Leadership minor provides career preporation for students

Central Michigan University’s leadership minor allows students to prepare for a wide variety of professional careers.

Jamie Brown, the leadership minor coordinator, said the minor is popular among students. It is an interdisciplinary minor based in the Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure.

"It is one of the largest minors, if not the largest, at CMU," Brown said.

The academic minor is the first of its kind offered by a four-year public university in Michigan.

Brown said the minor is very flexible and can apply to a variety of majors and careers. It focuses on providing in-depth instruction on desired qualities of leaders and the application of such qualities.

“There's nothing that is restricted. It can apply to business, health, anything,” she said. “It works with a variety of internship experiences and many majors.”

The leadership minor is a 24-credit-hour minor, consisting of 12 to 15 hours of required courses and 12 hours of electives.

Grand Rapids senior Taylor Arnett said she uses the skills she learned every day. To Arnett, the leadership minor helps others in more ways than they could think.

"One of the most obvious roles where I use the skills I've acquired through the leadership minor is through my mentoring role," Arnett said. "I mentor for HON 100 and help the incoming freshmen adjust to the honors program and college life as a whole. Being a leader is more than just being the president of this and that. Sometimes it's just taking the initiative at my job or during a group project. The skills I've learned through the leadership minor help me do that."

Some of the required classes for the minor include LDR 200: Introduction to Leadership, COM 461: Communications in Leadership and LDR 402: Applications of Leadership.
The goal of the course is for students to fulfill responsibilities associated with a position of leadership.

For elective courses, those with the minor are required to choose a course from three tracks of classes from "Understanding Human Behavior and Development," "Interpersonal and Group Interaction" and "Leadership in a Social, Political or Historical Context."

A fourth elective course may be selected from any of the tracks.

Brown said the university will be looking at the program, making necessary changes and adjustments in order to improve it for students.

“We’ll really evaluate field study within the program and work to enhance that,” Brown said. “We’ll also add more leadership opportunities.”

Students interested in being involved in leadership can also join Leadership Safari or other programs within the Leadership Institute.

Brown said students in all fields can benefit from the applications of learning in the program in many different ways.

Almont sophomore Kayla Phillips said she is part of the Leader Advancement Scholars program as well as the leadership minor.

"My favorite part about being so involved is all of the amazing people I get to surround myself around daily," Phillips said via email. "They have pushed me to become better every day and I can always count on them to be there for me. I owe most of my college experience so far to the (Leadership Institute) and the programs ran through it"


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