A new book out of West Virginia University Press looks at how community leadership development programs measure up to their promises and whether they’re worth the cost.

As the first book of its kind to seek answers to the question of whether or not the millions of dollars invested each year in community leadership development programs are valuable in the real world, Community Effects of Leadership Development Education: Citizen Empowerment for Civic Engagement challenges researchers, community organizers, and citizens to identify improved ways of demonstrating the link from program to implementation, as well as the way in which programs are conceived and designed.

The book is authored by Kenneth Pigg, Ken Martin, Stephen P. Gasteyer, Godwin Apaliyah and Kari Keating. It is the third book in WVU Press’ Rural Studies Series.

Community leadership development programs are designed to increase the capacity of citizens for civic engagement. These programs fill gaps in what people know about governance and the processes of governance, especially at the local level. The work of many in this field is a response to the recognition that in smaller, rural communities, disadvantaged neighborhoods, or disaster areas, the skills and aptitudes needed for citizens to be successful leaders are often missing or underdeveloped.

Community Effects of Leadership Development Education presents the results of a five-year study tracking community-level effects of community leadership development programs drawn from research conducted in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia.

This text also explores how leadership development programs relate to civic engagement, power and empowerment, and community change, and it demonstrates that community leadership development programs really do produce community change. At the same time, the findings of this study strongly support a relational view of community leadership, as opposed to other traditional leadership models used for program design.

To complement their findings, the authors have developed CENCE, a new model for community leadership development programs, which links leadership development efforts to community development by understanding how Civic Engagement, Networks, Commitment and Empowerment work together to produce community viability.

Kenneth Pigg has been helping community leaders become more effective change agents in their community for more than 40 years as a specialist with the Cooperative Extension Service in Kentucky and Missouri and has served on a number of national panels and projects dealing with community change and leadership.

Ken Martin is chair of the Department of Extension and associate director of programs for The Ohio State University Extension.

Stephen P. Gasteyer is an associate professor of sociology at Michigan State University.

Godwin T. Apaliyah is the The Ohio State University Extension’s community development educator, and the director of Economic Development, Fayette County.

Kari Keating is a teaching associate in Agricultural Leadership Education at the University of Illinois.

Community Effects of Leadership Development Education: Citizen Empowerment for Civic Engagement
Kenneth Pigg, Ken Martin, Stephen P. Gasteyer, Godwin Apaliyah, and Kari Keating

Rural Studies Series: Volume 3
256pp/PB 978-1-940425-58-0: $32.99/ CL 978-1-940425-57-3: $64.99
ePub 978-1-940425-59-7: $32.99

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