Academic Courses

The Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement and the School of Individualized Student offer 3-credit hour and asynchronous leadership courses designed to encourage you to explore leadership from a variety of perspectives.

These interdisciplinary courses are designed to expose you to theories and practices of leadership and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship while also providing you with the practical skills they need to work in collaboration with others to affect change in their spheres of influence.


By integrating course concepts of leadership styles and theories with a leadership field experience, students will be able to assess their skills as a leader and create a plan for growth and development for future success. Each student will be required to create a leadership learning agenda and development plan at the beginning of the quarter based on their current leadership experience. The learning agenda will identify goals for achievement and strategies for assessing and improving upon their effectiveness as a leader.

Leadership today is challenging at best when considering all the complexities of the 21st century work environment. In this course, students will explore, discuss, and practice effective strategies and behaviors to lead others, teams, and organizations for high performance. Areas of focus include: leadership roles, theories and styles, creating a shared vision, coaching skills, teamwork and group dynamics, cultural communication and influence, and ethical decision making. Coursework will include extensive readings, case studies, written reports, small group projects, presentations and reflections.

Students will examine leadership theory through the lens of civil discourse. Several theories, foundational concepts and current emerging methods to engage in civil discourse from a leadership lens will be explored. Students will compare and analyze current discourse practices of leaders and social movements. Case studies, reflection exercises and written analysis will serve as the basis of demonstrated learning in this course.

Students in this course will examine ethical decision making necessary for today’s leaders. Ethical theories will be explored in the context of current societal dilemmas facing leadership today. Students will consider the characteristics of ethical leaders via the study of historical figures or fictional characters from literature. Case studies, reflection exercises and written analysis serve as the basis of demonstrated learning in this course. Students in this course will participate in an experiential learning activity where they will observe and analyze a group dialogue on a current ethical debate in their community.

*Gen. Ed/Ethical Perspective

Fulfilling the democratic promise of equity, accountability and effectiveness requires the participation of an “organized” citizenry able to formulate, articulate, and assert its shared interests effectively. Organizers identify, recruit, and develop leadership; build community around that leadership; and build power from the resources of that community.

In this course, students will study leadership through the lens of community organizing in order to develop the critical knowledge and skills necessary to work in teams to achieve specific outcomes in the pursuit of a shared purpose. Students will “practice” leadership by developing a strategy and producing artifacts to mobilize members of a constituency to work together to achieve specific outcomes in pursuit of a shared purpose culminating in the submission of a capstone portfolio that chronicles their work.

In this project driven and experiential learning course, students will challenge traditional service models by learning how to creatively and effectively work with communities to construct relationships that result in sustainable change. Students will bring these practices to life as they work alongside local and global communities on their Alternative Spring Break trips, through Capacity Inventories and Appreciative-Inquiry. Leaving students with an understanding of their own assets and how they can continue to be agents of change in the future.

*Students must be accepted to the Alternative Break program offered by the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement to register for this course.