Centre College offers new “self-guided” leadership certification program
Dedicated to preparing students for lives of learning, leadership and service, Centre College recently announced a new Leadership Certificate program. It will aid students in leadership development and is based on a model of servant leadership that incorporates many components.
Associate Dean and Director of the Grissom Scholars Program and Student Leadership Sarah Scott Hall says that the idea for the program first arose at the end of the previous academic year when campus organizations began asking for more leadership development opportunities. After talking to President John A. Roush about this need, the two decided that the creation of a self-guided program would most benefit Centre students.
“Nothing in here is new—they’re things that people are already doing on campus,” Hall explains. “It’s a program that helps students connect the dots with all the different things they’re involved in and to be able to articulate to employers and graduate schools how they have grown in their efforts toward leadership development.”
Students receive points for participating in a variety of activities and must reach 100 points prior to graduation to earn certification. They can receive two points for attending a career fair or voting on Election Day, five points for holding a leadership position in a campus organization or applying for a major fellowship, and 10 points for completing an internship or research experience, among other activities.
Hall hopes that this point system creates some flexibility for students participating in the program.
“It really plays to students’ strengths and interests, and it helps them develop a deeper self-awareness, cultivate deeper connections and gain practice with taking initiative,” she says.
All seniors in the program will create a “capstone presentation,” a 10 to 15-minute multimedia presentation where they will discuss the leadership area in which they have grown throughout their undergraduate career. Centre students and community professionals will review the presentations.
The idea for this particular component of the program came from the local Danville school system. Completed by high school seniors just prior to graduation, Hall says these presentations “blew [her] away.”
“I thought about how wonderful it would be if our seniors took a little bit of time to do these,” she says, “specifically the exercise of being able to say how they’ve grown since they’ve been here, as well as what they want to do and why they want to do it.”
Illustrating the College’s definition of “leadership,” the program, Hall believes, will hone students’ various talents and abilities to change the world.
“All of us, to a great extent, don’t realize the power we have to change the world for the better,” she concludes. “By participating in this program, students are able to fine-tune their skills and become more aware of the ways in which they can make positive changes in the world.”
by Hayley Hoffman ‘16
November 30, 2015