46% of the University of Michigan's first-year students say becoming a community leader is essential to their life objectives (SLARE/CIRP Freshman Survey, 2019). At the Barger Leadership Institute, we believe to effectively lead we must first know ourselves and develop skills necessary for collaboration. This fall, we are delighted to announce a new 3-credit course that allows students to creatively explore their leadership identity, ALA 175 Foundations in Leadership.

With this course, the BLI aims to provide students with a robust leadership course that combines contemporary leadership theories with a critical exploration of leader identities and social constructs. Students will reflect on their leadership journey, begin forming a personal leadership philosophy and cultivate a holistic view of leadership. Students will develop a toolkit of skills and approaches for effective leadership practice by learning and applying the BLI Mindful Mindset, Leadership Habits, and various contemplative exercises. Using individual practices and a collaborative, team-based project, they will leave the class with a sense of their own leadership identity.

Who will benefit from this course? 

  • Students who are interested in advancing their personal leadership development and building a leadership toolkit
  • Students who are looking to quantify their leadership development while undergrads at the University of Michigan by building their resumes for awards, fellowships, scholarships, or advanced degrees. 
  • Students who are seeking an opportunity to build their personal and professional identities in a learning community that draws students from multiple disciplines and colleges across campus.

What are the learning objectives?

  • Creatively explore one’s leadership identity
  • Familiarize learners with various theories of leadership and explore the important interplay between leaders and followers
  • Learn about the importance of leading a group or workplace that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive
  • Work with a group to identify important issues, brainstorm small win solutions, implement ideas at a small scale, and improve ideas
  • Engage stakeholders and collect evidence about a chosen topic through leadership experiments that test your ideas against the world
  • Learn and practice daily meditation and other mindfulness practices to help foster a capacity to lead with excellence and critically engage the world
  • Build a leadership “toolkit” that is based on individual skills, ability, vision, and personal style
  • Reflect on one’s leadership identity, actions, and habits to continuously improve leadership learning and development

Developed as a precursor to many of our advanced leadership programs, such as Capstone, Mindful Leaders, and our Peer Facilitator programs, the course will appeal to our diverse base of 700+ BLI fellows and may also fulfill requirements for students in partner programs moving forward. The inaugural cohort is open to 60 students in two sessions, and the seats filling fast for this unparalleled course.

Fall 2021 (course guide link)
001 / In Person / 32069 / MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM / 4152 USB
002 / In Person / 32398 / MW 5:30PM - 7:00PM / 1460 MH