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Poets L.E.A.D. (Leadership Education and Development) Program

Students in classroomChannel Your Inner Leader

Coordinated by the Offices of Leadership Experience and Programs (LEAP) and Residential Life, Whittier College's Leadership Education and Development Certification Program (Poets L.E.A.D.) is based on the College's 4 Cs curriculum: Community, Connections, Cultural Perspectives, and Communication

The program strives to cultivate a student’s ability to facilitate collaborative and relational processes that lead to positive, responsible change on campus and within the community.

Leadership is a process, not a position

Leadership is much more than attaining a position of power or authority. 

In simplest terms, to “lead” is to show the way—which in practice requires a wide variety of skills and competencies. Over the past several decades, researchers have worked to debunk the myth that leadership is only reserved for a few charismatic men and women. 

Rather, leadership is everyone’s business. 

The Poets L.E.A.D. program helps Whittier College students channel their inner leader and realize that we all have a role to play—whether big or small—in solving the difficult problems of our world and showing the way for the generations to come.

Poets L.E.A.D. Goals and Objectives

  • Prepare students for leadership in a global world;
  • Engage students’ creativity while strengthening  their research abilities and critical thinking, organization, and project-management skills;
  • Utilize learning opportunities to improve knowledge acquisition through leadership experiences and tangible projects; 
  • Create measurable impacts and outcomes from co-curricular involvement;
  • Offer students the opportunity to develop a meaningful portfolio of completed work that demonstrates acquired leadership skills through a college-recognized program; and 
  • Help students develop and practice core leadership competencies that encompass: citizenship, time management, project management, risk management, fiscal responsibility, service, communication, diversity, emotional intelligence, delegation, effective meetings, critical thinking, and mediation/conflict resolution.

To assist students in the process of developing these competencies, a rubric for each competency is provided. Learn more. 

Program Courses

The following courses can be taken for 0-1 credits and count toward Whittier’s College’s minor in the Liberal Arts of Organizational Leadership Program (LAOLP)

INTD 150* - Leadership and College Student Development (CRN 20525, 20526, 20527, and 20725)
By the conclusion of this course students will produce a Competent Leader Portfolio (CLP) Website with resume, statement of leadership, five year goal plan, and two practical examples of their development in at least six of the 17 leadership competencies. Leadership competencies include but are not limited to oral, written, and interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, critical thinking, diversity, fiscal responsibility, time and project management, and membership selection. After submission of a successful portfolio, students must pass an oral examination in order to receive the rank of Competent Leader represented by a certificate.

Open to all students, but those interested in applying for a Residential Advisor (RA) position must enroll.
One semester, 0-1 credit.
Offered in Spring only

INTD 160* - Competent Leadership Seminar (CRN 10061)
This self-directed course allows already engaged student leaders to demonstrate their proficiency with leadership competencies through the development of a Competent Leader Portfolio (CLP) Website. The CLP Website must include a resume, statement of leadership, five year goal plan, and two practical examples documenting development in at least six of the 17 leadership competency learning rubrics provided. After submission of a successful portfolio, students must pass an oral examination in order to receive the rank of Competent Leader represented by a certificate.

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher; One semester, 0-1 credit.
Course must be taken with INTD 285 to count toward the Organizational Leadership Minor.
Offered in fall and JanTerm. 

INTD 180** - Advanced Leadership Practicum (CRN 20528)
The focus of this capstone course is the application of the leadership competencies through the implementation of a project that translates classroom learning into a “real world” experience. Through the course, students plan and execute an event for the Whittier College or City of Whittier community. Projects are uniquely developed based on the student’s area of interest and/or expertise. Students then update their electronic Leader Portfolio and must pass an oral examination in order to receive the rank of Advanced Leader represented by a medal worn at commencement.

Prerequisite: Junior standing or higher AND successful completion of either INTD 150 or INTD 160.
Course must be taken with BSAD 480 to count towards the Organizational Leadership minor.
Offered in fall and spring. 

*INTD 150 and 160 are identical courses offered at different times of the year. Students applying to be a Resident Advisor must enroll in INTD 150.

**Upon completion of INTD 150/160 and INTD 180, students will be recognized as an advanced leader by Whittier College and receive a medal for graduation.

Minor in the Liberal Arts of Organizational Leadership (LAOLP)

Coordinated by the College's Department of Business Administration, this specialized minor integrates aspects and ideas from other disciplines—namely humanities—into existing business courses, with a goal of developing in students critical business leadership skills and advanced competencies during their undergraduate years. The minor is open to all students from business and liberal arts disciplines alike. Learn more.