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ISULeads Program benefits students and community

In the recent State of the University address, Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Dietz shared that the ISULeads Leadership Certificate Program, coordinated by Leadership and Service in the Dean of Students Office, is one of only a few leadership certificate programs in the state.

ISULeads is a comprehensive leadership program designed to help students select involvement opportunities that build on one another to make the most of their involvement and grow in their understanding, practice, and articulation of leadership. The program is a campus and communitywide initiative incorporating curricular and cocurricular learning within its three pillars: civic engagement, global perspectives, and leadership. In addition to a few ISULeads-specific activities, students must complete 12 experiences per pillar; examples of experiences might include academic coursework, community service projects, or cultural events.

ISULeads was piloted two years ago with 17 students, and the program has now grown to include more than 250 students. Raven Smith ’13, a graduate of the ISULeads program, said, “ISULeads helped me further develop my leadership skills; it gave me an opportunity to learn and grow personally and professionally.”

There are many rewards and benefits for students who participate, such as developing leadership skills, increasing understanding of global and cultural issues, and building professional relationships. By growing in each of these areas, ISULeads prepares students to become professionals ready to join the workforce, which in turn is valuable for future employers as well.

The benefits of the program truly extend beyond the university setting, as participants also learn the importance of being civically engaged citizens in their communities. Javin Cotton, a current ISULeads participant, said the program has given him a continued sense of responsibility and caused him to become more aware of his involvement in the community. “It is extremely important to become knowledgeable about opportunities on and around the school campus,” he said. “ISULeads has aided in my awareness, which has led me into actively participating in civic engagement.”

To learn more about ISULeads and how to support the program, visit DeanofStudents.IllinoisState.edu. The staff of Leadership and Service would like to thank the campus and community for their support of ISULeads, where students are encouraged to be strong leaders and engaged citizens.

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