Integrate a “Leadership” Framework for Intentional Student Development
What leadership competencies do students need to develop to best leverage their capacity for getting a job and being successful in the world of work? For impacting their communities? For engaging in global leadership? The Student Leadership Competencies have been mapped to a variety of career, service, retention, learning, and leadership frameworks. For example, if you use the Social Change Model in Leadership Programs, just use the SLC Social Change Model of Leadership Development framework and design your programs around the competencies linked to that model. Using these frameworks allows you to narrow your focus to the competencies that matter for your programs and offers a universal language across multiple frameworks so your approach is consistent regardless of the frameworks you use.
Speak the Language of Academic Units
Regardless of discipline, academic units are well aware of the importance of program accreditation. In order to become or stay accredited, programs must demonstrate how they have met the criteria of their accrediting body. Using the Student Leadership Competencies Database, you can find the leadership competencies required by every accredited academic program in higher education. Knowing these competencies provides an opportunity for Leadership Programs offices to work directly with each academic unit to help them ensure that students are developing the leadership competencies required by their accrediting bodies. This could result in designing major-specific leadership programs based on required competencies or working in partnership by having students from a particular major participate in existing programs focused on competencies they need for their academic programs. And, using the Student Leadership Competencies across all academic programs provides a seamless universal language for all students.
Easily Identify Curriculum You Need
There are many leadership curricular resources available, sometimes making it difficult to decide the best curriculum for achieving the outcomes you want. Using the Curriculum Index, you can find a comprehensive index of every leadership curriculum module in a variety of leadership books aligned to the Student Leadership Competencies. No need for sifting and sorting through an entire book to find what you need. Simply select a competency and find all related curriculum across a variety of resources.
Connect Students to Leadership Programs They Need for their Majors
Using the Student Leadership Competencies Database, you can search by major to find the leadership competencies required by each of the 522 accredited academic programs in higher education. Using this information, put together a brochure or web page that highlights programs, events, and experiences that are aimed to develop the competencies needed for particular academic programs. This “cheat sheet” can be shared with academic advisors, administrators, faculty, and other student affairs units so they can help students find leadership experiences on your campus that align with competencies needed for their majors.
Help Students Chart a Leadership Development Path
Sometimes students know they want to get involved and develop their leadership skills, but they don’t know where to start. What a better place than to help them with their leadership exploration when they first get to campus. As part of Orientation or Welcome Week, offer a leadership workshop and have students take the Student Leadership Competencies Inventory so they are prepared to seek out specific leadership development opportunities that align with the competencies they want to develop. Help them develop an involvement plan and get them connected to student organizations, courses, and programs that will help them expand their leadership capacity.
Weave Leadership Development Curriculum Into First-year Seminar Classes
Work with your colleagues who are designing and teaching first-year seminar classes to use the Student Leadership Competencies as a course design framework to help students develop the skills they need to be successful in college. Using the SLC ACT: Academic Performance and Retention Factors framework, help them integrate those competencies related to student success and achievement to design curriculum and assignments that help develop students’ leadership capacity. Have them use the SLC Self-Guided Workbook, iOS app, Student Leadership Competencies Inventory, and SLC activities throughout the course to build upon students’ self-discovery and learning.
Showcase Leadership Development Opportunities at Orientation
In addition to having booths or tables marketing specific programs or offices, consider offering a “Leadership Table” that highlights various experiences from across campus designed to foster leadership development. Have different offices identify competencies associated with their leadership experiences, programs, activities, courses, and roles. Put together a brochure or web page outlining the leadership competencies associated with these experiences to inform students and parents of the leadership development benefits and opportunities offered at the institution related specifically to competencies the students want or need to develop.
Market the Value of Leadership Development
Students want to know what they are getting with their time and energy when deciding whether to participate in a program or experience. Identify competencies associated with each program and experience offered through Leadership Programs and include these competencies in the descriptions for marketing and outreach so students can determine if participating would be a fit for their needs and interests. Create a searchable database or master list of all competencies and associated programs so students can easily find competency-based opportunities. In addition, share these intended competencies in the marketing content for programs and activities by posting SLC Marketing Icons on any print or digital media.
Integrate Leadership Competencies into Leadership Classes and Workshops
In addition to using the Student Leadership Competencies as a course or program design framework, you can integrate a variety of SLC tools such as the SLC Self-Guided Workbook, iOS app, Student Leadership Competencies Inventory, and SLC activities to help students learn and develop leadership competencies.
Help Students Showcase their Leadership Competencies to Employers
By helping students understand the leadership competencies they are proficient in, students have an entirely new language with which to market themselves to prospective employers. Have students describe experiences in their ePortfolios, co-curricular transcripts, and resumes using leadership competency language. In addition, consider providing a database of commonly used job description bullet points already written in leadership competency language to help students articulate their learning in addition to their experience in these important job search artifacts.
Help Students Identify Leadership Roles that Fit
We know that some students excel at an employee role at the front desk whereas others find their fit with roles such as Peer Leaders or Volunteer Coordinators. How can we help students determine roles that are a good fit for them? By defining leadership competencies associated with each leadership role, students can be made aware of the competencies they need to be proficient in those roles. This can help them determine which roles align with the competencies they have or would like to acquire, and ultimately select roles that best fit for them.
Intentionally Design, Deliver, and Assess Student Leader Training
How can we make sure that our training for student leaders is designed to help students be successful in their specific roles? Using pre-established curriculum, you can design and deliver intentional training grounded in the competencies students need for their roles and use standardized assessment measurements to assess learning and development. Refer to the Curriculum Index for an index of hundreds of leadership activities categorized by competency.
Make Student Leader Involvement an Intentional Learning Opportunity
We know that students learn and develop by participating in student leader roles. But, how can we help make this learning intentional and then accurately measure it? Have student leaders take the Student Leadership Competencies Inventory to self-assess their competency proficiency and create a competency-based professional development plan related to their roles. In addition, using the Student Leadership Competencies assessment tools can provide insight to help advise and coach students on their leadership development.
Assess Leadership Development Through Participation in Leadership Programs
Leadership programs can range from workshops to retreats to conferences to courses. Yet, we often have a hard time assessing the impact of these programs other than through head counts and satisfaction surveys or specific evaluations for programs that cannot be easily compared across programs. By aligning your programs and experiences with leadership competencies, you can know what students should be developing as a result of participation and easily assess their leadership learning. Use SLC Self-Evaluation Measurements to provide consistency in measurement and compare data across programs.
Award Competency Badges for Completion of Experiences
Students love achieving milestones. Knowing that they completed one step helps them stay motivated to move forward to complete the next. Like badges awarded for Scouts, you can award students digital leadership competency badges for completion of specific experiences. There are 60 badges to earn, one for each competency, and you can design the experiences in which they earn badges. Using the Student Leadership Competencies provides a one-stop shop for program design, assessment, and even recognition!