Date of Award

Fall 10-20-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Walter Buster, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Dayton Gilleland, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Bruce Newlin, Ed.D.

Fourth Advisor

Patricia White, Ed.D.


Different approaches to developing leaders have been established through various forms of self-assessment, action learning, and education and training activities (Smither et al., 2005). The existing body of research on the impact and success of college and university leadership development programs focuses heavily on undergraduate leadership programs and not graduate-level programs such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA) or the doctorate. The purpose of this mixed-methods (quantitative–qualitative) study was to identify the perceived level of transformational leadership skill development by students enrolled in a doctoral program in organizational leadership. In addition, it was the purpose of this study to identify which of the seven core program elements students perceive as being most beneficial to the development of their transformational leadership skills. Finally, it was the purpose of this study to identify what students perceive as the personal and professional benefits realized after 2 years in the program. This study sought to fill gaps in research by identifying which programmatic factors support leadership skill development. This study used the results from student input on the TLSi, a 360-degree feedback assessment tool, along with a custom designed online survey to measure the change in students’ perceived growth in each of the 10 elements from Year 1 to Year 2 of the EdD program at Brandman University located in Irvine, California.