Incoming Student Information
"My experiences in my leadership class have been some of the most meaningful learning experiences at the University of Minnesota thus far."
LEAD 1961W: Personal Leadership in the University is a writing-intensive and civic life & ethics themed liberal education course open to any undergraduate student and is the first course taken for the Leadership Minor.
With 26 students or less, this course is highly interactive. You will learn about yourself through reflection and discussion on weekly topics like strengths, values, identity, team roles, conflict and ethics.
The course features various discussions and activities, reflective writing assignments, three “reveals” of your personal leadership journey and one group research and reflection project.
Fall, spring or summer semester
Personal Leadership in the University is offered online, remote, blended and in-person.
See our available class sections by searching "LEAD 1961W" on ScheduleBuilder.
In the online (asynchronous) format, you’ll have weekly flexible activities and written discussions in small groups on Canvas. You’ll also complete individual reflections and homework, meet one-to-one with peers and complete a group project (all online!). Through class assignments and interactions, you’ll gain more confidence in your ability to lead and to connect and engage with others using modern technology.
In the “live” (synchronous) formats (remote and in-person), you’ll meet once or twice per week for a community-driven and discussion-based class featuring daily activities and tasks. You’ll also complete individual reflections and homework, meet one-to-one with peers and complete a group project. Through these activities, you’ll come away from this course with more confidence in your ability to lead and to connect and engage with others in-person.
- Remote sections meet on set days/times on Zoom
- In-person sections meet at set days/times in a classroom
99% of employers want to see critical thinking/problem solving and 98% consider teamwork/collaboration essential.1 You’ll practice these skills and more throughout our class and be able to apply those skills in your student groups, community organizations and future career.
In our class, it starts with personal leadership: learning about yourself to strengthen the way you lead in current, complex, and even everyday situations.2,3 Plus, with a focus on relational leadership, you’ll build real connections with your classmates and teaching team.
Students often say this class is “not like other classes” -- and in a good way! 98% of students who took Personal Leadership in the University in Spring 2021 said they would recommend the class to a friend.4
When asked about their most significant learning experiences on campus, students often referenced their participation in this class and the Leadership Minor:5
“I absolutely love my Personal Leadership at the University writing intensive course that I am taking this semester. The community atmosphere that we have in our classroom has made me feel extremely comfortable and has really allowed me to feel like I can express myself without being judged. I have a more enriched learning experience and am gaining both leadership skills, interpersonal skills, reflective writing skills, and developing my strengths that I will be able to use effectively for the rest of my life! I would highly recommend taking this class -- it is such a unique experience!"
“My experiences in my leadership class have been some of the most meaningful learning experiences at the University of Minnesota thus far. I have learned both teamwork and leadership skills by engaging in interactive activities and discussions. The amount of interaction with other students and professors is unique to this class and I thoroughly enjoyed it because I love making interpersonal connections with others.”
“Taking the intro course for the Leadership Minor. We learned so much about different viewpoints and backgrounds. . . .It was interesting readings and discussions. Hearing people's life stories is the best way to learn about the world."
“I took a class called personal leadership which was very interesting. Talking about my [lived] experiences was really powerful. This was the first class in my undergraduate that we talked about my lived experiences."
“I think the most meaningful learning experiences I have had have happened in the Leadership classes. They are set up differently than other classes and focus on self-reflection and community building. I think everyone should take a class in the minor just to see how things can be done differently. A lot of good friendships and relationships can happen through the course of the semester and the leadership classes allow you to build a community."
1Heifetz, R., Grashow, A. & Linsky, M. (2009). The practice of adaptive leadership: Tools and tactics for changing your organization and the world. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.
2Werner, L., Hellstrom, D., Chung, J., Kessenich, K., Taylor Jr., L., & Capeder, A. (2016). Bridging theory and practice in the leadership classroom: Intentional emergence as a modern pedagogy. Journal of Leadership Education, 15(4), 206-216.
3Job Outlook 2019, National Association of Colleges and Employers
4Spring 2021 LEAD 1961W Leadership Minor End of Semester Survey
52018 SERU Survey