Leadership minor opportunity revived

A new minor has found its way into the 2014 curriculum at Norwich University, and it’s not the first time. It’s on leadership, and is available for all students no matter their year, says the Co-Chair of the new Leadership Committee.

“There used to be a minor of leadership here at Norwich 15 years ago but it didn’t stay; it kind of fell apart. There just wasn’t really a lot of interest at that time, but there is now,” said Prof. Michael Kelley, who is also a professor of civil engineering.

A new minor has found its way into the 2014 curriculum at Norwich University, and it’s not the first time. It’s on leadership, and is available for all students no matter their year, says the Co-Chair of the new Leadership Committee.

“There used to be a minor of leadership here at Norwich 15 years ago but it didn’t stay; it kind of fell apart. There just wasn’t really a lot of interest at that time, but there is now,” said Prof. Michael Kelley, who is also a professor of civil engineering.

The minor is a “multidisciplinary opportunity” for students to “expand their knowledge and experience in leadership via an informally guided, multidisciplinary journey of academic exploration and discovery,” according to these year’s catalog.

The Leadership Minor Committee (LMC) was formed in August of 2012 to begin the discussion about “what a leadership minor here at Norwich would look like.” The committee included professors from all different departments, according to Kelley.

“More than a thousand colleges across the nation have a leadership minor or some sort of leadership concentration. With these as viable sources, we were able to prepare a proposal,” Kelley said.

The minor was approved and has made its way into the catalog for this school year. Only a dozen students have signed up so far but many students say they are interested.

“I have heard about this new minor and am interested. I am a senior however and might not really have the time for it,” said Estaban Ramirez, a senior Political Science major from Pensacola, Fla.

Like all the other minors here at Norwich, six classes are required for a minor. While adding a minor as a senior may sound impossible, some of the classes required might have already fallen into a specific discipline.

“My fiancé is in the corps and is a senior. He has already completed many of the classes required for this minor and is very interested in it because of the leadership aspect,” said Abby Donahue, a senior English major from Newtown, N.H.

According to the 2014-2015 Academic Catalog, the minor consists of, “PY210, MG351; the NU ethics course required for your major; two elective courses in different disciplinary areas from a broad list and an integrating experience course.”

For corps students, MS311 and MS411 courses count toward two of the six classes. For psychology majors, elective classes count as well. As a result, the leadership minor is very achievable, and after their first semester, freshmen are able to add it as well.

This year, incoming freshmen heard about the new minor from a flyer provided during orientation. However, many upperclassmen did not even know about this new opportunity, according to Ramirez.

“None of my buddies even know about this new minor. Maybe a public announcement should have been made so that the word got out about this new opportunity,” he said. “Still the fact that Norwich finally has this minor available is a big deal.”

“Technically because this is a military college, leadership skills are instilled in the students so I see why the leadership minor is so late. It’s a good thing though,” he added.

Prof. Kelley agrees that leadership is infused in the whole Norwich experience. “Norwich has one of its bedrock principles, leadership and leadership development. That’s one of the things that is special about coming to Norwich. We wanted to get this more available to students, the idea to teach them about leadership,” stated Kelley.

All other military colleges have at least a minor in leadership, if not a major. Norwich is the last of the military colleges to get a leadership minor because of the traditions here, according to Donahue.

“I think it has to do with traditionalism. This school is a very traditional college and they don’t introduce new things very quickly,” said Donahue. Jenna Perkins, a sophomore psychology major from Knottingham, N.J., believes the new major is a good thing no matter how late.

“I think because this is a military college that the university realized it would be an added bonus to have this leadership minor. This is something I want to look into doing,” said Perkins.

While many students have expressed interest in the new minor, it still seems there is some confusion about what it consists of, and whether they can sign up for it. Kelley says that he thinks that will ebb as the word spreads.

“The interest for something like this has piqued, and now that it is available to students, I think we will see a growing trend in the numbers of students participating,” Kelley said.

There is still time to add a leadership for the upcoming spring semester. “I think that if someone doesn’t have a minor already, then this leadership minor is the way to go,” Perkins said.

Comments

  1. Shannon says:

    Where can I find the list of requirements for this minor?

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