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Tips, Tricks, and Tools to Measure Leadership Development

Assessing competencies does not have to be overwhelming, intimidating, or time-consuming. There are many pre-designed measurements, best practices, and instructions on data interpretation that can help you in measuring competency development and proficiency.

The following are resources and ideas to help you in leadership competency assessment.

Resources for Assessment

Implementation Handbook (digital eBook)Included in Toolkit
SLC Self-Evaluation MeasurementsFree
Evaluation DatabaseIncluded in Toolkit
Student Leadership Competencies 360 EvaluationFree
Student Leadership Competencies InventoryFree
Cognition MeasurementsIncluded in Toolkit
Significance PromptsIncluded in Toolkit
RubricsIncluded in Toolkit
Observer Evaluation MeasurementsIncluded in Toolkit

Please refer to the Terms and Conditions page before purchasing any resources.

What Do You Want To Know?

There are so many ways to assess student learning and development that it can be hard to figure out what the best method is. The first thing to do is to try to figure out what you want to know. The Student Leadership Competencies have been divided into knowledge, value, ability, and behavior dimensions for intentional content design as well as measurement.

It is important to distinguish between these dimensions as they are taught and measured differently from each other. For example, knowing how to engage in a competency (knowledge) is different than believing that competency is important (value) which is different from having the skills to engage in that competency (ability) which is different from actually engaging in that competency (behavior). Because of this, it is essential to use different types of methods to measure competency learning and development.

Student Leadership Competencies Assessments

Dimension SLC Assessment What it Measures  Where to Access it




Self-Evaluation Measurements Students’ self-perception of competency growth or engagement as a result of participating in a learning experience *Available for free use on the Jossey-Bass website.


Knowledge Knowledge Measurements
(test questions)
Students’ content knowledge of a particular competency *Available in the Assessment Handbook.
Value Value Prompts
(reflection questions)
Students’ self-perception of the value they place on a particular competency; can also measure a change in value *Available in the Assessment Handbook.


Ability Student Leadership Competencies Inventory Students’ self-perception of their ability to effectively use all 60 competencies; can also be taken as mini-assessments of 4-11 competencies in a cluster *Available for free use on the SLC website.


Ability Rubrics Observers’ perspective on students’ ability to effectively use a particular competency *Available in the Assessment Handbook.


Behavior Observer Evaluations
(performance evaluation measurements)
Observers’ perspective on students’ effective use of a particular competency in a real-life setting *Available in the Assessment Handbook.


Behavior 360 Evaluation: Self Students’ self-perception of their effective use of all 60 competencies *Available for free use on the SLC website.


Behavior 360 Evaluation: Observer Evaluation Observers’ perspective on students’ effective use of all 60 competencies *Available for free use on the SLC website.

Interpreting the Data

If you use the Student Leadership Competencies Self-Evaluation Measurements, consider using the Student Leadership Competencies Evaluation Database available to you on the website to interpret the quantitative elements of the data. The spreadsheet is pre-set with formulas to help you see averages and frequency of responses. A description of how to use this is available in the Student Leadership Competencies Assessment Handbook.

Both the quantitative data and qualitative data collected from all Student Leadership Competencies assessment tools can be interpreted at the individual, subgroup, whole group, and between group levels. To find out more about interpreting Student Leadership Competencies assessment data, refer to the Student Leadership Competencies Assessment Handbook.

Program Evaluation

In addition to assessment being useful in understanding student learning and development, the data you collect can provide important information in evaluating your program, event, role, or experience as a whole. Findings can be used specifically to inform your program structure, curriculum, policies, and processes. And, by using the same assessment methods year to year, you can also look for trends that can help you understand if, and to what extent, any changes you make yield the results you want. Find out more in the Student Leadership Competencies Assessment Handbook.