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What Is the LeADERS Program?

By Jenn Grimm

The provost's LeADERS program encourages students to participate in courses in the areas of Leadership, Academic Internship, Diversity, Entrepreneurship, Research and Service Learning. Students who complete three, four or five of these areas and develop a LeADERS ePortfolio earn a LeADERS Bronze, Silver or Gold graduation medal and transcript designation.

The LeADERS program is coordinated through the Center for High Impact Practices (CHIP). Lisa Mayes, the executive director for academic enhancement, promotes high-impact practices and experiential learning and heads CHIP. Find out more about CHIP.

Launched in fall 2018, LeADERS typically has more than 600 student participants and has seen nearly 200 graduates earn LeADERS medals over five semesters. The purpose of LeADERS is to encourage student participation in a variety of experiential learning courses to enhance their college education. Students are then guided to reflect on and highlight their learning and professional growth in their ePortfolio, which serves as a reflection activity and employment tool to showcase their knowledge, skills and experiences.

While it is not uncommon for higher education institutions to emphasize experiential learning opportunities for its students, ODU's LeADERS program provides students with a unique setting in which they are asked to think more intentionally about their collection of experiences throughout their time at ODU and how these activities helped prepare them for their chosen careers. Learn more about the LeADERS program.

Jennifer Grimm, Ph.D., is director of academic initiatives with the Center for High Impact Practices.

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