Minot State introduces new leadership studies program

MINOT, N.D. – Roger and Ann Looyenga donated $1 million in November 2019 to introduce a new leadership program at Minot State. Students interested in the program can begin taking classes this fall.

The program is interdisciplinary and focuses on personal leadership development and processes within group, organizational, and community contexts. Currently, the program consists of a certificate (nine total credits) and a concentration (12 total credits) in leadership.  

The first class of the program, LEAD 101, fulfills the problem-solving general education requirement (CCS1) and will be offered in three sections this fall. It will introduce students to the basics of personal leadership, including studying leadership theory, identity, communication, and ethics.  Students will also engage in both self-reflective and experiential learning to make real life connections.

One section of LEAD 101 will be part of a first-year experience learning community called “Politics and Power” and will be taught by Jessica Smestad, director of Minot State’s Honors Program. 

“People often think of leadership as having a position or formal role within an organization,” said Smestad. “However, leadership is more about relationships and influence; it is people working together to achieve a common goal. Therefore, it is a process, not a position. I hope thinking of leadership within this paradigm will motivate students to seek opportunities for cultivating their leadership skills and knowledge, even if they do not plan to be the one in charge.”

The other courses in this learning community include “Politics and Power,” a first-year seminar course (UNIV 110) taught by assistant professor of sociology John McCollum, and Composition II (ENGL 120) with assistant professor of English Sarah Aleshire.

Students can also participate in the stand-alone section of LEAD 101 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-3:15 p.m. with College of Business professor Andy Bertsch, and Minot State Honors students can substitute this first course with “Foundations of Leadership” (HON 250H).

Leadership is a skill that will benefit students no matter what they plan to do after graduation according to Minot State Vice President for Academic Affairs Laurie Geller. 

“Leadership is important to all majors and career paths, whether someone is a quiet leader working behind the scenes to the more public leader we often envision,” she said. “You never know the types of opportunities you will encounter in life, so having some type of leadership development might lead to a promotion, new job, or simply, better communication skills.”

For more information on Minot State’s new leadership studies program, view this FLIER, and to learn more about LEAD 101, view this FLIER. To learn more about the first-year experience learning community “Politics and Power,” visit the Academic Support Center’s WEBSITE.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 04/13/20   

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