FAU to offer leadership minor


Photo courtesy of Katie Burke

Gregory Cox, Staff Writer

A minor in leadership is soon to be offered at Florida Atlantic University in the foreseeable future. The university faculty senate met on April 24 and supported the new minor, headed by the director of the Leadership Education and Development department, Katie Burke.

Burke explained that “a lot of it began with an undergraduate research project that was started by Kayla Woody and Ella Tepper [where] they devised a proposal … and wanted to investigate the feasibility of a leadership studies program at FAU.”

This proposal discussed other leadership studies programs at University of South Florida, Florida State University, University of Central Florida and Iowa State University, and then used these programs to create a model for FAU.

The authors of this proposal also reached out to 64 students who formed eight focus groups intended to gauge the interest of this minor at FAU.

“The student leader pool consisted of leadership ambassadors, orientation leaders, resident assistants, members of athletics and students who have taken the [introduction to leadership] course,” the proposal reads.

This 16-credit minor has three branches of what Burke calls “knowledge domains.” Those branches make up the building blocks for this minor. These domains are called self-awareness as a leader, leadership and teams, and leading our world.

There are three required core classes: introduction to leadership, theories of leadership and capstone seminar on leadership. In total, they comprise seven of the required credits.

The other nine credits can come from other colleges including the business, engineering and computer science, and military studies, as well as leadership-specific classes such as leadership in the fraternal movement or ethics and power in leadership.

Burke explained that as the minor gains popularity, the program will begin to offer more options with more colleges.

Dawn Howard, the current director of marketing and communications for the division of Student Affairs and a former associate director for the Career and Development Center, explained the importance of leadership when students are looking for jobs.

“Employers look for leadership, they want people who can be leaders,” Howard said. “Leadership is a key component that they are looking for. We’re building the future leaders.”