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Late in the Spring 2004 semester, Coleman Patterson became director of the HSU Leadership Studies Program.  Since then, the program has grown in size, reach, and influence.  The academic rigor and acceptance of the program has improved, the quality and expectations of the students has improved, the inclusion of faculty from different areas of campus has increased, and the variety and flexibility of course offerings has increased.  The scholarship program is more competitive, has higher renewal requirements, includes merit-based award levels, and  requires one-quarter of the funds used in Patterson's first year as director.  The following program information is drawn from a variety of promotional and informational publications. 


Schools, churches, businesses, non-profit organizations, social movements, and governments depend on vibrant and competent leadership to thrive. Organizations of all types are in desperate and constant need of effective leaders—individuals who can make extraordinary things happen through and with other people.

Just as budding athletes, artists, and musicians develop and improve their skills more fully and efficiently through lessons and study, rather than learning only through personal trial and error, so too can students of leadership develop understanding and skills more efficiently through study and practice than those who only learn independently through personal experience. The Leadership Studies Program puts students into an environment where they wrestle with the concepts and skills of leadership through in-class and out-of-class experiences.

Students who complete the program emerge having investigated and studied: historical and contemporary views and theories of leadership; the individual, group, and organizational processes that influence leadership; the role of ethics in leadership; biographies of good and bad leaders; and the core communication, problem-solving, teamwork, motivation, and personal skills needed by leaders of all types of organizations.

The opportunities and experiences that students have at their disposal through the Leadership Studies Program exist to help them distinguish themselves from the countless other college graduates with whom they will compete for jobs, internships, scholarships, and other important opportunities.



The Leadership Studies Program at HSU is a 21-hour multi-disciplinary minor that fits with any major on campus.  The classes and experiences of the program are designed to help students develop leadership, teamwork, and organization skills while still in college and to offer them opportunities to distinguish themselves from others with whom they will compete for future jobs, scholarships, and other important opportunities.  Students in the program come from many different academic areas of campus—including nursing, business, computer science, English, biology, ministry, music, education, communication, history, political science, Spanish, social work, religion, psychology, fitness and sport science, and sociology.

Students can also take leadership courses as electives under their particular degree plans. The coursework is designed to emphasize theory as well as application and skill development.

Leadership students choose from an interesting array of classes.  In the current year, the following courses have been available to our students.

Leadership in Theatre—students develop confidence speaking and working with others by directing and performing one-act plays and putting on a full-blown theatrical performance for children from after school programs.

Leadership in Film—popular movies become case studies for students to identify and evaluate leadership and organizational theories.

Outdoor Leadership—students work individually and in teams to complete a multitude of outdoor skills challenges (including ropes courses, rappelling, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, and adventure course races).

Decision Making—game theory, creativity, decision theory, and quantitative decision tools are studied and used to solve a wide range of practical and organizational problems.

Leading Virtual Teams—in this summer workshop class, students combine their efforts to produce a complex web-based project.

Organizational Behavior—students learn about behavior in organizations in a cross-cultural setting with students from a dozen other countries in this summer school class held at The International University in Vienna, Austria.

Organization Builders—after studying people who built companies and organizations, students see the fruits of their labor firsthand and talk with executives who carry on their legacies in this summer travel course.

Other recent courses include Critical Thinking for Leaders, Great Leaders of History, Foundations of Leadership Studies, Leadership Seminar, Communication for Leaders, Change in Organizations, Christian Ethics for Leaders, Business Concepts for Leaders, Leading Teams, and Creating Profit and Non-Profit Ventures.

Leadership Studies Program students have tremendous networking opportunities available to them.  Our students serve as the official student hosts and hostesses of the university, occupy two seats on the alumni association board of directors, and can participate in an alumni-student mentor program with former leadership students.  Leadership students can be found in leadership roles across campus—in student congress, on sports teams, in social clubs and professional organizations, in ministry and missions activities, and across campus working in variety of responsible positions.  Graduates of our program go on to a wide variety of professional and service fields—including one who works for a U.S. Supreme Court Justice!   Book clubs, service projects, retreats, and monthly program activities help round out the experiences for our students.

Additional information on our program can be found on our HSU website or through our Facebook group.



Leadership students pursue a rigorous program of study rooted in leadership theory, organizational psychology, organizational sociology, administrative theory, and ethics. Skill development is learned in communication, critical thinking, and special topics courses and in leadership workshops.

The curriculum emphasizes inquiry, understanding, skill development, practice, and reflection. In-class study, class exercises, service projects, and leadership workshops provide an environment where students can study and develop an understanding of leadership.

To earn a minor in Leadership Studies, students must complete a set of three core leadership courses and four additional leadership elective courses. Foundations of Leadership Studies (LDSP 1301) is the first course in the program—it is a prerequisite to all other courses. Once completed, students are free to take any other course.

    Core Classes

      Foundations of Leadership Studies
      Christian Ethics for Leaders
      Leadership Seminar

Leadership Electives (choose four of the following courses)

      Communication for Leaders
      Great Leaders of History
      Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
      Leadership in Theatre
      Creating Profit and Non-Profit Ventures
      Outdoor Leadership
      Business Concepts for Leaders
      Leading Teams
      Leadership in Film
      Organizational Behavior—taught in Vienna, Austria
      Leadership Workshop

    Special Topics Course

      Decision Making
      Change in Organizations
      Leading Multi-Cultural Organizations
      Organizational Builders travel course to Kansas City
      Sport and Recreation Management Seminar
      Leadership Workshops included creating a portable miniature city for children, hosting a leadership camp for high school students, and writing and creating a virtual textbook.



Organizations of all types desperately need leaders--people who can see opportunities and problems before others, and people who have the energy, drive, passion, and interest to jump on those things without being told what to do. Society needs people who can critically analyze their environments and mobilize others in the pursuit of common goals. People, communication, problem-solving, analytical, and strategic thinking skills are needed of would-be leaders.

The LDSP Program helps develop awareness of leadership concepts and places students in situations to practice those necessary skills. As a multi-disciplinary program, students learn of issues and ideas from outside of their chosen field by interacting and working with students and faculty from many different disciplines--much more than they could gain from their single discipline alone.

Through the program, students also engage in activities and experiences that cannot be found in a single academic program. Ideas and experiences from management, business, theology, philosophy, history, public administration, political science, sport and recreation management, and communication make for a unique set of experiences that are hard to find in another academic program.

The diverse academic experiences, when combined with the unique experiences and opportunities of the program (e.g., hosts and hostesses, late nights, service opportunities, SIFE career connections, ropes courses and outdoor adventures, book clubs, advisory group participation, travel courses, projects, etc.), give students something rare and extremely hard to find on other college campuses.

The things and experiences that you have at your disposal through the LDSP exist to help you distinguish yourself from the countless other college graduates with whom you will compete for jobs, internships, scholarships, and other important opportunities.

By participating in the program and developing a portfolio of experiences, you will prepare yourself for leadership roles in society and in the process, set yourself apart from your competitors.

If a "leadership hungry" employer is looking at the resumes of two equally-experienced candidates (with the same majors), imagine the advantage of the candidate with a Leadership Studies minor.



At the end of each spring semester, students will submit a portfolio that documents their leadership experiences from that academic year.  Portfolios should clearly demonstrate the leadership, teamwork, and organization lessons learned over the academic year and provide evidence of the leadership in the classroom, on campus, in church, and in the community.

Portfolios should be created in a manner and form appropriate for each student’s particular career and educational goals.  Although there is not a specific format to which portfolios must conform, they should include the following broad categories:

1.      Classes:  Describe the courses that you completed during the year, the topics learned, lessons learned about yourself and leadership/organization, experiences and exercises, and projects completed.  You should also list and describe the books and literature read, speakers heard, and videos watched.

2.      Organizational Memberships:  Describe the organizations that you belonged to during the year, describe the leadership and team roles that you engaged in during the year in the organizations, and describe significant projects and things that you did in the organization.  Organizational memberships might include campus organizations, church and ministry organizations, athletic and intramural teams, on- and off-campus employment, Purple Coats, LDSP Advisory Board, band and choir, social and service clubs, etc. 

3.      Service and Extracurricular Involvement: Describe service activities and other extracurricular events in which you participated and took on leadership roles.  Organizing a team for Relay for Life, participating in the LDSP retreats and Late Nights, organizing and helping with SIFE projects, and a host of other service/volunteer-related activities can fall in this category.

You should document all of your yearly experiences with pictures, programs, letters of correspondence and thanks, news stories, etc. 

There is a three-fold purpose for developing and maintaining portfolios.  The first reason has to do with outcomes assessment for the Leadership Studies Program.  As an academic program, we have to show that our students are learning the things that the program exists to teach.  The second reason is that it will give you something to show to employers and admissions committees down the road—by combining the yearly portfolios into a single, comprehensive portfolio at the end of your time in the program, you will have a very impressive document to show to influential and important others in the future.  Your portfolio will help set you apart from others in the minds of future interviewers and employers.  The third reason for constructing and maintaining a portfolio involves the LDSP scholarships.  Portfolios will be used to award LDSP scholarship funds for the next academic year.  You should do your best job in creating your portfolio to increase your chances of earning additional scholarship money. 

Scholarship awards will not be made until portfolios are submitted and reviewed (which will be after spring grades are processed).  Failure to submit a portfolio by the end of the spring semester of each year will be interpreted as an indication that the student does not wish to be considered for a scholarship for the next academic year.  Students who submit their portfolios late may receive scholarship funds for the next year pending an acceptable evaluation and availability of scholarship funds.



Students on the LDSP Student Advisory Council developed the following policies.  Their charge was to develop a reward scheme that encouraged LDSP students to remain active in LDSP activities throughout their time at HSU (even during semesters when they are not enrolled in LDSP courses) and to reward exceptional performance—in and out of the classroom. (Note: Requirement #5 was added by the LDSP Student Advisory Council in the Fall 2008 semester and became effective immediately)  

1.      Scholarships will be awarded in the spring semester of each year for the upcoming academic year.  Students who enter the program in the spring semester will apply for scholarships for the next academic year during their first semester.

2.      First-year scholarship will be for $1,000 ($500/semester).  Students will have to complete at least three hours of LDSP credit during their first year on the scholarship and submit a portfolio at the end of the year. 

3.      A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (overall and in LDSP courses) is required to earn and maintain the LDSP scholarship. 

4.      At the end of each year on scholarship, students will submit yearly portfolios—which will be reviewed by a scholarship review panel.  Portfolios should be professional-looking—good enough to take to a job or graduate school interview.  The panelists will review the portfolios and place them into one of four categories: 

a.       Outstanding—two students will be named the Outstanding Leadership Students of the Year based upon the reviews and recommendations of the Portfolio/Scholarship Review Committee.  Those two students will receive $2,500 scholarships ($1,250 per semester) for the upcoming year, a plaque, and the title “Outstanding Leadership Student.”

b.      Exceptional—for those portfolios that demonstrate exceptional leadership and involvement in campus, community, and church activities, students will earn an additional $500 per year ($250 per semester) on top of their base $1,000 per year ($500 per semester) scholarship.  There is no requirement on the percentage of portfolios that fall in this category.

c.       Good/Acceptable—students whose activities and involvement are deemed good (or acceptable) will receive a $1,000 scholarship per year ($500 per semester) for the next academic year.  There is no requirement on the percentage of portfolios that fall in this category.

d.      Unacceptable—students who activities and involvement are deemed unacceptable or below expectations, will be placed on probation and will have one semester to raise their performance before losing the scholarship for the remainder of the year.  LDSP students are allowed only one semester of probation during their time in the program.  If a student improves performance during a semester on probation and continues to receive a scholarship, and later receives another Unacceptable rating in a future year, the student will immediately lose the scholarship and will have to reapply for it in a future spring semester along with other interested candidates.

e.       In addition to the bonuses that can be earned through exceptional and outstanding involvement in campus, church, and community organizations, students can also increase their scholarship awards through exceptional performance in the classroom.  Full-time students who earn a 3.5 or higher overall grade point average with a full load of classes, can earn an academic performance bonus of $500 ($250 per semester) for the next academic year.  Grade point averages will be reviewed after the spring semester of each year and academic performance bonuses will only be awarded at that time and will be good for the next fall and spring semesters.  

5.      To renew the LDSP scholarship, students must regularly participate in LDSP-sponsored activities throughout their time on scholarship (again, you should view the scholarship as an investment by HSU in your leadership development).  These include, but are not limited to, Late Nights, Retreats, LDSP social events, Purple Jacket events, book clubs, participation on the Student Advisory Council, and other special events (e.g., speakers, service opportunities, etc.).  Points will be awarded for each activity (one point for most events, two points for those with longer time commitments).  

To be eligible for scholarship renewal, students must earn a minimum of 12 points during a Fall-Spring academic year.  In the year that students are enrolled in Foundations of Leadership Studies, they will be expected to earn six additional points in the following Spring semester.  Any points earned above the minimum number improve a student’s chances of receiving an “exceptional” or “outstanding” involvement and activities rating on their portfolios—in conjunction with involvement in other activities and a professional-looking portfolio.

In addition to the new scholarship guidelines, the old requirements about academic probation for grades and the requirement for progress toward the minor are still in effect.

To receive and maintain a scholarship, a 3.0 grade point average in all coursework at HSU and a 3.0 grade point average in leadership classes is required. If a student's overall or leadership grade point average drops below a 3.0, the student will be placed on probation at the time of the portfolio review. If the overall and/or leadership grade point average does not rise above 3.0 during the semester on probation, the student will lose his/her scholarship. Only one semester of probation is allowed throughout the program.

In addition to the grade point average requirement, students on scholarship must also make continued progress toward the minor. Three hours toward the minor must be earned by the end of the first year on scholarship, nine by the end of the second year, 15 by the end of the third, and 21 hours earned by the end of the fourth year on scholarship. Students who complete the minor before their senior year may continue to receive the scholarship provided that the student maintains a 3.0 overall grade point average and receive satisfactory ratings on their portfolios each year. Scholarship applications are accepted and reviewed during the spring semester of each year.


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