Developing Leadership Skills Through Service Learning Courses
In recent years, leadership training and service learning have been emphasized as important skills for employability. Service learning itself has a positive impact on leadership development. In this article, the author aims to give higher education faculty direction in planning, developing, and implementing a service-learning course aimed to help students develop their leadership skills through experiential learning. The author suggested keys to success after analyzing multi-source feedback and making design and teaching refinements on a service-learning course called ‘Community Leadership’ over 8 years.
In order to design the course, the author researched other universities and the leadership opportunities they offered and found two important aspects for successful courses: that leadership opportunities at other universities generally fit uniquely with that university and that including community leaders is critical. In order to implement these two aspects, the author formed a committee advisory group made up of local leaders, and collected data on topics such as appropriate time commitment for community leaders, the importance of community leaders as guest speakers in the class, and offering the course only once a year for more meaningful community projects.
The class design emphasized experiential learning and reflection opportunities in order to effectively develop leadership skills. The author treated the…