Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

Committee Chairperson

Dana Morrison, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James Tweedy, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jacqueline Hodes, Ed.D.


Student affairs and higher education scholars have recently identified several problematic trends regarding the engagement, retention, performance, and behavior of college men across campuses. Concerns for college men’s lack of engagement worsen regarding leadership development, as not only do college men participate in leadership programming at very low rates, but they also have alarmingly low capacities for socially responsible leadership. This indicates that the scarce leadership programming college men are participating in is ineffective and underwhelming as an educative tool. In this thesis, I urge student affairs practitioners to provide college men with opportunities for leadership development that both challenge and support them, rather than just caters to them as it has historically only done. The proposed programmatic intervention, VIGOR Leadership Retreat for College Men, engages college men in high-context activities that center the Social Change Model of Leadership and embrace liberatory, experiential learning, and reflective pedagogies. It is designed to establish an environment in which college men can critically consider how antiquated gender norms, hegemonic masculinity, and traditional perceptions of leadership exacerbate oppressive conditions on their campus and in their communities. The ultimate goal is to raise college men’s critical consciousness and prepare them to engage in transformative social practices beyond the retreat.