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Thursday, June 18 • 3:45pm - 4:15pm
CON08.04 - Exploring the outcomes of empowerment among health sciences students

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The concept of empowerment has been a topic of interest in the educational literature for decades. The link between structural and psychological empowerment is well established among employees (Spreitzer, 1995); however, this relationship has not been adequately explored in the student context. In addition, although the direct association between structural empowerment and positive student attitudes, behaviours, and academic success has recently been noted (Babenko-Mould et al., 2012; Houser & Bainbridge Frymier, 2009; Beauvais et al., 2013), this research fails to identify the mediating mechanisms through which structural empowerment impacts student outcomes. The purpose of this study was to test a multi-group mediated model of empowerment within nine programs at a large urban Canadian college. Relationships between student empowerment (structural and psychological), engagement, satisfaction, collaboration, and intent to stay (current program of study and academic institution) were tested using a cross-sectional survey design. A convenience quota sampling plan was employed in an attempt to achieve adequate representation from each program. Data analysis was completed using multi- group structural equation modeling. Knowledge gained from this study may be useful in creating learning environments which facilitate students’ access to resources, opportunity, information, and power (structural empowerment). In turn, these structurally empowering academic environments are likely to increase student’s psychological empowerment (meaning, confidence, self-determination, and impact), collaboration, academic engagement, and intent to stay.

Babenko-Mould, Y., Iwasix, C., Andrusyszyn, M.A., Laschinger, H., & Weston, W. (2012). Effects of clinical practice environments on clinical teacher and nursing student outcomes. Journal of Nursing Education, 51(4), 217-226.

Beauvais, A.M., Stewart, J.G., DeNisco, S., & Beauvais, J.E. (2013). Factors related to academic success among nursing students: A descriptive correlational research study. Nursing Education Today, 1-6.

Houser, M.L., & Bainbridge Frymier, A. (2009). The role of student characteristics and teacher behaviours in students’ learner empowerment. Communication Education, 58(1), 35-53.

Spreitzer, G.M. (1995). Psychological empowerment in the workplace: dimension, measurement, and validation. Academy of Management Journal, 38(5), 1442-1465.

Thursday June 18, 2015 3:45pm - 4:15pm PDT
Mackenzie Room

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