Monday, May 5, 2014

Leadership Program Students Present Projects

By Eloise Ravell

On April 14, 2014, Andrews University held the Undergraduate Leadership Certificate and Minor Celebration to honor students who completed their Leadership Program requirements.

Students receiving their leadership certificate completed the Fundamentals of Leadership class, engaged in the Leadership practicum every semester, were involved in a Leadership Development project, created a portfolio from leadership implications in their classes and completed their Change Project. There were four students who received a minor in leadership in which they completed three additional classes including Creative Problem Solving, Introduction to Coaching and Theories of Leadership.

“The Change Project is essentially a two-credit course in which students identify something that they believe ought to be different and set out to make it happen,” says David Ferguson, director of Undergraduate Leadership Development.

Students have to lead some sort of change using problem solving and creative thinking to better something in their community.

“I started a language program at the Crayon Box, the child care and preschool center at Andrews, to emphasize language development,” says Kristin Wolfer, a speech-language pathology and audiology student working on her leadership certificate. “Often times, speech-language pathology and audiology is associated with only speech disorders, and people do not realize the importance of language development in young children.”

Ferguson explains that the leadership program helps propel students into their chosen field and sets them apart from individuals with no leadership experience.

“The honest truth is, the world around us is starving for people who can impact their surroundings and lead,” say Ferguson. “Leadership is a delivery system for whatever your ‘big deal’ is. Being a great leader with no mission, no vision, no big ‘something,’ has no direction. Being a great leader with a flimsy ‘something’ just takes people to the wrong place more efficiently.”

The leadership program not only encourages students to do what they love, but it gives the students an advantage in the workplace with their leadership experience.

“In my perspective, the leadership program is designed to teach young adults the importance of leadership and the concept of individualization,” says Wolfer. “The program was beneficial because it showcased a variety of leadership styles and it was encouraging to see the future of young leaders in our institution.”

Being an effective leader allows students to reach their educational and professional goals along with pursuing what they are passionate about.

“Part of it is to help our students dig around in who they are, what God is calling them to be, what they’re passionate about,” continues Ferguson. “We don’t just want students to graduate from Andrews capable of holding a job. That’s not enough. We want them to graduate Andrews pursuing a life that, in another 10 years, they will look back at and say, ‘This is the life I was meant to live.’” 

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Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104