Since the early 1990’s, an increasing number of colleges and universities have begun leadership-related academic programs. Many of these include a comprehensive curriculum providing an in-depth study of the leadership process. Initiated last year, the minor in leadership presents the opportunity for students to experience both the theory and practice of leadership through a variety of course offerings and experiences.
During the 2006-07 academic year three courses in leadership were introduced under umbrella numbers. The response from students indicated a strong interest; over 40 students completed one or more of the 3 courses. A series of courses totaling 18 credit hours were developed and accepted through the university’s curricular review process. The minor in leadership was accepted by the Kansas Board of Regents in June of 2007.
An additional component of our pilot process was a three week intensive study abroad experience in June. The interest and response from students was overwhelming. Our intent was to integrate the study of leadership within a study abroad experience and present the opportunity for students to experience and gain knowledge outside of the classroom. Study focused on the political, religious and economic divisions that have occurred historically in Eastern Europe. Our hope was for the students to recognize the need for understanding the impact of globalization, technology, environment and population, and the urgent need for reflective leadership in an ever changing world. In addition to travel in England, The Czech Republic, Poland and Austria, the students were hosted by ESU's sister institution in Estonia, the University of Tartu.