Becoming leaders of change through service: An investigation of socially empowered learning in post-secondary education.


  • Brittany Harker Martin University of Calgary
  • Marsha Harris Brandon University



Leadership education, social empowerment, Socially Empowered Learning, Socially Empowered Learning Framework (SELF), service-learning, servant-leadership, co-curricular credit


This article presents findings from the study of a service-learning program for undergraduate students offered by a post-secondary leadership education centre. The program was designed to enhance post-secondary learning beyond the program of studies while developing perspectives of servant-leadership and serving community-identified needs. The theoretical framework is explained and details of the program are described, followed by the research study with findings that support service-learning programs as an effective form of Socially Empowered Learning. Specifically, results indicate that the program investigated here led to a significant increase in group potency, collective efficacy, and overall social empowerment. Implications for the theory of Socially Empowered Learning are explored in addition to recommendations for future research and practice.

Author Biographies

Brittany Harker Martin, University of Calgary

Dr. Brittany Harker Martin is an Arts Educator with a PhD in Business. Specialized in arts integration, she is a thought leader in ways the arts can be used in non-arts contexts, such as applications of dance in science or art to promote mental health. As an Associate Professor of Leadership at the University of Calgary, her portfolio includes teaching (K-12, undergrad and grad students), educational consulting, teacher PD, and research leadership. Collaborators to date include Harvard’s Leadership Institute, Stanford’s Gardner Centre, Alberta Health Services, Telus Spark, the Creative Kids’ Museum, and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Dr. Britt’s unique scholarly lens includes expertise in psychometrics, behavioural economics, and arts-based methodologies. She has developed undergraduate and graduate courses, including co-creating Masters level certificates in Transdisciplinary Leadership. Her latest research focuses on art, brain, and mind while continuing work on her frameworks of Artistic Intelligence (AQ) and Socially Empowered Learning.

Marsha Harris, Brandon University

Marsha Harris BA., MMFT is a counselling therapist at Brandon University and currently a Doctor of Education student at the University of Calgary. Her research interests include post-secondary student mental health and wellness, and service-learning. She enjoys designing and leading co-curricular programming,




How to Cite

Martin, B. H., & Harris, M. (2022). Becoming leaders of change through service: An investigation of socially empowered learning in post-secondary education. International Journal for Leadership in Learning, 22(2), 266–286.