Report finds Student Leadership Has a Positive Impact on College Graduation and Retention Rates

California State University at Sacramento quantifies the link between student leadership and academic performance

Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) January 17, 2012

California State University at Sacramento (“Sac State”) has quantified the link between student involvement and overall academic performance. The study, titled Student Leadership and Academic Performance – A study of Student Club Leaders, found that no matter what the starting point was for students entering the University, serving as a club leader has a positive impact on graduation and retention rates.

The study revealed a 33% performance gap between the graduation rates for native freshman club leaders and non-club leaders. Similar performance gaps in graduation and retention rates were revealed for Underrepresented Minorities, Commuter Students, Transfer Students, and other Non-traditional Students on campus.

“By proving that students are learning and developing in our programs, our office has become more competitive in the grant arena,” according to Tom Carroll, Assistant Director of the Office of Student Organizations and Leadership at Sac State. “As a result, the University’s Ethnic Studies Department was awarded a $1.8 million federal grant, in which a portion will support our Leadership Initiative with an additional full-time staff member for the next five years.”

Colleges and universities invest a great deal of money and resources on co-curricular activities in an effort to foster student engagement; therefore it is necessary to assess if such initiatives actually enhance student success. During a time when institutions are experiencing unprecedented budget cuts, it is more important than ever for Student Affairs departments to validate the importance of co-curricular programming.

This study was the result of a collaborative effort between the Office of Institutional Research (“OIR”) and the Office of Student Organizations and Leadership departments at Sac State. Key cohort data used for the analysis was pulled directly from OrgSync, which the University uses to track and archive all student involvement data.

“Good assessment provides resources for student success,” explained Karlos Santos-Coy, Coordinator of Leadership Education for the Office of Student Organizations and Leadership. “With OrgSync, our office keeps much better records and it’s easier than ever to gather student involvement data. Before OrgSync, the thought of doing assessment on organizations was daunting because it was so difficult to gather the data.”

To access the full report, visit

To access a summarized case study, visit

About Sacramento State Office of Student Organizations and Leadership

Not all learning on a university campus takes place in the classroom. We are committed to encouraging and helping students become involved in campus life through a variety of leadership programs, the PRIDE Center, Women's Resource Center and more than 250 clubs and organizations. Through any combination of these activities, students can learn democratic group procedures, expand tolerance and respect for fellow human beings, develop and maintain concern for vital issues, gain an appreciation of the aesthetic and cultural aspects of life, and participate in wholesome recreational activity. Getting involved on campus is a great way to meet people, make lifelong friends and contacts, enrich the total educational experience and make a large University seem more personal. Learn more

About OrgSync

OrgSync provides a Campus Engagement Network that connects students with organizations, programs, and departments on campus. The company's cloud-hosted, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform is built using the latest technologies that create an online community for colleges and universities to improve communication, information sharing, and collaboration. The platform streamlines day-to-day operations, minimizes paper usage, increases student engagement, and tracks all co-curricular involvement data. Campuses may leverage the data collected in OrgSync to assess the impact of student involvement and co-curricular programming on overall student success and retention. Learn more