Leadership studies minor under review
Freshman pre-nursing major Jae Kim is mainly focused on academics, but said she wants to use her time at Towson to find leadership opportunities
Soon, Kim may be able to gain leadership experience both outside and inside the classroom, once Towson officials complete their plans for a Leadership Studies minor.
The Offices of Academic and Student Affairs are working to create the new minor tailored to University President Maravene Loeschke’s vision for the college, according to Provost Timothy Chandler.
The minor is planning stages and administration has not developed new courses or a curriculum. But Chandler said the minor will offer students a way to study the theory of leadership.
“The minor is something the president feels very passionate about and has had an interest in for a long time,” Chandler said. “Obviously there are elements of leadership that are in all of the colleges in many ways. We are trying to bring together a powerful group of those courses and elements that will appeal to all students. We would like to have a way of formalizing some of these aspects, so that the students can show that they have had more than a set of isolated leadership experiences.”
Kim said that a minor would allow students to gain necessary leadership experience.
“However, leadership can be developed without a minor—among friends, in a classroom, being an RA and those types of things,” she said.
Senior mass communication major Shelly Benner said that being a leader is in someone’s personality.
“The minor would make the school look absolutely ridiculous,” she said.
A leadership studies minor is already being offered at the University of Maryland, College Park.
According to University of Maryland, College Park Undergraduate Catalogue, their minor is 18 credits and delves into courses that expose students to “diverse theories and perspectives on leadership” where they are “encouraged to apply analytical skills to develop their own working philosophy of leadership that will serve them in organizational and career contexts.”
Freshman Heather Veale said she would be willing to take leadership courses.
“I have heard great things about the program at College Park,” she said. “It sounds awesome. It would look really great on a résumé, especially if you were going for a position of leadership. The minor would prepare people for that type of job.”
Director of Student Activities Dirron Allen said that the minor speaks to campus culture and what the president wants for the university.
“You need to be in the classroom getting an understanding of some of the theories and the leadership models that are out there, and then apply what you learn,” he said. “Students will be able to take the theory aspect of the classes and be able to apply that to a student organization or a university role outside of the university. It’s a great mix of academic experience mixed with practical experience. They complement each other.”
Freshman occupational therapy major Lily Nicoll said she thinks hands-on experience, rather than academic engagement, is more favorable.
“But it might help people who are shy, because they would have to do it,” she said.
Allen said he believes that the leadership experiences offered on campus will appeal to different students in a variety of ways.
“Some students like to learn within classrooms, some like to learn within workshops—it would be great to offer even more diversity,” Allen said. “Leadership is designed for everyone in different ways.”