At Mercyhurst University, the Leadership Certification program thrives to build leaders on campus and better develop their skills which they can carry beyond the gates.
By getting students involved through community service as well as through school clubs and organizations, students can obtain skills that help them after they graduate.
Leadership and outreach coordinator Kristy Jamison is in charge of the program which she has restructured.
“I have restructured it this year to have an alumni speakers series. Three Mercyhurst alumni are coming to speak to the students on different leadership topics, and how they have carried that forward in their careers,” Jamison said.
Jamison believes this is important for students because they can see alumni who have been in their shoes, sat in the same classrooms, and lived in the same residence halls. Now, current students can see what alumi are doing in their lives, and can network with alumni as well as their peers.
Previously, the program belonged to a national society where there were video broadcasted speakers. Usually, this featured a celebrity or top financial manager of a Fortune 500 company, but this did not connect with the students.
Jamison believes restructuring will make it much more community based because the students will get to know each other and alumni that have been through the program.
“It’s good to see that what people have gone on to do once they leave Mercyhurst, especially from those who have firsthand experience in the program,” said Jamison.
Overall, the program consists of three levels; once a student is accepted into and complete the first level he or she can chose to continue into the upper levels.
Mercyhurst junior Jessica Ludwig is on the program’s third level. She has been in the program since her freshman year and has enjoyed it.
“I have learned that it is OK to fail, not to be afraid, and just try new things,” Ludwig said.
She said the program requires listening to speakers and reading many books. From doing these things, she has learned that people have different ways to lead.
“It has made me hopeful, knowing everyone’s going through same thing but that many have been successful, you just have to learn from what you have done wrong,” Ludwig said.
Upperclassmen who want to be a part of this program still have the chance.
“This program is open to all majors and all years. Level one is not just for freshmen I have a handful of seniors in level one this year,” Jamison said.
The application process requires basic information about the student, their involvement in the past and why they are interested in the program.
Underclassman can use a different route to get into the program.
During the J-term there is a separate program called Emerging Leaders, a workshop that serves as the base level for leadership on campus and feeds into the leadership certification program. This workshop targets freshmen and sophomores. There is also a nomination process so students, faculty and staff can nominate other students for the workshop. These nominated students can then apply to get into LCP the following year.