 50 107 62 7 22.1 47.3 27.4 3.15 Organization Programs In the third section of the questionnaire, questions surrounded the concept of organizational programm ing. Twelve questions sought to describe the type of programs hosted and/or planned by student organizations, as well as how thos e programs were planned and funded. Potential programs were sorted into si x categoriesfundraisers, socials, educational events for members, events for the public, comm unity service, and member recognition. The first six questions in this section asked participants if their organization hosted each of these six types of events, with only yes and no as possible responses, as shown in Table 4-17. Most (83.2%, n=188) respondents reported th eir organization planned and/or hosted fundraisers for their organization. Almost a ll (92.5%, n=210) indica ted their organization planned and/or hosted social events for orga nization members. About three-fourths (73.5%, n=166) reported their organization planned and/or hosted educa tional events for organization members, such as professional development events Just over half repo rted that events or activities for the public (56.2%, n=127) and comm unity service activitie s (56.9%, n=128) were

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63 part of their organizations programming. Just under half (46.2%, n=104) reported that their organization held an annual recogni tion banquet for organization members. Table 4-17. Programs planned and/or hosted by the organization Presence of program Yes No n total n % n % Fundraisers for the organization Social events for organization members Educational events for organization members Events or activities for the public Community services activities Annual recognition banquet for members 188 210 166 127 128 104 83.2 92.5 73.5 56.2 56.9 46.2 38 17 60 99 97 121 16.8 7.5 26.5 43.8 43.1 53.8 226 227 226 226 225 225 The last six questions of the questionnaire section regarding organizational programs sought to describe how organizations plan fo r and fund the programs mentioned above. These results are given in Table 4-18. More than 60% (63.3%, n=143) reported developing a calendar of events with slightly less (57.5% n=130) reporting developing a budget. Next, participants were asked if their organization developed a yearly program of work that included a comprehensive description of programs, events, and activities, along with the budgets and task lists associated with each. Just seve nty (31.1%) respondents indi cated their organization did so. Almost half (44.2.%, n=99) reported their organization developed standing committee descriptions, assignments, and goals. Many re spondents (57.1%, n=129) indicated their organization developed a contact information sheet or member directory for organization members. Table 4-18. Program planning Presence of planning mechanism Yes No n total n % n % Calendar of events Budget Annual program of work Standing committee descriptions Member directory 143 130 70 99 129 63.3 57.5 31.1 44.2 57.1 83 96 155 125 97 36.7 42.5 68.9 55.8 42.9 226 226 225 224 226

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64 Finally, participants were asked how they would best describe how their organization funded activities. Of four possibl e choices, the majority (57.3%, n=129) reported mostly funding activities through fundraisers. Re spondents also indicated mo stly funding ac tivities through funding from the department, college, and uni versity (22.2%, n=50);, member dues (13.8%, n=31), and outside donations (6.7%, n=15). Table 4-19. Organization program funding ( n=225) Primary funding source n % Funding from the department, college, and university Fundraisers Member dues Outside donations 50 129 31 15 22.2 57.3 13.8 6.7 Upon coding the individual responses for or ganizational programs, the following overall program scores were calculated for particip ants: few programs (0-6 program points), some programs (7-13 program points), and many programs (14-19 program points). As shown in Table 4-20, half (50.7%, n=115) of part icipants reported organizations that had some programs. Onethird (33.0%, n=75) reported many programs, with 16.3% (n=37) indicating few programs. Table 4-20. Programs in student organizations (n =227) Combined program score n % Few programs and planning mechanisms Some programs and planning mechanisms Many programs and planning mechanisms 37 115 75 16.3 50.7 33.0 Organization Context The fourth section of the questionnaire had six q uestions aimed at the context of the student organization. These questions sought to describe the external environment of the organization, including the department, coll ege, university, and national organization. First, participants were asked to describe the relationship their organization had with the department in which it is housed. Few (8.6%, n=19) respondents indicated their organization was not housed in a specific department. The remain ing participants respond ing to this question

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65 chose one of three responses to describe thei r organizations relationship with the academic department. No one response held a majority of responses. Twenty-one percent (21.3%, n=47) selected the lowest level of e ngagement with the department: T he department provides a faculty advisor, but other faculty members do not interact with our organization. We get things we need, like copies made, but thats about it. The mode rate engagement level response was selected by 36.7% (n=81): The department provides resources we need and readily supports our activities. About one-third (33.5%, n=74) selected the highest level of embeddedness with the host academic department: The department provides resources and space we need. More faculty than just our advisor are engaged in our activities. Faculty regularly recruit new members from their classes for our organization. Results of this question are illustrated in Table 4-21. Table 4-21. Relationship between orga nization and academic department ( n=221) Level of embeddedness in department n % The department provides a faculty advi sor, but other faculty members do not interact with our organization. We get things we need, like copies made, but thats about it. The department provides resources we need and readily supports our activities. The department provides resources a nd space we need. More faculty than just our advisor are engaged in our activities. Faculty regularly recruit new members from their classes for our organization. N/A My organization is not hous ed in a specific department. 47 81 74 19 21.3 36.7 33.5 8.6 Next, participants were asked five yes/no questions regardin g their engagement in their external environment, as shown in Table 4-22. Eighty-one percent (81.6%, n=182) reported their organization participated in college-wide activ ities as an organization. About a quarter less (57.7%, n=128) reported their organization partic ipated in university-wi de activities as an organization. About a third (37.4%, n=83) indicated their organization part icipated in training opportunities provided by the college of agricu lture, such as professional development opportunities or officer training. About half (51.6 %, n=113) reported receiving funding from the

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66 college of agriculture. Seven out of ten res pondents (68.3%, n=153) reported their organization participated in conferences and/or activitie s hosted by their parent national or regional organization. Table 4-22. Context within external environment Participation in external environment Yes No n total n % n % College-wide activities as an organization University-wide activities as an organization Training opportunities provided by the college Funding from the college of agriculture National or regional organization 182 128 83 113 153 81.6 57.7 37.4 51.6 68.3 41 94 139 106 71 18.4 42.3 62.6 48.4 31.7 223 222 222 219 224 Finally, individual responses were analyzed to determine an overall context score for each participants organization. Levels of embeddedne ss were coded as follows: barely embedded in external environment (0-3 context points), m ildly embedded in external environment (4-7 context points), and deeply em bedded in external environment (8-11 context points). As shown in Table 4-23, half (49.3%, n=108) of particip ants indicated their or ganization was deeply embedded in its external environment. Four out of ten (41.6%, n=91) re ported their organization was mildly embedded in its exte rnal environment. Less than ten percent (9.1% n=20) of participants were determined to have a context score that showed their organization was barely embedded in its external environment. Table 4-23. Context of st udent organizations (n =219) Combined context score n % Barely embedded in external environment Mildly embedded in ex ternal environment Deeply embedded in external environment 20 91 108 9.1 41.6 49.3 Objective 2: To Determine the Level of Phys ical Involvement of Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organiz ations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture as Measured in Time The studys second objective was to measure, in time, the level of physical involvement of positional leaders of undergraduate student organi zation. Following the four sections regarding

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67 the characteristics of their respective student or ganization, the fifth sec tion of the questionnaire asked participants to think about the time they spent on their ac tivities and respons ibilities as a positional leader in their respective student organization. The firs t question asked in this section was how much time students spent the previous week participati ng in and/or planning for their student organization responsibilities and activities. The purpose of this question was to focus the participants thoughts on an accurate pciture of how many hours they spent each week on their organizational involvement. The results of that question are not reported here as they are not relevant to the research objectives. The sections other four questions focused on describing both the average amount of time spent as well as the range of time spent by pos itional leaders each wee k. When asked how much time they spent, on average, during the fall semest er (or fall quarter) pa rticipating in and/or planning for your student organizat ion responsibilities a nd activities, the cate gory with the most responses (42.8%, n=95) was -4 hours. The ca tegory with the next most responses (32.0%, n=71) was less than 2 hours. Only 5.0% (n=11) reported spending more than 12 hours a week on average during the fall semester. When asked about their same involvement duri ng the spring semester (or winter or spring quarters), category rankings remained the same with only slight variations in percentages. Thirtysix percent (36.9%, n=82) indicated spending 24 hours and seven percent (7.2%, n=16) reported spending more than 12 hours each week on average. Table 4-24 shows the results of these two questions. Table 4-24. Time spent by positional leaders in student organizations Hours per week Less than 2 2-4 5-8 9-12 More than 12 n total n % n % n % n % n % Fall semester Spring semester 71 67 32.0 30.2 95 82 42.8 36.9 36 47 16.2 21.2 9 10 4.1 4.5 11 16 5.0 7.2 222 222

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68 Students were also asked what the most time wa s they had spent in one week participating in and/or planning for their st udent organization res ponsibilities and activities. The highest response rate (25.6%, n=57) was in the -10 hours category. About ten percent (10.3%, n=23) reported spending less than 2 hours and nine perc ent (9.0%, n=20) reported spending more than 40 hours for the week of their most time spent. Finally, students were asked if there were ever weeks when they spent no time at all participating in and/or planning for their stude nt organization responsib ilities and activities. A majority (62.4%, n=138) indicated there were. Table 4-25 reports the results of this range of time spent by positional leaders. Table 4-25. Range of time spent by positiona l leaders in student organizations Involvement question item Response n total n % Most time ever spent in one week Experienced a week when spent no time at all Less than 2 hours 2-5 hours 6-10 hours 11-15 hours 16-20 hours 21-25 hours 26-30 hours 31-35 hours 36-40 hours More than 40 hours Yes No 223 221 23 40 57 28 28 14 9 1 3 20 138 83 10.3 17.9 25.6 12.6 12.6 6.3 4.0 0.4 1.3 9.0 62.4 37.6 Objective 3: To Describe the Relationship Betw een Organizational Characteristics and Level of Involvement by Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture The final objective of this study was to describe the relationship between the characteristics of undergraduate student organizati ons in colleges of agriculture and the level of involvement by positional leaders of those orga nizations. Organizational characteristics were described in the results of the first objective. Characteristics were sorted into four areas

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69 organization structure, organiza tion programs, organization adviso r, and organization context. Several questions were asked regarding each area As discussed in chapter 3, the responses to these individual questions were scored by the re searcher to determine a category score for each respondent. Likewise, responses given on the section of the ques tionnaire regarding time were scored to determine an involvement score for each respondent. A shown in Table 4-26, a moderate positive correlation (r=.343, significant at the 0.01 level) was found between organization structure and involvement. A small positive correlation of .275 (also significant at the 0.01 level) was also found to exist between organization programs and involvement. A very insubstantial negative correlation (r=-.058) was found between organization advisor and involvement. Finally, a positive but insubstantial correlation (r=.110) was found between organization context and involvement. Table 4-26. Relationship between involvem ent and organization characteristics Organization characteristic category sc ore Correlation between characteristic and involvement score Structure Programs Advisor Context .343** .275** -.058 .110 **. Correlation is signifi cant at the 0.01 level. The researcher examined data from specific questions in the structure and programs areas of the questionnaire for significant correlations between particular ch aracteristics and the involvement score. As shown in Table 4-27, characteristics rega rding organization structure with positive correlations significant at the 0.01 level included organization membership, average meeting attendance, meeting frequency, use of parliame ntary procedure for mee tings, distribution of meeting minutes, number of organization officer s, use of standing committees, presence of mission statement, and presence of a constitu tion. Characteristics regarding organization

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70 structure with positive correlations significant at the 0.05 level included the use of an agenda for organization meetings and the pres ence of officer/executive meetings. Table 4-27. Relationship between specific structure charact eristics and involvement Structure characteristics Correlation with involvement score Organization membership Average meeting attendance Meeting frequency Use of agenda for organization meetings Use of parliamentary procedure for organization meetings Distribution of meeting minutes Number of organization officers Presence of officer/executive meetings Use of standing committees Presence of mission statement Presence of constitution .269** .192** .240** .172* .262** .185** .312** .161* .309** .242** .175** **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed). Characteristics regarding organization programs with positive correla tions significant at the 0.01 level included planning/hosting fundraise rs, planning/hosting events for the public, a developed calendar of events, a developed budget, a developed program of work, standing committee descriptions, and having a member cont act information direct ory (see Table 4-28). Characteristics regarding organization programs with positive correlations significant at the 0.05 level included planning/hosti ng community service activities and planning/hosting an annual recognition banquet for members. Only one signif icant negative correlation was found between any organization structure or organization program itemsplanning or hosting educational events for members (-.139 at the 0.05 level). Table 4-28. Relationship between specific program characteristics and involvement Program characteristics Correlation with involvement score Fundraisers Educational events for members Events for public Community service activities .250** -.139* .183** .171*

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71 Annual recognition banquet Calendar of events Budget Program of work Standing committee descriptions, assignments, goals Member directory .169* .274** .241** .279** .180** .200** **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed). Summary This chapter reviewed the results of th e three research objectives of this study. Organizatio n characteristics were describe d, level of involvement by positional leaders measured, and the relationship between the two was shown. The next chapter discusses these findings and gives recommendations for future research and practice.

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72 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS Summary The purpose of this study was to describe the cha racteristics of collegiate student organizations that are related to higher levels of leadersh ip and personal development as experienced by positional leaders of the student organizations. The components of Astins theory of student involvement formed the theoretical foundation from which to examine leadership and personal development through involvement in collegiate organizations. The research objectives were as follows: Objective 1: To describe th e specific organizational ch aracteristics of undergraduate student organizations in 1862 landgrant colleges of agriculture. Objective 2: To determine the level of phys ical involvement of positional leaders of undergraduate student organizati ons in 1862 land-grant colleges of agriculture as measured in time. Objective 3: To describe the relationship between organizational ch aracteristics and level of involvement by positional leaders of unde rgraduate student organizations in 1862 landgrant colleges of agriculture. Procedures The population for this study consisted of a ll undergraduate student organizations in colleges of agriculture at uni versities established by the Land-Grant Act of 1862. A stratified random sample of 275 organizations was take n from the population, which consisted of 979 student organizations. After student contact informati on was requested from the 275 organizations in the sample, contact informati on for 460 students was obtained. An email request was sent to the sample to participate in an online survey. Of those 460 students, 265 responded to the survey request, with 232 usable responses This accounted for a 50.4% response rate.

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73 Key Findings Objective 1: To Describe the Specific Organ izational Characteristics of Undergraduate Student Organi zations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture Objective 1 sought to describe the characteristics of the student organizations. As reported in Chapter 4, data were analyzed and results re ported according to the four organization areas of the conceptual model (and accompanying sections of the questionnaire)structure, advisor, programs, and context. Organization structure Most participants reported organizational m emberships of less than 50 students, with 42.4% of participants noting memberships of 1-25 students and 37.2% reporting a membership of 26-50. About a tenth (9.1%) repor ted that their organization had a membership of more than 100 students. A majority (78.8%) responded that average attenda nce at regular organization meetings was 1-25 students, with another 10.4% reporting average attendances of 26-50 students. About half (54.7%) indicated their organization held regular meetings twice a month. A quarter (25.9%) reported monthl y meetings, with 12.5% indicating weekly meetings and the rest of respondents reporting infrequent meetings. About three-fourths (76.8%) re ported using an agenda, but only about a third (35.6%) distributing the agenda prior to the meeti ng. Most participants (88.6%) indicated their organizations meetings included business items to discuss and six out of ten (61.9%) reported their meeting typically included a program. The majority of respondents suggested they us e parliamentary procedure at meetings, with 12.6% responding completely and 52.2% resp onding somewhat. The remaining 35.2%

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74 selected the response not at a ll. Over half (59.1%) reported minutes from the meeting being distributed. Almost half (48.9%) of the participants i ndicated their organization had six or more officers. Five officers were reported from 24.2% of participants and 19.9% reported four officers. Most participants (69.0% ) indicated the use of officer/e xecutive meetings with nearly three-quarters (73.7%) of those being held two more days prior to the meeting. About onequarter (26.3%) of those holding officer meeti ngs reported holding them the same day as the regular organization meeting. Just under half (47.4%) of par ticipants responded that their organization used standing committees, and of those that did, eight of ten (79.8%) indicated that committees provided a report at meetings. Most (83.0%) of these committee reports were oral reports. Most participants reported their organization had a mission st atement (81.1%) and a constitution (78.4%). When all structure responses were coded, a bout half (51.3%) were considered highly structured and almost half (44.4%) were considered moderately structured. Organization advisor About half of participants (52.4%) indicated their organiza tion had one advisor. Another one-third (33.6%) reported two advisors, with 10.9% reporting three advisors and 2.6% reporting four or m ore advisors. Only one participan t (0.4%) responded that th eir organization had no advisor. More than three-fourths (78.1%) of participan ts indicated that thei r lead advisor was a faculty member in the college of agriculture. Other responses included a staff member in the college of agriculture (13.8%), a graduate student in the college of agriculture (2.4%), faculty, staff, or graduate student in another college of the university (5.2%), and an individual from outside the university (0.5%).

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75 About half (54.4%) reported that the most involved advisor of the organization always attended the organizations general meetings. A bout a quarter (24.1%) indi cated that the most involved advisor usually attended the general meetings of the organization. Only 27.9% reported that the most involved advisor always attended officer/executive meetings, with 17.3% reporting that their more involved adviso r usually attended. Fourteen pe rcent (14.6%) reported that the lead advisor never attended officer/executive meetings. When asked to select between four levels of involvement which response best described how their most involved advisor was engaged wi th the organization, almost half (47.3%) chose the second lowest involvement level. About a qu arter each selected the lowest level (22.1%) and the second highest (27.4%), with only a few (3.1 %) indicating the highest involvement level of the advisor. Organization programs Participants were asked to indicate w hic h programs their organization planned and/or hosted. Most participants (83.2%) reported their organization planned and/or hosted fundrasiers for their organization, 92.5% held social events 73.5% held educational events for members, 56.2% held events or activities for the public, 56.9% planned co mmunity service activities, and 46.2% hosted an annual recognition banquet for members. Almost two-thirds (63.3%) de veloped a calendar of events more than half (57.5%) developed a budget, almost one-third (31.1%) de veloped a program of work, less than half (44.2%) developed standing committee descriptions, and over half (57.1%) developed a member contact information sheet. Most participants (57.3%) indicated their organization primarily funded programs through fundraisers. Less than a quarter (22.2%) used fu nding their department, college, and university as the primary means to fund programs.

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76 When an overall program score was calculate d, half of participan ts (50.7%) reported organizations with some programs and one-thi rd (33.0%) reported organizations with many programs. Organization context In the final section seeking to describe organizational charac ter istics, participants were asked about their organizations e ngagement in its external envir onment, such as the department, college, university, and industry. When asked to sele ct from three response s the best description of how their organization fit into the academic department in which it was housed, participants were relatively split among levels of support and resources. One-thir d (33.5%) selected the description with the highest level of suppor t and resources. Just over one-third (36.7%) responded with the description of the second high est level of support and resources and less than a quarter (21.3%) indicated the leve l of least support and resources. Most participants (81.6%) res ponded that their organization pa rticipated in college-wide activities as an organizat ion, with just over half (57.7%) reporting their or ganization participated in university-wide activiti es as an organization. Just over a third (37.4%) of re spondents reported their organization participated in training opportunities provided by the college of agricult ure, with about half (51.4%) reporting their organization received funding from the college of agriculture. About two-thirds (68.3%) of participants in dicated their organization participated in conferences and/or activities hosted by the region al or national organizatio n with which they are affiliated. Upon analysis of participants context responses, half (49.3%) we re considered to have an organization deeply embedded in its external environment with another 41.6% reporting organizations that were mildly embe dded in their external environment.

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77 Objective 2: To Determine the Level of Phys ical Involvement of Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organiz ations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture as Measured in Time Students indicated through a short series of que stions how much time they spent each week participating in and/or planning for their stude nt organization responsib ilities and activities. Participants were asked to identify how much tim e, on average, they invested each week during fall semester and then each week during spring semester. No one category captured the majority of participants responses. In describing the am ount of time during fall semester, about one-third (32.0%) reported spending less than 2 hours each week, 42.8% reported spending 2-4 hours, 16.2% reported spending 5-8 hours, 4.1% reported spending 9-12 hours, and 5.0% reported spending more than 12 hours. In regards to the time invested each w eek during the spring semester, 30.2% reported spending less than 2 hours each week, 36.9% spent 2-4 hours each week, 21.2% spent 5-8 hours, 4.5% spent 9-12 hours, and 7.2% spent more than 12 hours. Participants were also fairly distributed when describing the most time they had spent in one week participating in and/or planning for their student organizati on responsibilities and activities. One-tenth (10.3%) reported spending less than 2 hours, 17.9% reported 2-5 hours, 25.6% reported 6-10 hours, 12.6% reported 11-15 hour s, 12.6% also reported 16-20 hours, 6.3% reported 21-25 hours, 4.0% reported 26-30 hours, 0.4% reported 31-35 hours, 1.3% reported 3640 hours, and 9.0% reported spending more th an 40 hours. Almost two-thirds (62.4%) of participants indicated there were also weeks wh en they spent no time at all participating in and/or planning for their student organi zation responsibilitie s and/or activities.

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78 Objective 3: To Describe the Relationship betw een Organizational Characteristics and Level of Involvement by Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture Statistically significant correla tions were found between par ticipants involvement (time invested) score and their organiza tions structure score (r = .343) and participants involvement score and programs score (r = .275). An insubsta ntial negative correla tion (r = -.058) was found between participants invol vement score and their organization s advisor score. An insubstantial positive correlation (r = .110) was found between th e participants involvement score and their organizations context score. Further analysis indicated several statistica lly significant positive correlations between participants involvement score and specific organizational charac teristics in the structure and program areas. In the structure area, moderate correlations significant at the 0.01 level included the number of organization officers (r = .312) an d use of standing committees (r = .309). Slight positive correlations si gnificant at the 0.01 level incl ude organization membership (r = .269), average meeting attendance (r = .192), mee ting frequency (r = .240), level of use of parliamentary procedure (r = .262), distribution of meeting minutes (r = .185), presence of mission statement (r = .242), and presence of constitution (r = .175). Finally, statistically significant slight pos itive correlations significant at the 0.05 level occurred betw een both the use of agenda for organization meetings (r = .172) and the use of officer/executive meetings (r = .161) and the participants involvement score. Additionally, slight positive correlations significant at th e 0.01 level were found between the participants involvement score and the pr ogram area variables including the presence of fundraisers (r = .250), events fo r the public (r = .183), a calendar of events (r = .274), a budget (r = .241), a program of work (r = .279), sta nding committee descriptions (r = .180), and a membership directory (r = .200). A slight positiv e correlation significant at the 0.05 level was

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79 found between the participants involvement score and the pres ence of community service activities (r = .171) as well as holding an annua l recognition banquet (r = .169). A slight negative correlation (r = -.139) significant at the 0.05 level was found between the participants involvement score and hosting educati onal events for organization members. Conclusions The following conclusions were drawn ba sed upon the findings of this study: Most collegiate student organiza tion s in colleges of agricult ure have 50 or less students in their membership, with 25 or less students in attendance at organi zation meetings. Most organizations meet once or twice a month. Most collegiate student organiza tions in colleges of agricultur e use an agenda for meetings, but do not distribute it prior to the meetings. Almost all ha ve business items to discuss during meetings and many include a program. Almost all collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture have four or more officers and many organizations hold officer meetings two or more days prior to the organizations regular meeting. About half of collegiate student orga nizations in colleges of agriculture use standing committees. Of t hose that do, most have committees give an oral report at the general organization meeting. Collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture are highly or moderately strucutured. Collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture typically have one or two advisors who is/are usually faculty members in the college of agriculture. The lead advisor usually or always attends organizational m eetings and usually attends executive/officer meetings. Collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture perceive varying levels of advisor engagement, ranging from very minimal involvement to a moderately high level of engagement with the planning of programs. Collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture plan and/ or host a variety of programs and activities, with more programmi ng focused internally on members than on the public and community. Only about half of organizations devel op planning mechanisms such as budgets, goals, and committee descriptions. Collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture plan some or many programs and activities each year.

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80 Collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture experience varying levels of support and resources from the department in which they are housed. The majority of collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture participat e in college-wide and university-wide activities as an organization. Collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture are deeply or mildly embedded in their external environments. Positional leaders of collegiate student organiza tions in colleges of agriculture spend eight or less hours each week participating in a nd/or planning for their student organization responsibilities and activities. Positional leaders who serve in a more highly structured orga nization tend to spend more hours per week involved in the student organization. Positional leaders whose organization plans an d/or hosts more programs and/or has in place more planning mechanisms tend to sp end more hours per week involved in the student organization. The engagement level of the organization adviso r is not related to th e level of involvement of positional leaders in the organization. The level of engagement of the organization in its external environm ent is not related to the level of involvement of positi onal leaders in the organization. Discussion and Implications Objective 1: To Describe the Specific Organ izational Characteristics of Undergraduate Student Organi zations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture Organization structure Most student organizations have a mem bersh ip of 50 or less students with an average meeting attendance of 25 or less students at meetings that occur once or twice a month. This suggests the opportunity for smaller, more c onnected groups of students. In Hoover and Dunigans 2004 study, over 80% of participants responded they join ed their student organization for the socialization with their peers and almost 70% responded that a motivation for joining was to affiliate with others who shared similar interests (Hoover and Dunigan 2004). The findings of this study suggest that students are finding such a ffiliation in smaller rather than larger student organizations. Astin stated the strongest single source of influence on cognitive and affective

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81 development is the students peer group (Astin 1996). The peer group found in student organizations has the potential to be a very strong influence on a participating student. Most student organizations in this study reported using an agenda (76.8%), which is less than found in Hoover and Dunigans study of Pennsylvania State Universitys student organizations in the college of agriculture, wh ere almost all (93.5%) stud ent organizations used an agenda. This could be due to differing meetings norms found on the single campus included in Hoover and Dunigans study in comparison to national trends. Most organizations have an officer team of four or more students. Many also execute a structured officer meeting two or more days pr ior to the organizations general meeting. This suggests a more formal infrastructure that is likely related to the programs planned by the organization. About half of organizations compleme nt this infrastructure with the use of standing committees, which was consistent with the findi ngs of the Pennsylvania State University study (Hoover and Dunigan 2004). Very few organizations are loosely structured, so those organi zations that desire to pursue a more highly structured organiza tion may need to consider creat ive and diverse approaches to structure their organization. For example, a mode rately structured organization may need to reexamine the role that committees had played in order to provide more structure in future direction. Organization advisor Although almost all student organizations have a faculty advisor, th e advisors level of involvem ent varies from very minimal to moderate ly high. It is difficult to predict what kind of impact this could have on the student organiza tion itself. While this study examined what the advisors involvement was and how that related to a students involvem ent in the organization, this study did not examine how the varying leve ls of advisor engagement can impact the

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82 effectiveness of the organization. This study f ound that advisors always or usually attend organization meetings, which is consistent with the results in Hoover and Dunigans 2004 study. Some developmental outcomes, such as increased retention, are associat ed with student-faculty interaction (Astin 1993). The engagement level of the advisor could affect these developmental outcomes, although as reported in the results of research objective thr ee, in this study the engagement level of the advisor was not associated with the involvement level of the student. Organization programs Collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture p lan and/ or host a variety of programs and activities. However, a higher number of these activities are focused internally on members with fundraisers for organization activities, socials for members, and educational programs for members. A smaller number of or ganizations held programs and activities for groups outside the organization, such as events for the public or communi ty service activities. Even so, it is interesting to note that the event he ld least often as reported by participants was an annual recognition banquet for members. This fi nding might suggest that student organizations are focused on developing and building up their or ganizations members as a primary goal, but are not as concerned with rewa rding and recognizing members. Given the number of programs that organizatio ns plan and host, not as many organizations develop a calendar of events, member directories, or even programs of work. While half of organizations do employ standing committees, there is still a significant portion of organizations that do not use standing committees and do not us e other typical planning mechanisms. This study found far fewer organizations utilizing planning mechanisms than Hoover and Dunigan found in their study at Pennsylvania State Univer sity. For example, 85% of participants in Hoover and Dunigans 2004 study reported their organization de veloped a program of work, while only 31% of participants in this study responded that their organization developed a

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83 program of work. Differing definiti ons of program of work might account for this difference or perhaps, again, differing norms f ound between a single campus and national trends. The question posed in the questionnaire asked, Does your organi zation develop a yearly program of work that includes a comprehensive description of programs, events, and activities, along with the budgets and task lists associated with each? If the participants in Hoover and Dunigans 2004 study defined program of work as a less comprehens ive document than what was used in this study (and used in the question item in this study to ensure a consistent perspective among participants), perhaps more students in the Penn State sample would have considered a document existing in their organization to be a program of work, whereas it might not have been identified as one according to a more stringent definition used here. With just one third of student organizations planning many programs each year, the opportunity for growth is present. While half of organizations do plan some programs and activities, organizations can revi sit the focus of their program offering in order to ensure a diverse plan of programming that meets the needs of all me mbers of their organizations. Organization context Collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture experience varying levels of support and resources from the department in which they are housed. The departmental context ranges from the bare minimum resources required by the university to a fully engaged faculty and ample support and resources. While this st udy did not examine how the level of support from the department affects the organization dire ctly, it would be inte resting to identify how varying levels of support impact the success of the student organization. Only a few participants repor ted an overall low level of engagement between their organization and its external environment. Wh ile there was no relationship found between the

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84 level of embeddedness and student involvement, th ere could be specific pieces of interaction with the external environment that do relate to student involvement. Objective 2: To Determine the Level of Phys ical Involvement of Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organiz ations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture as Measured in Time Positional leaders spend eight or less hours each week participating in and/or planning for their student organization responsib ilities and activities, with three-fourths indicating they spent four or less hours. Hoover and Dunigans 2004 study re ported that just over half of participants indicated spending less than two hours each week on responsibilities related to their membership in a student organization. This difference is lik ely due to the fact the population in Hoover and Dunigans study was all members, including leader s and nonleaders, of the student organizations in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Pennsylvania State University and this study examined the time spent by positional lead ers of student organizations. Objective 3: To Describe the Relationship betw een Organizational Characteristics and Level of Involvement by Positional Leaders of Undergraduate Student Organizations in 1862 Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture Organizational structure Positional leaders whose organization has a m ore highly structured student organization tend to spend more hours per week involved in th e student organization. In some ways, a more highly structured organization demands more time invested on the part of the leaders of the organization. Using an agenda requires time to develop it, holding officer meetings requires time to attend and participate, and more frequent m eetings require more time to plan and attend meetings. However, other structural characteristics do not have a direct impact on time invested, such as the size of the organization, average meeting attendance, level of use of parliamentary procedure, or the presence of a mission statement or constitution.

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85 One might infer that more highly structured organizations are more formal in nature. Are the specific characteristics demanding of time or does the culture created by the more formal, structured organization create a norm of time investme nt in the organization? In other words, is it the culmination of many individual, specific char acteristics that are each related to more hours spent by students or is the combination of many ch aracteristicsis the whole more impacting than the sum of the parts? Organization advisor There is no relationship between the engagem ent level of the advisor and the involvement level of the positional leaders of the student organization. In f act, the insubstantial correlation that was found was negative. The results of this study indicate that the ad visors involvement has no relationship to the involvement of the organizations leaders. These findings are rather interesting when compared to th e findings of Astins study of rete ntion in college. Practically all the involvement variables showing positive associations with re tention suggest high involvement with faculty, with fellow students, or with academic work (Astin 1993). Of course, involvement with faculty is just one piece of Astins findings, but they do suggest that increased interaction with faculty has a positive effect. The findings of this study show no relationship between the advisors (who is almost always a faculty member in the college of agriculture according to this studys results) level of inter action with the student organization and the time invested by student leaders. While it is not suggested here that time invested in student organizations is synonymous with increased retention in college, Asti ns findings did show a relationship (Astin 1993), which is not necessarily supported by the findings of this study. Furthermore, this study did not examine the impact that the role of the advisor may have on the effectiveness of the orga nization itself. While it was determined there is no relationship

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86 between the advisors involvement and individu al students involveme nt, perhaps there are relationships between the advisors involvement a nd the success of the organization as a whole. Organization programs Positional leaders whose organization plans an d/or hosts m ore programs and has in place more planning mechanisms tend to spend more hours per week involved in the student organization. Similar to the discussion related to the organizations struct ure, the act of planning more programs does require students to spend mo re time, although this does not automatically mean that it is the positional leaders of th e organization spending time planning additional programs. Nonetheless, an organization that plans and hosts more programs for both its membership and the outside community is rela ted to positional leaders spending more time on student organization responsibilities. Specifically, the development of a budget, pr ogram of work, membership directory, and standing committee descriptions offer more subs tantial planning mechanisms, but also demand more time invested in order to develop these mechanisms. Typically, these planning mechanisms are initially developed by positional leaders even if implemented by committee chairpersons or members. A puzzling result here was the slight ne gative correlation fo und between hosting educational events for organization members a nd leaders involvement in the organization. About three-fourths of participan ts reported that their organization hosted educational events for organization members. Perhaps these educational events are primarily planned and/or developed by individuals outside the organi zation or, since this study survey ed positional leaders, members within the organization who are not positional lead ers. This could account for positional leaders spending less time as related to educational events for members.

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87 These findings are closely related to the findings of a 1994 study. C ooper et. al. reported that students who were members of student organizations showed more growth than nonmembers as assessed by the Student Developmen tal Task and Lifestyle Inventory (SDTLI) in the areas that included Developing Purpose, Career Planning, Lifest yle Planning, and Life Management (Cooper, Healy, and Simpson 1994). Findings of this study suggest that time invested in programs and program planning is also reflected as developmental gains in educational and career planning. Organization context The level of engagem ent of the organization in its external environm ent is not related to the level of involvement of positional leaders in the student organization. While one might expect an organization who is more engage d with its external environment (attending conferences, participating in university-wide acti vities) to have positi onal leaders who invest more time, this study did not find a signifi cant relationship between the participants organization context scores and involvement scores. This is somewhat surprising, given that studen ts who participate in student organizations are more connected to their university and college (Abrahamowicz 1988) and have a more positive attitude toward community involve ment (Eklund-Leen and Young 1997). Perhaps relationships might exist for specific components of engagement in the external environment, but on the whole, a significant relati onship did not exist. For exampl e, student organizations could participate in university-wide or college-wide activities, but not pa rticipate in activities hosted by the national organization or in training hosted by the college. There may be specific components of the external environment that organizations are participatin g in that would lend to more positive attitudes toward community involvement.

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88 Recommendations The following recomm endations result from the findings of this study: Recommendations for Practice Collegiate student organizations in colleges of agriculture should pursue a m ore highly structured organization to maximize involve ment of positional leaders. One area of potential growth is the use of standing comm ittees (currently only us ed by about half of organizations) to involve not only positiona l leaders, but also additional members. Collegiate student organizations should enhan ce programming to maximize involvement of positional leaders by planning an adequate va riety of programs and also developing the necessary planning mechanisms (calendar of events, budget, program of work, etc.) that allow for effective planning of organization programs. One area of potential growth is the additional of more programming targeted at a udiences external to the student organization. While the majority of student organizations do not report participati ng in training offered by the college, colleges of agriculture shoul d consider providing resources that encourage student organizations to incr ease the level of structure and program capacity of their organization. Resources could in clude short activities facilita ted at organization meetings, templates available for budget or program of work development, and online links to additional resources for program planning. Recommendations for Future Research Since this study focused only on positional leaders, future research should include all m embers of student organizati ons in colleges of agricultu re. Furthermore, additional research should include all colleges of agricu lture, not just the 1862 land-grant institutions included in this study. This suggested research will obtain a clearer vi ewpoint of the total organization picture, since perspectives by o fficers may not represent the perspectives of all members of student organizations. Future research should examine the similari ties and/or differences between student involvement in organizations found in colleges of agriculture and st udent involvement in other colleges within the university. Future research should examine what differen ces may or may not ex ist between male and female students and also between students of different ranks/class ifications (freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors) regarding student involvement in organizations. Suggested research also includes an examina tion of the role the advisor has within the organization as a whole and if this role contributes to the effectiveness of the student organization. Since this study found that studen t organizations host a variety of programs, but that levels of planning mechanisms were less than the level of programming, future research should

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89 focus on how collegiate student organization plan programs and activities and how such processes involve members and leaders of the organization. More research is needed on the intricacies and possible direction of the relationship between student involvement in organizati ons and student leadership and personal development. While associations and rela tionships have been found, it is not known whether these relationships are causal or merely correlational.

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90 APPENDIX A STUDY POPULATION Table A-1. Study population Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Auburn University Agronomy Club American Fisheries Society American Society of Agricultural Engineers Auburn Young Farmers Block & Bridle Club Collegiate 4-H Club Collegiate FFA F.S. Arant Entomology Club Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Horseman's Club Horticulture Forum MANNRS NAMA Poultry Science Club Pre-Veterinary Medical Association Soil and Water Conversation Society University of Alaska American Fisheries Society Collegiate FFA Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Student Chapter Resource Management Society Wildlife Society University of Arizona ACT Agriculture Business Club American Society of Ag. Engineers Collegiate Cattle Grower's Association Future Retail Leaders Association Horticulture Club Jacobs-Cline Society MANNRS Nutritional Sciences Club Pre-Veterinary Club Race Track Industry Clu b Rodeo Club Soil, Water, and Environmental Science Club

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91 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Students in Free Enterprise Tierra Seca Wildlife Society University of Arkansas Agricultural Business Club ACT American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences American Society of Interior Design Block & Bridle Club Collegiate FFA & 4-H Collegiate Farm Bureau Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences Club Entomology Club Fashion Merchandising Club Food Science Club Friends of the Infant Development Center Horticulture Club Turf Club Hospitality and Restaurant Management Club MANNRS Poultry Science Club Pre-Vet Club Students Dietetics Association University of CaliforniaDavis Davis Viticulture & Ecology Organization Collegiate 4-H MANNRS American Society of Interior Design Block and Bridle Draft Horse and Driving Club Environmental Horticulture Club Environmental Science and Policy Club Environmental Toxicology Club Runway De signers Club Student Fashion Association Student Nutrition Association Colorado State University Agribusiness Association Agronomy Club American Society of Landscape

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92 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Block & Bridle Collegiate 4-H Club Collegiate Horseman's Association Colorado State University Farm Bureau Gilette Entomology Club Horticulture Club MANNRS Mountain Riders Horse Club Turf Club University of Connecticut Student Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects Block & Bridle Collegiate Chapter of the National FFA Dairy Club EcoGarden Club Forestry and Wildlife Club Horticulture Club MANNRS Nutrition Club Outing Club Poultry Science Club Pre-Vet Club Resource Economics Club Soil and Water Conservation Society Student Educational Network for the Appreciation of Animals Wildlife Society Turf Club University of Delaware Animal Science Club Collegiate 4-H Collegiate FFA Food Science Club Horticulture Club National Ag rimarketing Association Wildlife Society University of Georgia American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineering ACT AGHON

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93 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Agricultural & Environmental Economics Agronomy ASABE Block & Bridle Cattlemen's Association Collegiate 4-H Collegiate FFA Dairy Science Entomology Horseman's Association Horticulture Food Science Landscape Club MANNRS Poultry Science Pre-Vet Club Society of Women Engineers Student Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Student Dietetics Association Student Merchandising Association Turf Club University of Hawaii Friends of the Family Horticulture Council Horticulture Society Innovators of Fashion Biosystems Engineering Club University of Idaho Agribusiness Club AAFCS Club ASABE ASABE Collegiate FFA Dairy Club Food & Nutrition Club Food Science Club Intern ational Textile & Apparel Association MMBB Club PAAEYC-SA Plant and Soil Science Club Pre-Vet Club

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94 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Soil Stewards Student Idaho Cattle Association UI Student Society of Arboriculture University of Illinois ACE Club Agricultural Education Club Agricultural Mechanization Club ASABE Association of Food Technologists Collegiate 4-H Club Collegiate FFA Companion Animals Club Field and Furrow Hoof 'n' Horn Horticulture Club Human Interest Professions Club Illini Dairy Club Illini Equestrians Illini Foresters Illini Pork Link Illini Poultry Club Illini Pullers James Scholar Media Team Mini Baja Club MANNRS Pre-Vet Club Turf Club Purdue University Agribusiness Club ACT Ag Systems Management Club Agronomy Club ASAE Avian Science Club Biochem ical & Food Process Engineering Club Biochemistry Club Block & Bridle Club Botany Club Collegiate 4-H Club Dairy Club Environmental Science Club Farm Management Club

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95 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Food Science Club Forest Products Society Horsemanship Club Horticulture Club Indiana Association of Agricultural Educators MANNRS PLANET Pre-Vet Club Purdue Animal Bioscience Club Purdue Society of Landscape Architects Purdue Student Chapter of American Fisheries Society Purdue Student Chapter Society of American Foresters-Purdue Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society Purdue Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society Purdue Student Society of Arboriculture Purdue Young Farmers Soil and Water Conservation Society Thomas Say Entomological Society Turf Club Iowa State University Ag Systems Technology Club Agricultural Business Club ACT Ag Ed Club Agronomy Club American Society of Safety Engineers Aboriculture Club Beginning Farmers Network Block & Bridle Block & Bridle Horse Show Committee Collegiate Beef Team Collegiate 4-H Collegiate Farm Bureau Club Dairy Scien ce Club Entomology Club Farm Operations Club Food Science Club Forest Products Society Forestry Club Horticulture Club

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96 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization International Agriculture Club MANNRS Meat Science Club Microbiology Club NAMA National Association of Industrial Technology Pre-Veterinary Club Public Service & Administration in Agriculture Society of American Foresters Soil and Water Conservation Club Student Organic Farm Turf Club Kansas State University MANNRS Ag Economics and Agribusiness Club ACT Ag Education Club Ag Technology Management Club Block and Bridle Bakery Science Club Collegiate Agri-Women Collegiate Cattlewomen Collegiate Farm Bureau Collegiate 4-H Dairy Science Club Feed Science Club Food Science Club Golf Course Superintendent's Association Grain Science Club Horseman's Association Horticulture Club Horticultural Therapy Club NAMA Parks & Recreation Managem ent Club Pre-Vet Club Wheat State Agronomy Club University of Kentucky Agribusiness Club ACT Agricultural Education Society Agricultural Biotechnology Club

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97 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Agronomy Club American Society of Landscape Architects Association for Family and Consumer Sciences Block and Bridle UK Collegiate FFA Chapter UK Dairy Club UK Student Dietetic Association Educators of Family and Consumer Sciences Food Science Club Forestry and Wildlife Association Golf Course Superintendents Association Horse Racing Club Horticulture Club Hospitality Management Association and Society of Hosteurs Kentucky Student Association of Family Relations MANNRS Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles Club Pre-Vet Club The Society for Engineering in Agriculture, Food, and Biological Systems Louisiana State University Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness Club Agronomy Club American Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists Biological Engineering Student Organization Block & Bridle Club Collegiate 4-H Collegiate FFA Collegiate Farm Bureau Dairy Science Club Environmental Management Society Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Food Science Club Horticu lture Club MANNRS Poultry Science Club

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98 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Pre-Vet Club Society of American Foresters Student Dietetics Association Student Friends of the LSU Textile and Costume Museum Vocational Association Wildlife Society University of Maine Biology Club Food Science Club Forest Products Society Landscape Horticulture Club Maine Animal Club Maine Forester Marine Science Club National Association for Interpretation Nutrition Club Society for Conservation Biology Society of American Foresters Sustainable Agriculture Interest Group The Maine Society for Microbiology University of Maine Geology Club University of Maine Pre-Veterinary Club Wildlife Society University of Maryland Animal Husbandry Club Bio Resources Engineering Collegiate 4-H Equestrian Club Food & Nutrition Club Horticultural Science INAG Club Landscape Architecture Natural Resources Management Veterinary Science University o f Massachusetts UMass Turf Club The Student Chapter of The American Institute of Floral Designers Environmental Horticulture Club The Student Chapter Wildlife Society The Fernald Club

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99 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Pre-Veterinary and Animal Science Club Goat Group Sheep Group Belted Galloway Group Michigan State University Food Marketing Association Dairy Club Block & Bridle Poultry Science Club Horseman's Association Pre-Vet Med Association Student Builders and Contractors Association National Association of Women in Construction of MSU National Agri-Marketing Association ACT Agriscience Education Club Park and Recreation Resources Club Environmental Journalism Association American Society of Agricultural Engineers Electrical Technology Club MSU Agronomy Club Turfgrass Club Food Science Club Society of American Foresters Fisheries and Wildlife Club Sport Fishing Club Older Adult Students in Horticulture Institute of Packaging Professionals Women in Packaging University of Minnesota Agricultural Education Club Block & Bridle Collegiate Agri-Women Crops and Soils Club Fisheries and W ildlife Club/Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society Environmental Studies Club Food Science and Nutrition Club Forestry Club Gopher Dairy Club Horticulture Club

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100 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization MANNRS NAMA Pre-Vet Club Recreation Resource Management Club Student Chapter of Forest Products Society Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters Student Organization of Nutrition and Dietetics Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry Urban & Community Forestry Club Water Resources Students in Action Applied Environmental Solutions Mississippi State University Agricultural Engineering Technology Business Club Agronomy Club Student Chapter of the American Institute of Floral Designers American Society of Landscape Architecture American Society of Agricultural Engineers Student Club Associate Landscape Contractors of America Biochemistry Club Block & Bridle Club Collegiate FFA Dairy Science Club Fashion Focus Food Science Club Horticulture Club Human Development and Family Studies Club Human Sciences Association Institute of Biological Engineering MANNRS MSU Cattlemen's Club MSU Horseman's Association NAMA Oktibbeha County Humane Society Student Chapter Poultry Science Club Pre-Veterinary Club

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101 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Student Dietetic Association Turf Club University of Missouri Independent Aggies MANNRS Mizzou 4-H Mizzou FFA Alumni Tigers for Tigers Shooting Club NAMA Mizzou Collegiate Farm Bureau Agricultural Economics Club Ag Ed Society ACT Agricultural Systems Management Club Biological Engineers Club Torque N Tigers Block and Bridle Collegiate Cattle Women Association Collegiate Horseman's Association Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club Meteorology Club Mizzou Storm Chase Team Biochemistry Club Student Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society Forestry Club Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Society Wildlife Society Student Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Association Food Science Association Society of American Foresters Club Managers Association of America Hospitality Managers Association Mizzou Meeting Planners Association Agronomy Club Horticulture Club MU Student Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Montana State University Block and Bridle Club Collegiate 4-H Collegiate Cattlewomen Collegiate FFA

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102 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Collegiate Young Farmers & Ranchers Environmental Resource Club Horseman's Club Horticulture Club Pre-Veterinary Club Range Management Club University of Nebraska ACT Agricultural Education Club American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Biochemistry Club Burr/Fedde Association of Resident Members Collegiate 4-H Environmental Resource Center/Ecology Club Forensic Science Club Insect Science Club Mechanized Systems Management Club Professional Golf Management Club Range Management Club Tractor Restoration Club Wildlife Club Agricultural Economics/Agribusiness Club Agronomy Club Block and Bridle Companion Animal Club Food Science Club Horticulture Club MANRRS NAMA Pre-Vet Club PLANET Soil & Water Resources Club UNL FFA Alumni University of Nevada Bioche mistry & Molecular Biology Club Cast and Blast Outdoors Club Cattlewomen Organization Pre-Vet Club Range Club Sierra Nevada Resource Economics Organization

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103 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Student Association for International Water Issues Student Nutrition Association University of New Hampshire Collegiate FFA Dairy Club Health Outreach Club Horsemen's Club Horticulture Club Organic Garden Club Pre-Vet Club Student Nutrition Association Student Environmental Action Coalition TSAS Horticulture Club Wildlife Society Woodsmen Club Rutgers State University Collegiate 4-H Turf Club Designer Genes Equine Science Club George H. Cook Biochemistry Club H.O. Sampson Collegiate FFA Society of Animal Science Undergraduate Food Science Club Veterinary Science Club Cook College Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Club Rutgers Naturalists Rutgers Outdoor Club Students for Environmental Awareness Organic Garden Club Roots and Shoots Environmental Sciences Engineering Club Business Economics Club Cook Pre-Med/Pre-Dent Society Landscape Architecture Club Meteorology Club Nutrition Club Ecological Change Coalition Mounted Patrol Pilot Me Mentoring Latin American Student Organization Minority Education at Cook College Alliance

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104 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization New Mexico State University Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Block and Bridle Collegiate CowBelles Collegiate 4-H Collegiate FFA Collegiate Farm and Livestock Bureau Dairy Science Club Environmental Science Student Organization Horticulture Forum Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management Student Association Human Nutrition and Food Science Association NAMA Pre-Vet Club Range Club Student Association of Fashion Merchandising and Marketing Cornell University Agricultural Science ALS Alumni Association Student Leadership Team American Meteorology Society American Society of LARCH Association for Women in Communication Birding Club at Cornell Block and Bridle Collegiate 4-H Collegiate FFA Cornell Accounting Association Cornell Education Society Cornell Entrepeneur Organization CU Food Science Club Cornell Forensics Society Cornell Science and Technology Magazine CUDS Development Sociology Undergraduate Club Dilmun Hill Student Farm Financial Management Group of Cornell Health Nuts Help a Life Organization Herpetological Society

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105 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Hortus Forum Institute of Biological Engineering MANNRS Minority Business Students Association Multicultural Organization for Communication Affairs National Broadcasting Society New World Agriculture and Ecology Group Pre-vet Society Public Relations Student Society of America Research Paper, Cornell's Undergraduate Research Magazine Small Farms Club Student Association of the Geneva Experiment Station Society for Natural Resources Conservation Society for Women in Business Wildlife Society North Carolina State University Agricultural and Extension Education Club Agribusiness/NAMA Agricultural Institute Club Agronomy Club Animal Science Ca reer Opportunities Animal Science Club Biochemistry Club Biology Club Botany Club Biological & Agricu ltural Engineering Collegiate 4-H Collegiate FFA Collegiate Horseman's Association Companion Animal Club Food Science Club Genetics Club Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Horticulture Club Jeffersonians Club Leopold Wildlife Club March of Dimes Collegiate Council

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106 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Microbiology Club MANNRS NC Student Mechanization Branch of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers Poultry Science Club Pre-Health Club Pre-Veterinary Medical Association Student Engineering Branch of ASAE Zoology Club North Dakota State University Agribusiness Club Agricultural Systems Management Club ACT Agronomy Club ASABE Biotechnology Club Bison Dairy Club Collegiate 4-H Collegiate Farm Bureau Collegiate FFA Entomology Club Equine Club Farmers Union Collegiate Chapter Food Science/Food Safety Club Horticulture and Forestry Club Natural Resources Management Club Pre-veterinary Club Range Club Rodeo Club Saddle and Sirloin Club Turf Club Veterinary Technology Club Ohio State University ACSM Club NAMA Club ACT AES ASAE Buckeye Dairy Club Collegiate 4-H Collegiate Young Farmers Crops and Soils Club

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107 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Environmental Education and Parks Society Equestrian Club Food Science and Technology Club Forestry Forum Horseman's Association Landscape and Floriculture Forum MANNRS Poultry Science Club Pre-Veterinary Medical Association Roots and Shoots Saddle and Sirloin Club Shades of Animal Science Sierra Student Coalition of OSU TerrAqua Turfgrass Club Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society Oklahoma State University ACT Aggie-X Club Agronomy Club ASAE American Society of Landscape Architects PLANET Animal Science Leadership Alliance Biochemistry Club Block & Bridle Collegiate 4-H Collegiate Farm Bureau Collegiate FFA Cowboys for Christ Cowboy Motorsports Dairy Science Club Environmental Science Club Food Industry Club Forestry Club Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America Horseman's Association Horticulture Club Leadership League Meat Science Association Club NAMA Oklahoma Collegiate Cattlewomen Pre-Veterinary Science Club

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108 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Sanborn Entomology Club Society of American Foresters Soil and Water Conservation Society Society for Range Management Turf Club Oregon State University Agricult ural Business Management Club Animal Welfare Club Botany and Plant Pathology Club Bug Zoo Collegiate 4-H Collegiate FFA Crop Science Club Dairy Club Equestrian Club Fisheries and Wildlife Club Food and Fermentation Science Club Horticulture Club Hunter/Jumper Team Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Life Sciences Student Club Meats Club Microbiology Student Association MANNRS Organic Grower's Club Ornamental Landscape Club Policy and Law Society Polo Club Poultry Science Club Pre-Veterinary Medical Society Rangeland Ecology and Management Club Reigning Club Soil Science Club Turfgrass Club Vitis Association Young Cattlemen's Association Pennsylvania State University Ag Advocates ASM Club Agronomy Club Block and Bridle CHAPS Dairy Science Club EARTH House

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109 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Environmental Society Equestrian Club Fly Fishing Club Food Science Club Horticulture Club International Internship Club Poultry Science Club Pre-Vet Club Sustainable Agriculture Club SRUA Turfgrass Club American Fisheries Society ASABE AWRA Coaly Society Collegiate 4-H Collegiate FFA FPS IAAW MANNRS NAMA SOSNR SAF Wildlife Society University of Rhode Island American Society of Landscape Architects Animal Veterinary Science Club Down to Earth, Up to Us Geology Club HOPE Marine Science Society Nutrition Club Outing Club Plant Sciences Club Wildlife Society Clemson University Ag Econ Club Ag Mechanization and Business Club Biochemistry & Genetics Club Biological Sciences Club Biosystems Engineering Club Block and Bridle Club Clemson Collegiate FFA Dairy Science Club Entomology Club

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110 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Food Science and Dietetic Association Forestry Club Horticulture Club MANNRS Microbiology Society Packaging Science Club Poultry Science Club Pre-Veterinary Club Rodeo Club Society of American Foresters Turf Club Wildlife Society South Dakota State University Ag Systems Technology Club Collegiate FFA ACT Agronomy and Conservation Club American Fisheries Society Arboriculture Club Block and Bridle Collegiate Farmers Union Dairy Club Economics Club Horse Club Horticulture Club Institute of Food Technologists Landscape Design Club Little International Microbiology Club Park Management Club Post Secondary Ag Students Pre-Professional Science Club Pre-Vet Club Range Club Collegiate 4-H Turf Jacks Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Club University of Tennessee ALCA ASABE SCAVMA Block and Bridle Collegiate 4-H Dairy Club

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111 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Equestrian Team Food Science Club Horse Association Horticulture Society MANNRS NAMA Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences Club Poultry Science Club SAES Society of American Foresters Student Cattlemen's Association Pre-Veterinary Association Tennessee Turf Club Weed Science Club Wildlife and Fisheries Society Texas A&M University AgForLife Student Association Aggie Pullers Agricultural Economics/Agribusiness Association Agricultural Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate Agricultural Leadership Society Agricultural Systems Management Club Agronomy Society American Fisheries Society American Society of Agricultural Engineers Beef Cattle Association Collegiate 4-H Dairy Science Club Floriculture-Horticulture Society Genetics Society Horseman's Association Institute of Food Technologists Student Association MANNRS NAMA National Association of Environmental Professionals Nutrition and Dietetics Association Poultry Science Club RPTS Club Range Club

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112 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Saddle and Sirloin Club Society for Conservation Biology Society for Marine Mammalogy Society for American Foresters Soil and Water Conservation Society TAMU Student Society of Arboriculture Texas Aggie Cattle Women Toxicology Texas Aggie Master Gardeners Turfgrass Club Undergraduate Biochemistry Society Wildlife Society Undergraduate Entomology Student Organization Utah State University Collegiate FFA Ag Tech Club ACT Plant, Soils, and Climate Club Animal Science Club Pre-Vet Club USU Sheep Club Dietetics Club Food Science Club Agribusiness Club Student Chapter of UAFCS HOHA University of Vermont Common Ground Farm Dairy Club Food and Nutrition Club Horticulture Club Pre-Vet Club Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University NAMA Agricultural Education Society Agronomy Club ASAE Biochemistry Club Block and Bridle Club Dairy Club Environmental Student Organization Exercise Science Student Organization

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113 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization FAN Food Science Club Horticulture Club MANNRS Poultry Science Club PAS Pre-Veterinary Club Student Dietetics Association Turfgrass Club Collegiate 4-H W.B. Alwood Entomological Society Young Farmers Washington State University ACT Ag Econ/Agribusiness Ag Education Ag TM Club Block and Bridle Collegiate Horsemen's Association Cougar Cattle Feeders Crop & Soils Club Dairy Club Economics Club Entomology Club Food Science Club Forestry Club Horticulture Club Human Development, Family and Consumer Science Club International Interior Design Association International Textiles and Apparels Association Landscape Architecture Organization of Future Veterinarians SNAC Sustainability Club Turf Club Viticulture/Enology Wildlife Society West Virginia University Agri culture & Resource Economics Club American Fisheries Society American Society of Interior Designers Block and Bridle

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114 Name of university Name of collegiate student organization Collegiate 4-H Fashion Business Association Forest Products Society Forestry Club Plant & Soil Science Club Society of American Foresters Student Dietetic Association Student Society of Landscape Architects University of Wisconsin Agricultural Business Club American Society of Agricultural Engineers Pre-professionals American Society of Landscape Architects Association of Women in Agriculture Badger Crops Club Badger Dairy Club Badger Turf and Grounds Club Dietetics and Nutrition Club Forestry Club Horticulture Society Microbiology Club NAMA Poultry Science Club Pre-Veterinary Club Saddle and Sirloin Club Undergraduate Biochemistry Student Organization Undergraduate Genetics Association Wildlife Society University of Wyoming ACT Agroecology Club Ag Econ Club American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Block and Bridle Collegiate FFA Collegiate 4-H Fitting and Showing Club Food Science Club Microbiology Club Pre-Vet Club Range Club Student Dietetic Association SIFE

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115 APPENDIX B STUDENT CONTACT INFORMATION REQUESTS Initial Advisor Contact First_Name Last_Nam e Organization, University Email February 7, 2008 Dear First_Name Last_Name, I am writing to request your assistance in the information gathering process of a nationwide study of student orga nization officers in 1862 land-gra nt university colleges of agriculture. Briefly stated, this study will help determine the or ganizational characteristics that most impact student development. You can lear n more about the study and view the Institutional Review Board approval at the following website: < http://web.mac.com/marlenevonstein/Thesis/Home.html >. You have been identified as the advisor or contact person for one of the student organizations in the studys sample. I am reque sting the name and email addresses for the top four ranking student officers in the Organiz ation at University. The students identified should be officers currently serving during Spring Semester 2008. Most likely this will be the organizations president, vice president, secretar y, and treasurer. If your organization does not have four officers, you may choose additi onal students to fill the four spots. Later this semester, students will be sent an email much like this with a link to an online survey. Students contact information will be used only for the purpose of emailing them the survey link. While the sharing of this inform ation is completely voluntary, I would greatly appreciate your assi stance with this impor tant nationwide study. A Word document containing a very short fo rm for the information requested can be downloaded directly from the page: http://web.mac.com/marlenevons tein/Thesis/For_Advisors.htm l >. Thank you in advance for taking a few moments to complete the attachment and email it back to me at vonstein@ufl.edu

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116 If you should have any questions, please feel fr ee to contact me at anytime. Thank you for your participation. Sincerely, Marlene F. von Stein Graduate Assistant Department of Agricultural Education and Communication University of Florida Email: vonstein@ufl.edu Mobile: 614-570-7589

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117 First Follow-up to Advisors First_Name Last_Nam e Organization, University Email February 19, 2008 Dear First_Name Last_Name, I am writing to request your assistance in a nationwide study of student organization officers in colleges of agriculture. For some, this might be the first email youve received from me if the original request was filtered to your junk folder and for others, this message is a friendly reminder. Briefly stated, this study will help determine the organizational characteristics that most impact student development. If you d like more details, you can learn more about the study and view the Instituti onal Review Board approval at the following website: < http://web.mac.com/marlenevonstein/Thesis/Home.html >. You have been identified as the advisor or contact person for one of the student organizations in the studys sample. I am requesting the name an d email addresses for the top four ranking student officers in th e Organization at University. The students identified should be officers currently serving in this semester or quarter. I realize th at if your institution is on the quarter system, the quarter is winding dow n, but the survey will be going out very soon. Most likely this will be the organizations presiden t, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. If your organization does not have four officers, you may choose additi onal students to fill the four spots. Later this semester, students will be sent an email much like this with a link to an online survey. Students contact information will be used only for the purpose of emailing them the survey link. While the sharing of this inform ation is completely voluntary, I would greatly appreciate your assi stance with this impor tant nationwide study. A Word document containing a very short fo rm for the information requested can be downloaded directly from the page: http://web.mac.com/marlenevons tein/Thesis/For_Advisors.htm l >. Thank you in advance for taking a few moments to complete that brief document and email it back to me at

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118 vonstein@ufl.edu If you should have any questions, please f eel free to contact me at anytime. Thank you for your participation. Sincerely, Marlene F. von Stein Graduate Assistant Department of Agricultural Education and Communication University of Florida Email: vonstein@ufl.edu Mobile: 614-570-7589

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119 Second Follow-up to Advisor First_Name Last_Nam e Organization, University Email March 3, 2008 Dear First_Name Last_Name, Over the last few weeks, youve probably become familiar with the one, two, or three emails youve received from me requesting you r assistance in a nationwide study of student organization officers in colleges of agriculture. This is the last reminder email asking for your help. Briefly stated, this study will help determine the organi zational characteristics that most impact student development. If youd like more details, you can learn more about the study and view the Institutional Review Board approval at the following website: < http://web.mac.com/marlenevonstein/Thesis/Home.html >. You have been identified as the advisor or contact person for one of the student organizations in the studys sample. I am requesting the name an d email addresses for the top four ranking student officers in th e Organization at University. The students identified should be officers currently serving in the spring semester or winter quarter. I reali ze that if your institution is on the quarter system, the quarter is winding down, but the survey will be asking students about their immediate recent experiences. Most likely this will be the organizations president, vice president, secr etary, and treasurer. If your or ganization does not have four officers, you should choose additional students to fill the four spots. Later this semester, students will be sent an email much like this with a link to an online survey. Students contact information will be used only for the purpose of emailing them the survey link. While the sharing of this inform ation is completely voluntary, I would greatly appreciate your assi stance with this impor tant nationwide study. A Word document containing a very short fo rm for the information requested can be downloaded directly from the page: http://web.mac.com/marlenevons tein/Thesis/For_Advisors.htm l >. Thank you in advance for taking a few moments to complete that very brief document and email it back to me at

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120 vonstein@ufl.edu If you should have any questions, please f eel free to contact me at anytime. Thank you for your participation. Sincerely, Marlene F. von Stein Department of Agricultural Education and Communication University of Florida Email: vonstein@ufl.edu Mobile: 614-570-7589

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121 APPENDIX C QUESTIONNAIRE CONTACTS Initial Contact to Participants To: [ Email] From: vonstein@ufl.edu Subject: [CustomValue]-Student Organization Study Body: Dear [FirstName] [LastName], Greetings! I hope you enjoyed your recent spring break. Earlier this semester, your student organization advisor or departme nt was contacted with a request for contact information of officers and participating members. From that re quest, you have been iden tified as a current or recent officer or member of the [CustomValue]. I am conducting a study of student organizations in colleges of agricu lture across the United States. Briefly stated, the study will examine how student orga nizations impact participating students. In a few days, you will be receiving an email with Ag Student Organization Survey in the subject line. In this email will be a li nk to an online survey. Since I know your time is valuable, it is a brief survey that should only ta ke about 10 minutes to complete. The survey is completely voluntary, but your participation is great ly valued in this impo rtant nationwide study. If you should have any questions, please feel fr ee to contact me at anytime. The survey will arrive in your email in a few days. Tha nk you in advance for y our participation. Sincerely, Marlene F. von Stein Graduate Assistant Department of Agricultural Education and Communication University of Florida Email: vonstein@ufl.edu Mobile: 614-570-7589

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122 http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx Please note: If you do not wish to receive further emails from us, please click the link below, and you will be automatically removed from our mailing list. http://www.surveymonkey.com/optout.aspx

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123 Contact with Link to Questionnaire To: [Email] From: vonstein@ufl.edu Subject: Ag Student Organization Survey Body: Dear [FirstName] [LastName], Greetings! Earlier this semester, your student or ganization advisor or department was contacted with a request for contact information of officers and participating members. From that request, you have been identified as a current or recent officer or member of the [CustomValue]. I am conducting a study of student organizations in colleges of agricu lture across the United States. These organizations are not necessarily "agr iculture" student or ganizations, but all organizations that are housed within a college of agriculture or school of natural resources. Briefly stated, the study will examine how student organizations impact participating students. Below is a link to an online survey. Since I know your time is valuable, it is a brief survey that should only take about 10 minutes to complete The survey is completely voluntary, but your participation is greatly valued in this important nationwide study. Here is the survey link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me at anytime. Thank you in advance for your participation. Sincerely, Marlene F. von Stein Graduate Assistant Department of Agricultural Education and Communication University of Florida

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124 Email: vonstein@ufl.edu Mobile: 614-570-7589 Please note: If you do not wish to receive furthe r emails regarding this study, please click the link below, and you will be automatically re moved from the mailing list for this study. http://www.surveymonkey.com/optout.aspx

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125 First Follow-up to Participants To: [ Email] From: vonstein@ufl.edu Subject: Student Organization Survey-[CustomValue] Body: Dear [FirstName] [LastName], This is a friendly reminder asking for your partic ipation in an important nationwide study of student organizations. Earlier this semester, your stude nt organization advisor or depa rtment was contacted with a request for contact information of officers and participating me mbers. From that request, you have been identified as a curre nt or recent officer or memb er of the [CustomValue]. Below is a link to an online survey. Since I know your time is valuable, it is a brief survey that should only take about 10 minutes to complete The survey is completely voluntary, but your participation is greatly valued. Here is the survey link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me at anytime. Thank you in advance for your participation. Sincerely, Marlene F. von Stein Graduate Assistant Department of Agricultural Education and Communication University of Florida Email: vonstein@ufl.edu

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126 Mobile: 614-570-7589 Please note: If you do not wish to receive furthe r emails regarding this study, please click the link below, and you will be automatically re moved from the mailing list for this study. http://www.surveymonkey.com/optout.aspx

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127 Final Follow-Up to Participants To: [ Email] From: vonstein@ufl.edu Subject: [CustomValue]-national study of student organizations Body: Dear [FirstName], Over the past few weeks, you have received emai ls requesting your participation in a nationwide study of collegiate student organizations. Th e purpose of this study is to examine the characteristics of student organizations and id entify how much time officers invest in these organizations. Your academic department has identified you as a current or recent officer or member of the [CustomValue]. Since I know your time is valuable it is a brief survey that should only take about 10 minutes to complete. Here is a link to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx The study is drawing to a close a nd this is the final contact that will be made asking for your participation. Hearing from everyone in the small sa mple is important to a ssure the survey results are as accurate as possible. I also want to assure you that your response to this survey is voluntary, and if you prefer not to respond that's fine. I appreciate your willingness to c onsider this request as I conclude this effort to better understand the role of student organizations. Please contact me at the information below if you have any questi ons about this study. Sincerely, Marlene F. von Stein

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128 Graduate Assistant Department of Agricultural Education and Communication University of Florida Email: vonstein@ufl.edu Mobile: 614-570-7589 Please note: If you do not wish to receive furthe r emails regarding this study, please click the link below, and you will be automatically re moved from the mailing list for this study. http://www.surveymonkey.com/optout.aspx

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129 APPENDIX D QUESTIONNAIRE

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146 APPENDIX E CODING REFERENCE FOR CALCUATED INDEPENDENT VARIABLES Table E-1. Coding reference Question item Response Points 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 26 Never Sometimes, but not regularly Once a semester/quarter Once a month Twice a month Once a week Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Completely Somewhat Not at all Yes No None One Two Three Four Five Six or more Yes No The same day as the organization meeting Two or more days prior to the meeting Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No He/she provides only advice He/she provides insight He/she provides support 0 1 2 3 4 5 2 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 2 1 0 2 0 0 1 1 2 2 3 3 2 0 1 2 2 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 1 2 3

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147 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 39 40 41 42 43 44 He/she directs the organization Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No The department provides a faculty advisor, but other The department provides resources we need and readily The department provides resources and space we N/A Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No 4 2 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 1 2 3 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 2 0

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148 LIST OF REFERENCES Abraham owicz, D. (1988). College involvement perceptions, and sati sfaction: A study of membership in student organizations. Journal of College Student Development, 29 233238. Andelt, L. L., Barrett, L. A., & Bosshamer, B. H. (1997). Employer assessment of the skill preparation of students from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Imp lications for teachi ng and curriculum. NACTA Journal, 41(4), 47-53. Ary, D., Jacobs, L. C., Razavieh, A., & Soresen, C. (2006). Introduction to Research in Education (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. Astin, A. W. (1977). Four critical years: Effects of college on beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Astin, A. W. (1984). Student involvement: A development theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25 297-308. Astin, A. W. (1993). What matters in college? Four critical years revisited San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Astin, A. W. (1996). Involvement in learning revisited: Lessons we have learned. Journal of College Student Development, 37 (2), 123-134. Birkenholz, R. J., & Schumacher, L. G. (1994). Leadership skills of college of agriculture graduates. Journal of Agricultural Education, 35 (4), 1-8. Charles, L. (1997, February 1997). Land-Gran t Universities Born From Radical Idea The Iowa Stater Cooper, D. L., Healy, M. A., & Simpson, J. (1994). Student development through involvement: Specific changes over time. Journal of College Student Development, 35 98-102. Cress, C. M., Astin, H. S., Zimmerman-Oster, K., & Burkhardt, J. C. (2001). Development outcomes of college students' involvement in leadership activities. Journal of College Student Development, 42 (1), 15-27. Dillman, D. A. (2007). Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method (2nd ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Eklund-Leen, S. J., & Young, R. B. (1997). Atti tudes of student organization members and nonmembers about campus and community involvement. Community College Review, 24(4), 11.

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149 Floerchinger, D. S. (1998). Student involvement can be stressful: Implications and interventions. Campus Activities Programming, 21 (6), 60-63. Foubert, J. D., & Grainger, L. U. (2006). Effect s of involvement in clubs and organizations on the psychosocial development of firstyear and senior college students. NASPA Journal, 43(1), 166-182. Fraternity of Alpha Zeta Guidebook. (2008). Gellin, A. (2003). The effect of undergraduate st udent involvement on criti cal thinking: A metaanalysis of the literature 1991-2000. Journal of College Student Development, 44(6), 746762. Graham, D. L. (2001). Are we preparing the society ready graduate? Paper presented at the 28th Annual National Agricultural Education Re search Conference, New Orleans, LA. Hernandez, K., Hogan, S., Hathaway, C., & Lovell, C. D. (1999). Analysis of the literature on the impact of student involvement on student development and lear ning: More questions than answers? NASPA Journal, 36(3), 184-197. Herren, R. V., & Edwards, M. C. (2002). Whence we came: The land-grant tradition origin, evolution, and implications for the 21st century. Journal of Agricultural Education, 43(3), 88-98. Homan, G. (2006). Exploration of parent, 4-H vo lunteer advisor, and sports coach support and pressure on youth involved in 4-H and/or school sports. Journal of Extension, 44 (1). Hood, A. B. (1984). Student development: Does participation affect growth? Bulletin of the Association of College Unions-International, 54 16-19. Hoover, T. S., & Dunigan, A. H. (2004). L eadership characteris tics and professional development needs of collegi ate student organizations. NACTA Journal, 48 (2), 22-26. Kuh, G. D. (1995). The other curriculum: Out-of -class experiences associated with student learning and personal development. The Journal of Higher Education, 66 (2), 123-155. Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J. H., & Whitt, E. (2005). Student success in college: Creating conditions that matter. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Kunkel, H. O., & Skaggs, C. L. (2001). Revolutionizing Higher Education in Agriculture Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press. Lindner, J. R., Murphy, T. H., & Briers, G. E. (2001). Handling nonresponse in social science research. Journal of Agricultural Education, 42 (4), 43-53.

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150 Logue, C. T., Hutchens, T. A., & Hector, M. A. (2005). Student leadership: A phenomenological exploration of postsecondary experiences. Journal of College Student Development, 46(4), 393-408. Love, G. M., & Yoder, E. P. (1989). An assessment of undergraduate education in American colleges of agriculture State College, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University. McCannon, M., & Bennett, P. (1996). Choosing to pa rticipate or not: A study of college students' involvement in student organizations. College Student Journal, 30 (3), 4. McKinley, B. G., Birkenholz, R. J., & Stewart, B. R. (1993). Character istics and experiences related to the leadership skills of agriculture students in college. Journal of Agricultural Education, 34 (3), 76-83. Miller, L. E., & Smith, K. L. (1983). Handling nonresponse issues. Journal of Extension, 21 (5), 45-50. Olivares, O. J., Peterson, G., & Hess, K. P. (2007). An existential-phenomenological framework for understanding leadership development experiences. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 28 (1), 76-91. Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How college affects students: A third decade of research (Vol. 2). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Pike, G. R. (2003). Membership in a fraternity or sorority, stud ent engagement, and educational outcomes at AAU public research universities. Journal of College Student Development, 44(3), 369-382. Radhakrishna, R. B., & Bruening, T. H. ( 1994). Pennsylvania study: Employee and student perceptions of skills and experiences needed for careers in agribusiness. NACTA Journal, 38(1), 15-18. Roberts, T. G. (2003). The Current State of the Land Grant University System : University of Florida. Sha, B.L., & Toth, E.L. (2005). Future professionals' perceptions of work, life, and gender issues in public relations. Public Relations Review, 31 (1), 93-99. Sheehan, K.B. (2001). E-mail survey response rates: A review. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, (6 )2, 0-0 doi: 10-1111/j.1083-6101.2001.tb00117.x. Sherwood, J. E. (2004). The Role of the Land-Grant In stitution in the 21st Century Berkeley, CA: University of California-Berkeley. Sommers, W. B. (1991). Relationship between college student organization leadership experience and post-college leadership activity. Oregon State University.

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151 Stanford, S. W. (1992). Extracurriculuar Invo lvement and Development among Undergraduate Student Leaders. College Student Affairs Journal, 12 (1), 17-24. Suvedi, M., & Heyboer, G. (2004). Perceptions of recent graduates and employers about undergraduate programs in the co llege of agriculture and natu ral resources at Michigan State University: A follow-up study. NACTA Journal, 48(1), 22-27.

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152 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Marlene Faye von Stein was born in 1983 in Jenera, Ohio. Growing up on her familys swine and grain farm in northwest Ohio, she quickly gained a strong work et hic, an attitude of serving others, and a passion for agriculture. Marlene graduated from Trinity Lutheran School, Jenera, Ohio, in May, 1997 and Cory-Raws on High School, Rawson, Ohio, in June, 2001. She was very active in both 4-H and FFA, serv ing as 2001 State 4-H Ambassador and 2002-2003 State FFA President. Marlene earned a B.S. in agriculture from The Ohio State Un iversity in June, 2006, with a major in agricultural education and a minor in an imal science. While at Ohio State, Marlene was active in the Agricultural Education So ciety and the Saddle and Sirloin Club. In August 2006, Marlene began a graduate progr am in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communicati on at the University of Florida, where she specialized in leadership development. She served as a graduate as sistant for undergraduate student development programs in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Marlenes work experiences include internsh ips with Ohio FFA Association, Ohio Farm Radio, National Pork Board, and Sanborn & Asso ciates, as well as numerous projects in education and communication.