The Institute for Leadership Development of Troy University has been taking shape since the fall of 2007, and has recently begun expanding.
Leadership courses are part of the social sciences department, which focuses on leadership development. In these courses, students learn and practice the skills necessary to lead while studying leadership concepts.
The Introduction to Leadership, or LDR 1100, course can be applied toward Area 4 of the General Studies Curriculum. According to John Kline, the director of the Institute for Leadership Development, the department expects “even more leadership courses to be added to General Studies.”
All leadership courses carry honors credit as well, so completing the minor has benefits toward completing the required honors course load.
“Students are coming to realize that leadership development fits with very many majors,” Kline said, “and although there is not room for a minor in some fields such as nursing or education, some students are taking the extra hours just to get the experience that comes from leadership development.”
Although many things in the leadership department are changing, one thing will not change, said Kline.
“Our focus is on servant leadership,” he said. “Servant leaders lead because they want to help others and the organizations they lead.”
Kline’s personal definition of leadership is “the positive transformation of others and the organization.”
“Having the minor in leadership development on one’s résumé sets a person apart,” Kline said. “More importantly, having the necessary skills and abilities to lead helps set the person apart from others.”
“My favorite part was attending the lectures that were taught by higher leadership professors,” said Andi Staton, a freshman marketing major from Clay. Staton is taking the LDR 1100 course this semester.
Cesar Jauregui, a senior broadcast journalism major from Pell City, described how he became a leadership minor.
“My first encounter with the leadership department was when I visited Troy for a leadership luncheon,” Jauregui said. “There I met Dr. Kline, and he not only spoke about it, but he was truly passionate about leadership.
“Later when I came back, Dr. Kline not only remembered my name, which for someone with a difficult name does not happen often, but he was still fired up about the program, and when I heard Dr. Hawkins (Chancellor Jack Hawkins) talk about servant leadership during IMPACT (orientation), I knew I wanted to be a part of that program.”
Jauregui continued, saying, “After four years of leadership classes, I can say I have not only learned more than I ever expected, but fell more and more in love with the program every year because every leadership professor shared the same passion for leadership development.”