Enhancing Students’ Leadership Skills

The new Leadership Certificate Program at Kent State focuses on enhancing students’ intrapersonal, interpersonal, and socially just leadership skills. 

The program is a culminated experience of what the Pepsi Leadership Center offers. From workshops and annual institutes (Culture of Care Institute and Student Leadership Institute) to leadership classes for credit, the center holistically paired these with Kent State's Leadership Model and created a program that provides students with a comprehensive view of leadership. 

Jessica Roshak, assistant director of Student Leadership Development, mentioned students have leadership experience on-campus while holding positions in student organizations, taking leadership classes, and participating in workshops. However, she added these can be difficult to translate to employers. 

Promotional graphic for the intrapersonal leadership section.

“I hope students see [the program] as an opportunity to give them that edge up to the hundreds of people applying for the same jobs,” Roshak said. “They can have the confidence to know they had an in-depth leadership experience. It builds their confidence and gives them the language employers seek to discuss those experiences.” 

Students will improve their intrapersonal leadership by attending a student organization fair and one of the workshops provided by the Pepsi Leadership Center, such as “Values-Based Leadership.” They can also take a leadership assessment and attend a leadership-focused event of their choice. This section will help them learn more about their values and leadership styles. 

Promotional graphic for the interpersonal leadership section.

In the interpersonal leadership section, students will also attend a workshop, such as “Conflict Management” or “Identity-Based Leadership,” join a student organization, and attend a cultural event. Roshak mentioned these focus on group dynamics and will help students understand how they interact with others and their impact on them. They can take a leadership-focused class, attend the Student Leadership Institute, and participate in a team-building experience or a service-learning event. 

The last section of the program is focused on socially just leadership. Students are required to attend one leadership workshop, such as “Critical Hope” or “Life Beyond Kent State.” This section emphasizes how to translate leadership skills to the community and how students can create social change on campus. They can also participate in the Culture of Care Institute, Flash Fellows program, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion workshops. 

Promotional graphic for the socially just leadership section.

The program is primarily for undergraduate students (from first-year students to seniors) but is open to anyone at Kent State University. Roshak mentioned it can take 12 to 18 months for participants to complete the program, but it is self-paced, so they can complete it in as little or as much time as needed. 

She added that most of the program’s core functions are in person in the Pepsi Leadership Center with no participation costs.

“The program gives the students a robust leadership experience,” Roshak said. “But it’s also a way for us to ensure that our students are career-ready when it comes to managing people and leading a team.”  

Students only need to complete a Microsoft form to sign up for the Leadership Certificate Program.

Learn more about the PEPSI Leadership Center

POSTED: Thursday, February 8, 2024 11:45 AM
Updated: Friday, February 9, 2024 11:20 AM
Eduardo Strobel