Training on Tap
By Michelle Ertl
They make you forge your own path. And just when you’ve
gotten your footing, they make you retreat. They put you with strangers,
test your limits, push your boundaries, and make you find your cheese. They
dangle your behind out over thin air. Even at lunch, they feed your mind
while you brown-bag your belly. And when they’re done, they’ve transformed
you in a lean, mean leading machine. Leadership training programs at campuses across
Florida come in every level of intensity, but they all share the common goal
of building students’ skills. Read on to find the program that suits your
style in our third annual leadership training roundup.
By Michelle Ertl
They make you forge your own path. And just when you’ve gotten your footing, they make you retreat. They put you with strangers, test your limits, push your boundaries, and make you find your cheese. They dangle your behind out over thin air. Even at lunch, they feed your mind while you brown-bag your belly. And when they’re done, they’ve transformed you in a lean, mean leading machine.
Leadership training programs at campuses across Florida come in every level of intensity, but they all share the common goal of building students’ skills. Read on to find the program that suits your style in our third annual leadership training roundup.
Florida Southern College
The Pathfinders build a strong leadership foundation by completing the program’s four points of leadership: service, vision, challenge, and growth. Through service, the participants strengthen their personal foundations, vision allows them to focus on their personal and organizational qualities, challenge pushes the participants beyond their comfort zones, and growth enables students to record their experiences. After the students complete the yearlong program, they can develop into Navigators, students who later become leaders of the Pathfinders program.
WHY: The Pathfinders program gives students the opportunity to develop and enhance a personal philosophy of leadership that encompasses self understanding, respect for others, and acknowledgment of responsibilities essential to a community. The four points of leadership help the students focus on their goals, values, and strengths. The Pathfinders organizers believe that by defining who you are, where you hope to go, and what you would love to do, you create a solid foundation on which you can build your talents as a leader. “By creating a network of leaders committed to not only Pathfinders, but the college and the community at large, we will establish a legacy of leadership, says Stephen Bellah, leadership coordinator. “I love the impact it has on our first-year students.”
The accommodating program offers three different levels of involvement so that students can match their experience with their interests. The Foundation Level, a level in which students get exposed to the basics, provides monthly meetings with guest speakers who discuss various leadership topics. Participants also engage in special programs that include movie discussions, service activities, and guest receptions. At the end of the program, students attend the annual leadership retreat. Throughout the course of the Foundation Level, students amass credit points for each activity they’re involved in, leading to certification at the end of the program.
Another leadership option for students is the Core Level, a program consisting of weekly meetings and creative group projects. At this level, students study leadership styles and principles extensively. Students are also encouraged to attend special programs that are offered not only on campus, but in the city of Jacksonville as well. Participants wind up the Core Level at the annual leadership retreat.
The last level, the Capstone, is based more on group projects and the independent study of leadership styles in professional settings. Students attend periodic meetings, conduct small, creative independent and group projects on leadership issues, and explore leadership in their desired career path. Capstone leaders meet and network with significant leaders in the Jacksonville community. Students at this level not only participate in the annual leadership retreat, but they assist in leading it.
WHY: “The mission of the program is to increase student interest in leadership and to enhance student abilities as leaders, both within our campus community and for their years beyond campus,” says David Eberhardt, program coordinator and assistant dean of students for community development.
WHO: Contact Eberhardt at email@example.com for more information.
Later in the fall, the LEAD program offers EMERGE-an eight-week seminar program focused on the Leadership and Social Change model. The program focuses on understanding self-leadership through different activities and speakers, and its goal is to have participants understand what leadership means to them. VENTURE is also an eight-week seminar, but instead of the focus being on the individual, the program concentrates on leadership involvement in groups. Participants are typically student organization leaders, or students trying to learn more about becoming involved in leading a student organization.
The next step is in the classroom. Rollins College offers two different for-credit courses that focus on leadership development. The foundations of leadership theories course focuses on leadership from both theoretical and practical perspectives. The Winter Park Fellows Program focuses on understanding the importance of leadership outside of the college setting. Students enrolled in the course are paired up with leaders in the Winter Park community, such as the mayor or members of the police force.
WHY: “The LEAD program is so effective because we meet students at every level-we allow anyone and everyone to find a place,” says Corey Ellis, assistant director of student involvement and leadership.
Florida International University
For those who wish to start from the beginning, FIU offers two introductory leadership programs. First, the Academy of Emerging Leaders is a semester-long program consisting of monthly meetings and a retreat at Pigeon Key. The meetings cover simple leadership talks, projects, and even workshops-consistently encouraging students to engage in various community service projects. Second, the ENGAGE program covers various leadership topics at workshops held every other Friday during the semester. The workshops include sessions on running meetings, delegating groups, conflict resolution, and team building.
For many students, leadership simply becomes a way of life, and FIU created a place in its program where students can live leadership as a lifestyle. Through presentations and workshops, he LEAD Team program allows participants to assist faculty and student clubs and organizations in learning new skills for leadership development. The Leaders in Residence program also offers students a chance to incorporate leadership in their everyday lives. The program runs annually, and a living/learning community is established through educational programs, mentoring experiences, community service involvement, and cooperative living.
After learning the various skills and responsibilities required for effective leadership, students can participate in several programs that encourage leadership in the community and after college. The Collegiate Leadership Development Program builds relationships and communications between emerging leaders and key university officials. The Advanced Academy of Emerging Leaders, a follow-up to Academy of Emerging Leaders program, offers educational seminars, ropes course activities, and the opportunity to mentor new emerging leaders. FIU also offers an Academic Certificate in Professional Leadership Studies. The classes needed for certification encourage leadership after college and prepare graduates for leadership in the broader community.
WHY: FIU offers and promotes these programs to provide leadership education and experiential opportunities to all students. "Through unlimited accessibility, our program allows students to develop leadership skills that enable them to make a difference on campus," says Alton Austin, leadership facilitator for the Center for Leadership Development and Civic Responsibilities.
WHO: Contact the Center for Leadership Development and Civic Responsibilities at 305-348-1402 or visit www.fiu.edu/~leaders.
University of Central Florida
During the two-day retreat, participants engage in several activities-The Game of Life Simulation and the Who Moved My Cheese activity have proven the most successful. In The Game of Life, REEL participants walk in the shoes of people different from themselves. The students wear nametags, which are coded in terms of race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, ability, disability, and gender. Throughout the Game of Life-getting an education, finding a job, buying good and services-the participants are treated based on their labels. The activity allows students to experience life from someone else’s perspective and probes into issues such as social justice, diversity, and helping others.
Who Moved My Cheese is a two-hour discussion based on Spencer Johnson’s book of the same name. The book explores how certain people deal with the change of a shifting environment. The RCs facilitate a discussion about the many changes that occur during the transition from high school to college, and counselors share their personal experiences with participants. The RCs explain effective ways to become leaders both on campus and in the community and share advice in getting involved in different organizations.
WHY: The REEL program is unique because it engages students from the very beginning. After check in at their dorms, they’re literally whisked away on a bus to the retreat just hours later. Through leadership activities and the program’s focus on personal development at an early stage, students can meet new friends, find out about themselves, and become leaders in a non-threatening environment. “REEL is one of the greatest programs that LEAD Scholars and UCF has to offer new students,” says Mikki Pannozzo, assistant director of the LEAD Scholars Program. “Our goal is to foster an environment in which students build an open and honest community of scholars based on learning, leadership development, diversity, and values before classes begin.”
WHO: Call Pannozzo at 407-823-2223 or visit www.lead.sdes.ucf.edu and click on LEAD programs, then REEL for more information.
University of South Florida
The Emerging Leaders Conference is a 14-year-old event that has sought to provide students with an opportunity to learn, grow, and enhance their leadership skills. The program teaches participants to consider their leadership roles not only during school, but also in their lives beyond. While at the retreat participants, interact and develop relationships with other emerging leaders. "I learned so much about myself and the other extraordinary people that were at the conference,” says participant Stephanie Freedman. “Best of all, I made friends with some of the most talented and inspiring people at USF.”
WHY: On the Sunday afternoon bus ride home, participants sit with new friends and think of the different ways to apply their new leadership skills. “With the aid of student facilitators and lead advisors, students find, through a variety of activities, exercises, and games, that they have both the strength and ethical conviction to pave a better tomorrow for not only themselves, but for their peers and friends,” says Alicia Keating, a leadership development graduate assistant.
WHO: Contact Keating at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 813-974-5781.
Broward Community College
The Leadership Seminar Series offers one-day seminars focusing on specific topics: project management, conflict management, and team building, to name a few. The Saturday sessions bring professional presenters to motivate, inspire, and educate participants. Upon completion of the Leadership Seminar Series, students will receive a specialized Student Leader certificate.
The Student Organizational Leaders Training Day focuses on the leadership roles within student organizations. The full-day program winds up on a ropes course challenge and organization leaders focus on teambuilding, conflict management, collaboration, and motivating others and oneself as a leader.
WHY: “This program is designed to take students with little or no formal leadership training and introduce them to different leadership styles through various facilitators and activities,” Boyd says. “At the conclusion of the program, the participants will have gained the basic leadership skills and concepts that will assist them in identifying their own leadership styles.”
WHO: Contact Boyd at email@example.com, call 954-201-8997, or visit www.broward.edu/locations/central/studentlife/leadership_c.jsp.
Florida Community College
The Leadership Development Series consists of an annual dinner event and monthly lunch events where speakers discuss various leadership topics. The etiquette dinner guides students through the technicalities of formal dining. The students learn to portray themselves as polished leaders and gain valuable real-world etiquette skills. The monthly lunches cover topics such as communication skills, stress management, developing leadership style, and discovering the leader within.
CFCC organizers have had such positive feedback from the Leadership Development Series that they’re now working on setting up leadership retreats that cover a variety of leadership programs, as well as some ropes course work for the upcoming 2004-2005 school year. The retreats will run over the course of a day and will be offered once a semester.
WHY: The mission of CFCC's program is simple: "We just want to provide our students with opportunities to develop skills that will help them be successful in life,” says Dr. Lindsey Dedow, coordinator of the Center for Civic Education and Leadership Development.
WHO: Contact Dr. Dedow at 352-854-2322 ext. 1578 or visit www.cfcc.cc.fl.us/student/stdntleader.htm.
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