Undergraduate Leadership Grant
Date: March 25, 2011
The Andrews University Undergraduate Leadership Program has received a grant of $12,000 from the C. Charles Jackson Foundation. The monies will be used to fund increased staffing, planning retreats, benchmarking trips and staff training activities for the program.
Bruce H. Jackson, who holds a PhD in leadership, founded the Jackson Foundation in memory of his father. The foundation funds organizations that support leadership opportunities for students of all ages. Bruce Jackson says he was originally advised to donate the lump sum to a major philanthropic organization, but felt he could do more good by donating smaller amounts to organizations with relatively new leadership programs.
“We felt strongly we were going to get some grant monies from the Jackson Foundation, because as Bruce and I met together, it became obvious very quickly that our program is exactly the kind of program they look to grant monies to,” says Dave Ferguson, director of the Undergraduate Leadership Program.
The Andrews University Undergraduate Leadership Program began in the fall of 2009. The Fundamentals of Leadership course is an introduction to leadership. After taking the Fundamentals of Leadership, students can decided to continue on to receive the Undergraduate Leadership Certificate, a more in-depth experience. Students are required to complete 11 credit hours including the Intro to Leadership course, a change project, and a combination of capstone and cognate courses. Every Andrews student can take part in this program regardless of their major.
New this year is LEAD200, a course based on the idea that no two students become the same kind of leader. The practicum course, relatively rare among leadership programs, emphasizes individual leadership development, including one-on-one coaching, creation of a leadership portfolio, and hands-on experience. However, LEAD200 is a zero-credit class, meaning the Leadership Program has no tuition revenue to fund the practicum. Individualized development creates effective leaders, “But it’s an investment,” says Ferguson.
Ferguson says the grant monies are a great step toward expanding this young program. He has plans to expand the curriculum, build the program in terms of enrollment and staffing, offer practicums and mentoring, as well as enhance campus-wide and off-campus communication and development. In fact, Ferguson and his colleagues have already handpicked an individual to fill the new staffing role, which is partially funded by the Jackson Foundation grant monies.
Lauren Popp, a junior and a leadership intern, who took LEAD 200 this year, says she realized she needed actual direction regarding her personal leadership skills. Most of what she had learned in high school had been mostly theoretical or by trial and error.
“The experience I have had with this program has been invaluable,” says Popp. “Finally I was in a class whose principles I could apply to every area of my life, even if I decided to change my major 10 times. The Undergraduate Leadership Program directly benefits the students involved in it, but also indirectly influences the rest of campus through the positive, servant-based leadership principles it teaches.”