LEAD 4000 offers a vision of leadership development that focuses on students becoming ethical leaders who can foster change in the world.  We emphasize the word “becoming” because, although intellectually rigorous, this course is not merely a school exercise.  In addition to completing academic requirements (thought-provoking readings, lively discussions, and written papers), students practice, observe and reflect on leadership in the team-based practicum. Thus, students will integrate knowing and doing to address the question, “now what?” as they consider their individual and collective futures. 


LEAD 4000 is the capstone course of the Leadership Studies Minor.  In this class, students develop higher-order critical thinking to:

  • Integrate leadership experiences and practices with theory to inform continued leadership development in a variety of contexts 

  • Demonstrate understanding related to leadership theory and competencies related to leadership practice by examining contemporary wicked problems 

  • Apply ethical principles, especially under circumstances of multiple acceptable but potentially competing values

  • Justify decision-making processes that demonstrate the ability to synthesize prior knowledge to effect desirable, ethical outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Leadership Studies Minor, graduates should be prepared to influence meaningful change for the benefit of their families, communities, organizations, workplaces, and future generations. Student outcomes that inform the structure and requirements of LEAD 4000 are grouped into three overlapping but distinct domains: (1) personal leadership development, (2) leadership theory and analysis, and (3) ethical and moral leadership.

I. Personal Leadership Development

Students will:

  1. Evolve, articulate and defend (through theory, research, and experience) a personal leadership philosophy and identity;

  2. Reflect critically and deeply on themselves in community, including social identities, assumptions about leadership, and the ways power, privilege, and oppression influence various leadership contexts;

  3. Strengthen ability to work in teams in horizontal leadership context (e.g., working on team-based practicum with peers) by utilizing strategies to promote inclusivity.

II. Leadership Theory & Analysis

Students will:

  1. Articulate critical awareness of different leadership theories and their potential impacts and consequences for individuals and groups;

  2. Examine a wicked problem and present multiple leadership approaches to addressing the problem in contemporary society; 

  3. Develop and present a comprehensive analysis of a local organization that reflects systems thinking in a complex organizational context.

III. Ethical & Moral Leadership

Students will:

  1. Understand dilemmas of ethical leadership and followership in various contexts;

  2. Identify and reason about ethical dilemmas that emerge in leadership practice;

  3. Critically engage in discussion and practice of ways to organize and move towards ethical action & moral courage.