In the spring of 1994, the University of Minnesota’s Campus Involvement Center initiated an assessment of student opinion regarding leadership development opportunities at the University of Minnesota. The assessment indicated that students viewed their leadership development activities and experiences as crucial to their overall education. The students suggested several ways to promote the value of leadership development in their education: (A) Develop an undergraduate minor in leadership studies (B) List involvement and leadership experiences on their transcripts and (C) Offer more traditionally co‐curricular leadership programs for credit.
Staff in Student Affairs developed a conceptual framework for the Minor, which was endorsed by the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development. Faculty from the College of Education and Human Development were identified to work with staff from Student Affairs to develop a formal proposal for the Undergraduate Leadership Minor. The work group expanded to include a representative from the Reflective Leadership Center at the Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs and the curriculum for the 3000 level leadership course, “Leadership, You and Your Community” was developed.
In the spring of 1997, a non‐credit Leadership Minor seminar was offered to explore the concept of leadership courses for credit and to solicit input regarding the content of the curriculum. In the spring of 1998, the first course, entitled, “Leadership, You and Your Community,” then identified as EDPA 3199/ PA 3099, was offered for credit with 19 students registered.
In the fall of 1998, a Leadership Minor Advisory Team was chaired by Jim Hearn, Chair of the Department of Educational Policy & Administration in the College of Education and Human Development. This team developed the comprehensive proposal for the Minor, which received final approval from the Board of Regents in December of 1999. All core courses were offered in the spring of 2000, with 41 students enrolled. Since then, our numbers continue to grow and during the 2015‐2016 school year, there were over 1,500 enrollments in our core courses.