Published: May 27, 2014

A diverse class of students launched the Leadership Studies Minor this spring semester by completing LEAD 1000: Becoming a Leader. The newly created course serves as the foundation for the minor. Gordon Riggle, an accomplished leader in government, business and the military, as well as a long-time instructor of leadership courses on campus, taught the inaugural offering of LEAD 1000.

“Our first class of 26 students was rich in diversity,” explained Instructor Riggle. “We had students from 11 majors ranging from freshmen to graduating seniors with our youngest at 18 and the oldest a 30-year-old Marine gunnery sargent with 13 years of active duty. This made for some great class discussions.”

Riggle broke the course into covering leadership in three parts: 1) Who leaders are; 2) What leaders do; 3) How do leaders do it. Among the 15 leadership topics covered, students gained greater understanding of their strengths, key leadership theories and styles, communicating and persuading, leading and following by example, and to exemplify honesty and integrity.

Newton Leadership Chair, Alexander (Sandy) Bracken was very impressed with the results of the launch of LEAD 1000.

“I visited the class several times throughout the semester and the students were actively engaged in lively discussion, there were great guest talks from practicing leaders, and I am very encouraged by the feedback students provided throughout the semester,” Bracken said.

LEAD 1000 will be offered again during the fall semester. The course is full with a wait list. “We are excited about the future of the Minor and the positive endorsement it is already receiving by students,” shared Bracken.

Many of the students in the spring class declared their intentions to complete the coursework required to earn the Leadership Studies Minor. The minor is open to all undergraduate students from any college or major across campus. In addition to taking the foundations course, LEAD 1000, students are required to take three approved electives for 9 credits and a final capstone course, LEAD 4000. In total, students take 16 credit hours of coursework.

Bracken noted that the creation of the capstone course for the minor is nearing completion and is on target to be offered during the spring 2015 semester.