Leadership Development on Campus

Here’s a way for colleges to help develop tomorrow’s leaders

A Missouri college is hoping to engage students and improve their chances for success with a new leadership program

[Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the AACC 21st Century Center.]

Metropolitan Community College (MCC) students who want to grow their leadership skills get the opportunity at the Missouri college’s MCC LEADS Academy.

The program, designed by the Campus Life & Leadership coordinators, is targeted to help MCC students develop their leadership skills over the course of their education. It was created by Caitlin Mountjoy, an MCC-Penn Valley student and the Student Government Association president on her campus.

“I’m ecstatic for MCC LEADS, because as a student leader I’m constantly growing and looking for new ways to improve my skills set,” Mountjoy says. “This program allows me and every other MCC student to just do that and more. I can’t wait to see what MCC LEADS has in store for us.”

Helping students become leaders

The goal of the program is to improve the overall experience of students on the MCC campuses and give them much-needed guidance to prosper after graduation. LEADS stands for Leadership + Education + Achievement + Diversity = Success.

“MCC LEADS is intended to provide students with opportunities to become more engaged on their campuses at the same time as developing the skills that will help them be successful throughout their college experience and beyond as they develop their careers,” says Kathrine Swanson, MCC vice chancellor for student success and engagement.

“Given the skills gap that many employers identify, students who take advantage of MCC LEADS will have an edge in the marketplace.”

There will eventually be three tiers of MCC LEADS, but the current program is focused on helping students become well versed in their own strengths, collaborating with groups, and giving back to their community.

Students can go through the program at their own pace, participating in interactive activities that include writing prompts, quizzes, reading assignments, and interviews. And the program meets students where they are. Students can participate in person, online, or both.

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Workshops cover topics such as exploring leadership, effective communication, emotional intelligence, and conflict with civility.

Mindy Pettegrew, who oversees the Campus Life & Leadership coordinators, says they did a great job thinking through what students need and making sure all students can take part.

“Those who take advantage of MCC LEADS will have an opportunity to connect to their campus in a different way, learn more about themselves and build skills that will help them while they are at MCC and beyond,” Pettegrew says. “It is something we’ve talked about for a long time and to see it come to fruition is exciting.”

eSchool Media Contributors