The TCU Leadership Center: Providing Opportunities for Students to Create Positive Change.
In 1993, the Division of Student Affairs at TCU created the TCU Leadership Center in order to expand its commitment to leadership development and community engagement. Today, the TCU Leadership Center serves as TCU’s premier resource for leadership development, serving thousands of students, faculty, staff, and community members with skills-based, interactive training and resources that ensure thorough exposure to contemporary leadership topics and theories. The Center brings students of all majors together with faculty and community members to explore leadership and social change on a local, national, and global level.
Regardless of students’ chosen majors or career paths, they have the ability to act and positively effect change in their communities. The programs offered by the TCU Leadership Center help students to live by the mission statement and offer a range of ways to get out of the classroom and put leadership into practice.
A small sampling of TCU Leadership Center programs that provide opportunities for students to create positive change includes the following:
The State of Leadership Conference is an annual statewide, two-day leadership conference designed to engage students around a particular aspect of leadership and encourage students to be change-agents. This initiative is co-sponsored by TCU’s Neeley School of Business.
In 2010, the conference kicked off with the Institute Dinner which highlighted the year’s conference themes, Community Renewal and Social Entrepreneurship, and the keynote speaker, Donnie Hodge, President of Knights Apparel. In addition to a fun evening, the Institute Dinner provides student leaders from TCU and Universities across the state to sit with local community leaders and talk about leadership as it applies to a particular field or type of work.
The second day of the conference focuses on giving students a meaningful experience and the skills needed to implement the concepts discussed. This year, the morning kicked off with site visits to community agencies Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth Inc. and Eastside Fort Worth YWCA and representative speakers from each agency. Students then had lunch at Z’s Café, a family owned and operated restaurant in partnership with Samaritan House a local nonprofit that reaches out to people who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. (To date, 49 Samaritan House residents have found employment at Z‘s Café, learning business skills and gaining valuable work experience at the grassroots level.)
The conference concluded with an afternoon of presentations about community asset mapping (the process of intentionally identifying the human, material, financial, entrepreneurial and other resources in a community) and the structure of belonging to a community as well as group work and presentations on a YMCA case study.
To help students and organizations stay ahead of the curve, the TCU Leadership Center offers a diversity of opportunities to explore and hone distinct leadership skills. Students can choose to attend two to four hour workshops that address issues such as talent identification and strengths development, exemplary leadership practices, and interpersonal communication. Outside of these workshops the Leadership Center offers individual consulting for students who are interested in learning more about leadership development and identifying opportunities that suit their interests.
Organizations can also utilize our services, as the Center offers customized training opportunities created to suit the needs of each organization. A few of the topics that have been covered include: officer and membership development, strategic planning, organizational transition and change, team dynamics, and difficult conversations. Staff facilitators and trainers are knowledgeable in a range of leadership competencies and models and collectively have received formal training in StrengthsQuest, Crucial Conversations, Franklin Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Development Studies, Student Leadership Challenge and the Student Leadership Practices Inventory, Emotional Intelligence, and Strategic Futuring.
Through The Leadership Scholar Program, the TCU Leadership Center helps students figure out how act and positively effect change in their community. Leadership Seminars are non-credit, interactive, and free. Take three core seminars and two elective seminars and you’ll qualify to wear a leadership medallion at commencement.
The TCU Leadership Center offers a variety of leadership seminars designed to assist students in their leadership development. These seminars are open to any student interested in exploring leadership. However, to complete the Leadership Scholar Program and receive a leadership medallion at graduation, students must earn a specified number of leadership credits, depending on when they began the Leadership Scholar process.
Leadership seminar topics include:
Leadership Scholar candidates may also earn credits by participating in the following:
Other trainings approved by
Leadership Center staff
Celebration of University Leadership is an awards ceremony that honors and celebrates students who have displayed outstanding ethical leadership on campus and in the community. The pursuit of leadership at TCU is rooted in the mission statement: To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.
We are looking to recognize students who model the mission statement and are creating positive change…in themselves, on campus, in the community, and around the world. This may be seen in every facet of University life - from academic departments to the lounges of the residence halls; from our athletic teams to the many co-curricular offices, organizations, and activities; from our involvement with local community agencies to the greater global community; TCU students are making a mark on our world.
TCU believes that everyone is born with leadership potential. Leadership is not about power and position—it’s about knowing yourself and being meaningfully engaged in your community. In the words of John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
Heifer International Alternative Spring/Fall Break combines Global Gateway and team-building exercises with service projects. The program is both educational and service-oriented.
Alternative Break programs combine interactive learning programs, which bring awareness of the great need in the world, with opportunities to give the gift of students’ time and hard work. The service activities not only allow participants to give back but also serve as great educational tools - both about the value of giving service to others and experiencing something for the first time – such as milking a goat or harvesting vegetables.
Alternative Break programs have a primary emphasis on education programs, such as Global Gateway and team-building exercises that explore the issues surrounding hunger and poverty and sustainable solutions. These are not mere lectures. They are experiences that challenge participants to examine their habits and consumption – in fact, their core beliefs – on the path to becoming more responsible global citizens.