The emerging role of higher education in educating and assessing future leaders for disaster relief

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As the frequency and intensity of disasters throughout the world increase, so do the demands for humanitarian relief and the need for effective disaster-based leadership training. Numerous organizations are poised to act in response to disasters that necessitate a significant amount of leadership and logistics support. Although there are many entities often involved in disaster relief, the symposium outlines the emerging role higher education can play in improving response outcomes, not only by providing "boots on the ground" but also by developing skilled disaster relief leaders in both curricular and cocurricular venues. Institutions of higher education provide experiential learning opportunities offering critical service for immediate disaster relief while developing the skills of future leaders. During these experiences, students develop disaster-based leadership and logistics acumen. Similarly, programmatic assessment is critical in measuring student leadership growth during the experiential learning process of providing disaster relief. The education and assessment of these trainings provides an important dimension of disaster leadership as it examines the leaders in action and fosters a commitment to adequately prepare them to lead in a time of disaster. A qualitative approach is recommended for assessing experiential leadership learning to better inform teaching and to cultivate future disaster leadership that meets ongoing global needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Leadership Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


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