Keith Kemo

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Walpole, MaryBeth


College students--Ethics; Cheating (Education)


Higher Education Administration


Academic integrity and moral development have always been synonymous with student learning in higher education. When combined, the two form the basis for positive learning at the college level (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991, 2005). It is also clear from preexisting literature that a person experiences significant moral development during traditional college years (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977; Perry, 1981; Gilligan, 1982; Chickering & Reiser, 1993). This study examined preexisting literature on leadership as well as previous studies dealing with issues of academic integrity in higher educational institutions. It combined leadership theory and the author's leadership style. An initial examination of the author's growth and experiences shaping leadership was examined simultaneously. There exists an abundance of preexisting data describing the various reasons for why students cheat on academic work (McCabe & Trevino, 1993; McCabe, et al., 1999; McCabe, et al., 2001). This study investigated student perceptions, attitudes, and values about the climate of academic integrity at a small liberal arts school utilizing questionnaires and focus groups. It then inserted a pointed program of change in the form of a campaign of awareness about academic integrity and the school's guidelines on academic integrity for the students. The dissertation followed with a reexamination of the student perceptions of the program of change through the use of focus groups, as well as an observation of the author's leadership style over the course of the study. The results of the awareness campaign positively affected the student perception regarding academic integrity. The autho's successful transformational leadership style and evolution were examined as the concept of second order change was discussed with regard to the institution. The study found that although very possible, many hurdles exist on the path to cultural change. Strong leadership is essential; but so is complete and prolonged institutional buy-in and commitment to the change.