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Concentration in Leadership Education and Development

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” John F. Kennedy

Drake University offers an undergraduate, interdisciplinary Concentration in Leadership Education and Development open to all students from any academic major.

Leadership Concentration

Designation/Course No.



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 050


LEAD 190

Capstone Practicum with Reflection



Prerequisite: LEAD 100



Engaged Citizen (Area of Inquiry)*



Ethics or Global Elective*



Leadership Elective*







LEAD 199

Special Topics


* Courses are flagged each term and listed on LEAD website.


LEAD graduates will make significant contributions to Drake and their current and future communities of involvement by exemplifying ethical leadership. LEAD graduates will:

  1. Know thyself and personify the leader-related knowledge, experience and language gained by the depth and breadth coverage of the LEAD Concentration (traditional and experiential classes).
  2. Exhibit the confidence, competence, and character needed to lead individuals, teams, organizations, and communities for positive social change.
  3. Understand and practice leadership as a collaborative, inclusive, and ethical process.
  4. Typify, model, and teach the skills needed to convene, reflect, inquire, collaborate, empower, and act to improve life for students, citizens, and the larger society.
  5. Exhibit the capacity to understand and work effectively with diverse individuals on-campus and throughout the world.
  6. Be able to lead successfully through conflict with civility.

Admission of Students

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

  1. Any student may enroll in the one credit hour leadership foundations course (LEAD 001) or the first three credit hour LEAD 050 to be introduced to the requirements and expectations of the concentration as a means of testing his/her interest in enrolling in the Concentration in Leadership Education and Development. These classes will be offered fall and spring terms.
  2. Admission to the Concentration in Leadership Education and Development 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.
  3. A student admitted into the Concentration in Leadership Education and Development 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 Chair of the Concentration of Leadership Education and Development) or college and can include academic, athletic, or co-curricular faculty and staff. Graduate students may also serve as mentors with approval of the Chair. An orientation will be held to acquaint the mentors with their roles and expectations.
  4. A student will be admitted into the Concentration in Leadership Education and Development 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.
  5. A student may be admitted into the Concentration in Leadership Education and Development when s/he has completed at least 15 credit hours toward a University degree with at least 12 credit-hours earned at Drake.
  6. A student must declare the Concentration in Leadership Education and Development prior to the first semester of his/her Senior year.

Faculty and Staff Steering Committee

The following faculty and staff have agreed to serve as a curriculum consulting/steering team in the development and overview of the LEAD courses:

Tom Westbrook, SOE

Maria Clapham, A&S

Ronda Menke, SJMC

Renae Chesnut, CPHS

Jan Walker, SOE

Melissa Sturm-Smith, Office of the Provost

Radostina Purvanova, CBPA


Definition of Student Leadership at Drake University

Leadership is the process of challenging ourselves and others to develop a shared vision and of influencing individuals or groups toward the ethical achievement of common goals.

Leadership Tenets

  1. Leadership depends on relationships.
  2. Leadership is everyone’s responsibility.
  3. Leadership can be developed.
  4. Leadership is inclusive.
  5. Leadership is practiced in accordance with high standards of ethics and integrity.

Explanation of Leadership Tenets

The following tenets advance our understanding of leadership at Drake and will be used to guide the development of programs on leadership education.

  1. Leadership depends on relationships: These relationships are developed at all levels of the university among students, faculty, and staff. Leadership is not dependent on one’s position in an organization or on a team, but can be pursued in any role based on one’s personal style, integrity, credibility, and willingness to engage in discourse and to develop relationships based on mutual respect with others.
  2. Leadership is everyone’s responsibility: Given the challenges faced by Drake University and society at large, all students must assume the responsibility to develop a shared vision and assume leadership to bring the knowledge and skills of diverse individuals together to achieve collective goals. This can be done through holding formal leadership positions such as serving as the head of academic, service, sport, and social groups; or by raising knowledge about critical issues through the presentation of research, artistic expression, or social advocacy; or by serving as an informal leader or volunteer in activities on and off campus.
  3. Leadership can be developed: Leaders consciously strive to make a difference in some positive way and continuously work to improve their capacity to do this effectively through formal and experiential learning. This learning is achieved through three primary means:
  4. Experiences: Leaders learn by leading and seek opportunities to do so in the numerous roles and responsibilities they accept. These efforts both provide them with better knowledge of the values and perspectives of others and heighten their understanding of their own values and leadership skills. Ultimately one’s effectiveness as a leader is developed by having the opportunity to participate in leadership activities and reflect upon successes and mistakes.
  5. Role-models and mentors: Leaders enhance their effectiveness by observing and learning from others who lead. This includes other student leaders, administrative staff, faculty, and members of the community.
  6. Education and self-reflection: Leaders elevate their understanding of leadership through participation in courses, workshops, or learning experiences that require self-reflection, inclusion, and the pursuit of a deeper understanding of ethics. Leaders reflect on those experiences and push themselves to become better informed and more skilled.
  7. Leadership is inclusive: Inclusive leadership is a collaborative process in which all members of an organization are valued and respected for their unique perspectives and contributions. Inclusive leaders move beyond tolerance and genuinely respect human differences, cross-cultural awareness and identity. Inclusive leaders help to build a positive community based on awareness of self and others, integrity, and authenticity.
  8. Leadership is practiced in accordance with high standards of ethics and integrity: Leaders develop and act upon their own reasoned understanding of ethics, at the same time as they value the knowledge, perspectives, and input of others. At minimum, leaders take responsibility for their commitments and hold themselves accountable for the consequences of their actions. They set an example by acting in harmony with their words, displaying respect for others, honoring truth and honesty, and displaying courage in consistently adhering to integrity and fairness. At best, leaders engage in the world around them to help create positive change in order to realize a more just and humane society.

Outcomes of the Concentration in Leadership Education and Development

The outcomes of the Concentration in Leadership Education and Development are aligned with the Social Change Model of Student Leadership Development (Komives, Lucas and McMahon, 2007). By completing this concentration students will be able to do the following:

  1. Articulate one’s responsibility as a leader and design a personal plan of action consistent with those values (Congruence).
  2. Assess one’s talents and growth as a leader (Consciousness).
  3. Apply historical and contemporary frameworks of leadership to current and future world issues (Citizenship).
  4. Demonstrate the knowledge and ability to develop shared vision and values (Common Purpose).
  5. Exhibit effective communication and teamwork skills to bring the knowledge and skills of diverse individuals together to achieve collective goals (Collaboration, Controversy with Civility, Change).
  6. Positively influence at least one effort (individual or group) toward goal achievement in a given situation be it academic or social in origin (Commitment, Change).

Defining Aspects of the Concentration in Leadership Education and Development

The Concentration in Leadership Education and Development will combine classroom learning and out-of-class involvement with reflective experiences facilitated by a leadership mentor. Courses and reflective experiences will be offered in concert with Drake’s collaborative learning environment and co-curricular programs resulting in engaged citizens on campus, in their respective profession, and in the community. The “signature pedagogy” will consist of an array of teaching/learning modalities:

  1. Discovery-centered learning (original work that contributes to the knowledge base of the students’ discipline).
  2. Interdisciplinary learning (requires the connection and integration of unrelated academic disciplines, skills, and schools of thought to create new knowledge or solve multi-dimensional problems).
  3. Translational learning (applies classroom learning to real-world settings and applications).
  4. Contextual learning (understands the contingent aspect of knowledge and the various patterns and perspectives that can be applied to a topic). See Youatt & Wilcox, 2008

Student Mentors

Students will select mentors or be aided by the chair to find a person on-campus or off-campus to help them to reflect and process their leadership experiences and integrate the “lessons learned” into the outcomes and curriculum of the concentration. An orientation and guidebook will be developed to acquaint new mentors with their role and assist them to understand the outcomes and curriculum of the concentration. Mentors can be faculty, staff, community members, graduate students, etc.

Student Leadership Portfolio

Students will be expected to reflect and write about the integration of the classroom learning with the practical experiences they have as leaders at Drake or in the community. The Leadership Development Portfolio (LDP) will be a separate document or could be a part of one’s major. The Leadership Development Portfolio will be reviewed during all LEAD classes or at least three times per term by the student’s mentor, faculty member or the program chair. The students will present their LEAD 190 experience as part of a dissemination program during the term they are enrolled in LEAD 190.

Connection with the Donald V. Adams Leadership Institute and Academy

The Don Adams Leadership Institute provides students an array of noncredit leadership opportunities sponsored by the Office of Student Life. Students enrolled in the Don Adams Leadership Academy attend 10 sessions over a one-year period, complete a service project and write a reflection paper. This program will continue to serve our students and will compliment the outcomes of the Concentration in Leadership Education and Development. Those students who complete the Academy will not be required to complete LEAD 001 but can directly declare the concentration. They will be required to meet with the Chair to learn about the requirements of the concentration and begin the portfolio development process.


College of Arts & Sciences

Culture and Society/SCSS


Society, Culture and African Americans


Art of Interview


Representing Race: Life History Research


Global Citizenship


Documenting Lives

Culture and Society/SCSR


Public Speaking


Argument Culture

Culture and Society/SCS


Culture, Knowledge, & Power



Business and Administrative Writing


Writing Reports and Proposals


Work and Capital in American Literature & Culture


Environmental Writing


Service Writing

Numerous literature classes with multicultural or social differences themes



America as World Power


U.S. Interventionism


Women and Gender in Modern America

Law, Politics & Society


Law and Social Change

Political Science


Women in Politics


Grassroots Globalism


Global Public Health


The American President


American Public Policy


Environmental Politics & Policy


Human Rights & World Politics


Gender and World Politics (summer Web-course)





Contemporary Ethical Issues


Race, Religion & Civic Culture



Social Psychology


Organizational Psychology


Ethnopolitical Conflict

World Languages & Culture


Intercultural Communication

Women's Studies

WS 75/Eng 75/SCSS 74

Introduction to Women's Study


College of Business & Public Administration

Bus 90

Introduction to Business Ethics


School of Education

Educ 140

Speech and the Classroom Teacher

Educ 164

Critical Perspectives in Race, Gender, and Ethnicity


School of Journalism & Mass Communication

JMC 066

Media Responsibility

JMC 104

Communication Law & Ethics

JMC 135

Public Relations Principles


University News