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Kirsty K. Spence, Daniel G. Hess, Mark McDonald and Beth J. Sheehan

As sport management graduates enter into a rapidly shifting industry with fluctuating environmental conditions, the need for greater leadership capacity arises (Amis, Slack, & Hinings, 2004). Sport management educators can facilitate leadership development by designing and administering undergraduate curricula that focuses on students’ vertical development. According to Cook-Greuter (2004), vertical development is defined as “how we change our interpretations of experience and how we transform our views of reality” (p. 276). The purpose of this paper is to outline a curricular framework that may impact students’ vertical development and thus increase future leadership capacity. To fulfill this purpose, the conceptual connection between vertical development, the Leadership Development Framework (LDF), and Experiential Learning (EL) is first explained. The curricular framework is then outlined in the context of a pilot study facilitated within a sport management (leadership) course in January 2008. Suggestions for future empirical projects to measure the impact of EL curricula on students’ vertical development are also offered.