Leadership Education and Development Concentration

Whether you aspire to run a company, lead teams or excel in your chosen field, Drake’s hands-on undergraduate concentration in leadership will bring you the skills you need to succeed. The undergraduate, interdisciplinary concentration in leadership education and development (LEAD) is open to students in any academic major.

The LEAD Concentration will elevate your ability to make significant contributions in whatever career path you choose. Through the program you will learn to challenge yourself and others to develop a shared vision; influence individuals or groups toward the ethical achievement of common goals; improve your ability to manage change; deal with conflict toward a positive end; and gain essential skills that are key to elevating yourself in your profession and community.

The LEAD Concentration includes 20 credit hours of traditional and experiential courses that combine instruction and skill development. The capstone experience, LEAD 190, is an immersion experience that places you in a new organization, community or association locally or internationally where you will add value by influencing individuals or groups toward common, attainable goals.

You will also be paired with a mentor, selected based on your career aspirations and skill needs, who will work alongside you to help you translate classroom and experiential learning to the real-world work of leadership. Experiential opportunities are customized and varied. These include projects on campus and in the community as well as projects around the world with non-governmental organizations, orphanages, schools, and other entities.

Careers and Internships

Experiential opportunities as part of LEAD are not intended to replace traditional internships, but to serve as an additional enhancement to them. Careers and internship possibilities are as varied as the students who take the concentration.

Course Requirements

The Concentration in Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) is a 20 credit-hour concentration open to all students from any academic major.

LEAD Concentration Curriculum

  • LEAD 001: Foundations of Leadership
  • LEAD 050: Leadership: Theory to Practices
  • LEAD 060: Leadership Experience (Prerequisite or taken concurrently with LEAD 050)
  • LEAD 100: Leadership: Influence and Change (Prerequisite: LEAD 50)
  • LEAD 190: Capstone Practicum with Reflection (Prerequisite: LEAD 100)
  • Engaged Citizen (Area of Inquiry)
  • Ethics or Global elective
  • Leadership elective
  • LEAD 199 Special Topics 1-3


Students admitted to the concentration will adhere to the following criteria:

  • Any student may enroll in the one credit hour leadership foundations course (LEAD 001) and the three-credit-hour class LEAD 50 to be introduced to the requirements and expectations of the concentration and as a means of testing his/her interest in enrolling in the LEAD concentration.
  • Admission to LEAD will follow the requirements of each college. A student may be admitted into the concentration by completing the existing major/minor/concentration form used for academic programs.
  • A student admitted into LEAD will be assigned a leadership mentor to supervise the reflective and experiential aspects of the concentration. Appropriate mentors include members of the Steering Committee or other individuals identified by the student petitioner (approved by the LEAD chair) or college and can include academic, athletic, or co-curricular faculty and staff as well as members of the Des Moines community. Graduate students may also serve as mentors with approval of the chair.
  • A student will be admitted into the program if s/he is in good academic standing within the College s/he is enrolled and has declared a major. Students on academic probation will be ineligible from enrolling in the concentration until they are in good academic standing.
  • A student may be admitted into the LEAD concentration when s/he has completed at least 15 credit hours toward a University degree with at least 12 credit hours earned at Drake (i.e., students are admitted when they attain the credit status of at least a sophomore). For planning purposes, it is advised that students be admitted to the concentration prior to the start of their junior year.
  • A student must declare the concentration prior to the first semester of his/her senior year.

For More Information

To discuss your possible interest in adding this concentration please contact Professor Tom Westbrook at thomas.westbrook@drake.edu or phone 515-271-3078.

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