Innovation involves the transformation of ideas.
The Leader Development Elective is the result of seeking new and different ways to engage students in leadership training by creating options for intensive, longitudinal and individualized programming.
Description of Emerging Innovation
MN-COP launched a new, year-long elective in 2015 focused on Leader Development. This course incorporates multiple new techniques to support students’ development of themselves into leaders and encourage the leader development of others. The students participating in the course have had some leadership training and this course was designed to advance their training. The course has three unique components:
Continuing Professional Development (CPD): The Leader Development course uses a CPD model to promote skill development. Students completed two CPD cycles over the course of the year consisting of making a CPD Plan and documenting their progress with a CPD Log and Summary.
Leadership Councils (LC): Students met in small groups, or councils, four times over the year to discuss authentic leadership cases from their own experiences. Students were assigned roles for each council session – the Case Presenter presented the leadership challenge case, the Chairperson ensured the group stayed on task, and the Consultants were assigned one of three leadership models to use as guidance when providing an alternate lense through which to view the challenge.
Critical Appraisal and Executive Panels: The final assessment in the course consisted of a Critical Appraisal writing assignment using a Patchwork Text model. In this writing, students reviewed and synthesized their work products from the course in order to identify and substantiate themes focused on their growth and development as a leader. The students then shared their Critical Appraisal with an Executive Panel of faculty to further explain and elaborate on their insights.
While this Leader Development Elective had many components and coordinating activities, the innovation was in using a variety of unique teaching and assessment techniques to encourage students to take ownership of their development as leaders.
What does this work add to the ongoing SOTL conversation?
This elective course focuses on leader development in advanced pharmacy students using the CPD model, which is unique in pharmacy education. In addition, the course creates student experiences with the development of others. The elective utilizes non-traditional techniques such as the Leadership Councils and Patchwork Text Critical Appraisal. Finally, the leader development elective is longitudinal allowing time to implement significant skill development activities, to gather evidence of performance and to obtain feedback. All of these individual components come together in a course which can broaden the way advanced leadership training is viewed.
Components of the Leader Development course have been funded by a grant from the C. Charles Jackson Foundation, a national organization focused on promoting leadership development programs.