Publication Date

Spring 5-15-2019

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


With an increase in the enrollment of students of color at the University of San Diego, it is important to assess their sense of belonging and leadership engagement. This study evaluates the leadership development plan established for students of color in the Student Outreach and Recruitment (SOAR) Ambassador Club. As the advisor of the SOAR Ambassador Club, I had the opportunity to conduct three Action Research cycles including a survey of the organizational climate, one-on-one interviews with current and previous advisors, and one focus group with the executive board members of the organization. The findings of this research address how communication, collaboration, and community become central to bringing multiple leaders from different backgrounds together to envision and act on the same goal: empowering underrepresented students to find a sense of belonging and engage in leadership opportunities within their clubs. This research offers higher education professionals insight regarding ways to engage students of color in leadership at a predominately white institution (PWI).