O'Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service

Proposed Undergraduate Leadership Strategy

Undergraduate Leadership Strategy
Undergraduate Leadership Development – Action Plan for 2016-2017
An Alvernia Leadership Coordinating Committee, convened by the O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service, will achieve these objectives:
1.    Building upon the work done by a faculty and staff group convened by the Provost in spring, 2016 (see Addendum on pages 2-3), solidify a model that defines a distinctly Alvernian ethical leader with moral courage
o    Activities: professional development experience (e.g., on/off-campus conference/retreat of sufficient substance and duration). Time frame: September, 2016.
2.    Using the model as a unifying framework, create a certificate program, in which students can earn recognition through their participation in one or more of our current or envisioned curricular and co-curricular leadership initiatives and begin to build an academic minor in leadership
o    Activities: work in departments or other work groups and in regular committee meetings; ensure that all current and envisioned co-curricular and curricular initiatives fulfill or are revised to fulfill model. Time frame: October, 2016.
o    Activities: ensure that each program aims for, assesses, and achieves an agreed-upon set of stated learning outcomes, to which each program also can add, as appropriate to its particular purposes; bring Institutional Research and other assessment partners (e.g., Campus Labs) into the circle. Time frame: October, 2016.
o    Activities: initiate the certificate program
    Announce and release materials for students who wish to earn the certificate, beginning with experiences completed/in progress for completion by spring, 2017 and lay out parameters for students to begin now and earn in a future year. Time frame: November, 2016.
o    Activities: follow all procedures to secure approval of the academic minor. Time frame: tbd.
o    Activities: announce the academic minor. Time frame: tbd
3.    Award the first certificates. Time frame: Spring, 2017 Honors Convocation and/or SGA Awards and Inductions.

Proposed Values of Leadership Education at Alvernia

Attributes of Leadership Education at Alvernia University
Leaders for Life.   Alvernia nurtures leaders for life.  A compelling element of the purpose of the University is to form authentic, ethical leaders with moral courage, in all facets of life and at every level of society.  We believe that leadership is an intentional, continuing process that can be taught and can be learned.  By its nature, leadership education is multi-disciplinary, fostering the understanding of both context and relationship and an appreciation of both constraints and possibilities.  More than assembling a series of skills, leadership education involves developing a series of transferable competencies that can be useful in multiple circumstances. By its nature, leadership education draws on many academic disciplines.  Programs must support leadership’s mission and inform an understanding of the values of Leadership Education.  This can occur in many ways, through different teaching and professional development models, but the fundamental question regarding the nature of leadership education curriculum is how it supports learning around Alvernia’s defined core attributes of leadership.
The Values of Leadership Education
Leadership Education at Alvernia is constructed around four core attributes of an effective leader.
•    Vision.  Authentic leaders convey a sense of passion for their work.  They work to create a shared vision that includes an understanding of context and anticipated consequences of action.  They inspire others by that vision and in their work.
•    Empowerment.  Effective leaders are motivational and influential.  They engage others by providing not only a vision, but by developing the skills and talents of others and offering them shared ownership of any results.  They understand and value the role of followers.  They celebrate dialogue and debate.  They are able to create consensus and resolve conflict.  
•    Competence.  Strong leaders are effective communicators. They are continuously learning, adjusting and adapting to changing situations and circumstances.  They are able to integrate new ideas and people.  They are willing to take risks if necessary to create change.  They are willing to collaborate and partner with others.  
•    Character.  Ethical leaders have integrity.   Such leaders display the courage of their convictions, willing to face challenges as they occur.  They are trustworthy and humble, willing to share credit and accept responsibility. They are collegial, willingly engaging and supporting others in the work of the group.

Proposed Elements of Undergraduate Leadership Academic Program

  Undergraduate Leadership Education Program Elements
I.    Certificate Program
•    Co-Curricular Program would include participation in a Co-Curricular Progressive Leadership Program such as University Life’s Ignite or the Athletic Department Progressive Leadership program.  These programs would emphasize the four values of leadership education at Alvernia, supporting the effort to form ethical leaders with moral courage.
•    Experiential Education Component would include a leadership experience either on or off campus, emphasizing such skills as teambuilding, project management, problem solving and collaboration while supporting service to others and civic engagement.  Participants would be required to develop a project analysis that reflects on their experience and how it has influenced them as a leader and a follower.
•    A Credit Course that would offer instruction in applied ethics, negotiation and conflict resolution, understanding context and consensus, critical thinking, and communication strategies.  The course could incorporate case studies, scenario planning and role playing.  
•    Recognition would include credit for the academic course that would appear on the student’s transcript, a certificate that would be a part of the student’s academic record and recognition as O’Pake Leadership Fellows.
II.    Academic Minor
•    A Multi-Disciplinary Minor involving six courses.  (Program to be developed by faculty, in cooperation with the steering committee, Leadership Department and the O’Pake Institute.)
•    Program could include courses in Applied Ethics, Leadership Theory, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, as well as electives and at least one experiential education course.
III.    Academic Major
•    An academic major would include the core courses required for the minor supplemented with additional coursework that addresses specific aspects of leadership education, including a capstone course which could include an experiential component. Coordinating Committee

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O'Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service

O'Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service

David Myers

Phone: 610.790.2961


o'pake institute for ethics, leadership, and public service

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