Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Michael T. Miller

Committee Member

Daniel J. Pugh

Second Committee Member

David M. Deggs


Education, Civic engagement, Higher education, Leadership, Presidential leadership, Service learning


Higher education in America has a long tradition of civic engagement education. Although there is theoretical and rhetorical support, many institutions still struggle with implementing effective civic engagement on their campuses. The aim of this study was to provide an understanding of factors that contribute to successful civic engagement, specifically focusing on the affect of presidential leadership. The study used a limited sample of two groups to provide comparative analysis and offer much needed statistical research for civic engagement. Institutions were identified through the organization Campus Compact and the Carnegie Foundation's elective Community Engagement classification. Institutions that had joined Campus Compact or applied for the Carnegie classification indicated a mission to civic engagement education. Since recognition with the Carnegie classification is significantly more difficult to obtain that membership in Campus Compact, the Carnegie classification group became the model group for the study. By comparing these two groups through a variety of statistical analysis, conclusions were able to be drawn regarding the extent presidential leadership has on civic engagement and some specific practices that appear to enable success. The findings indicated a significant difference between the model group and the Campus Compact group in multiple areas. Additionally, the study indicated that presidential leadership is a significant factor in the success level of civic engagement efforts, and it identified certain behaviors for effective leadership.