Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 2009


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Education Leaders (IDPEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

James E. Henderson

Committee Member

Wilton L. Barber

Committee Member

James Ryland


Leadership development, leadership skills, IDPEL, Strategic Leadership Selection Interview, measurement of leadership skills


Research in leadership assessment is sparse both quantitatively and qualitatively (Edmunds, 1998). This study was based on the premise that: (1) leadership can be taught and enhanced through training and/or professional development, (2) leadership skills and/or qualities can be assessed, and (3) instruments can be used to assess leadership skills through interview techniques. This quantitative study examined the Duquesne University's Interdisciplinary Program for Educational Leaders (IDPEL) participants' increase in knowledge level of leadership skills as defined by the program's mission statement. Baseline data of the leadership skills development of participants in the IDPEL program was gathered and to show a change of their leadership skills development through their participation in the program as compared to their various leadership roles (role-a-like-experiences) and their ages. The twenty members of the 2009 IDPEL cohort were invited to participate in the study and nine responded to participate. The Strategic Leadership Selection Interview (SLS) was administered to nine respondents from the 2009 IDPEL cohort. The SLS was previously administered to the 2009 IDPEL cohort of Duquesne University prior to their admission to the program in 2005 as a pre-assessment of their leadership skills and these scores were used as baseline data for the participants. The role-a-like positions for the participants were categorized into one of two groups, middle-level-management or upper-level-management. The participants were also categorized in one of two age groups (equal to or less than 40 and greater than 40). A causal-comparative research analysis was to be conducted. Causal-comparative research, which is a type of non-experimental investigation, searches for cause-effect relationships by forming groups of individuals in whom the independent variable is present, absent, or present at various levels. The numerical relationship of the subgroups resulted in a two-by-two matrix, which manifested two cell-sizes of zero. This analysis obviated the need to abandon the two-way analysis of variance. Given this circumstance it was determined that the statistical process should be limited to one of a descriptive nature yielding exploratory, rather than inferential conclusions. In order to test the relationship between assessment scores (both pre- and post assessments) and the groups determined by age, biserial correlations were calculated. The results, although limited by a small sample size, suggest the effectiveness in the IDPEL program in developing leadership skills in its participants.