Thomas Jefferson University's mission motivates our faculty and staff to do more than educate professionals — it seeks to develop students as leaders in their chosen profession. As an institution, we work toward that mission by focusing on leadership development as corroboratively as possible, both inside and outside the classroom. The division of Student Life advances a leadership framework that formalizes and acknowledges the educational impact that experiential and integrated learning has on students who are effectively engaged in leadership positions and participating in leadership development programs on campus.
In general, our leadership development framework is used as a method to outline and evaluate specific experiences and skills that students gain while involved in leadership positions. Student affairs professionals engage student leaders in training programs and workshops that enhance their strengths and seek to build on or create new areas of competence. These formal positions and programs are supplemented by individual supervisory and advising meetings where student affairs professionals work with student leaders on leadership competency areas that have been benchmarked for development.
Emerging Leaders Program
A cornerstone of the leadership programs for new students is The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). The co-curricular certificate program has been designed to help new students understand learning experiences in co-curricular lives and their relationships with classroom work; to assist students in becoming effective leaders on campus and in the community at Philadelphia University; and to encourage personal growth and development through active participation in discussion, exercises, and workshops. Faculty and staff throughout campus teach in the ELP curriculum.
LEAD Co-Curricular Certificate Program
The LEAD co-curricular certificate program is designed for student leaders looking for opportunities that will contribute to their personal and professional development. LEAD aspires to assist students in reaching their leadership potential. The foundation of the program is informed by The Social Change Model of Leadership Development. The goals of The Social Change Model are to enhance student learning through self-knowledge and leadership competence. Social Change examines leadership development from three different perspectives: The Individual, The Group, and The Community.
LEAD Scholars Program
Alumni of the LEAD program are able to participate in the LEAD Scholars initiative. Participants will intersect with the general LEAD Program and also present workshops with LEAD mentors, tackle a leadership change challenge, and synthesize and document their continuing growth leaders through a digital portfolio.
Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK)
The University is in the process of establishing a campus chapter of ODK, a national leadership honor society. OΔK® was the first college honor society of a national scope to give recognition and honor for meritorious leadership and service in extracurricular activities and to encourage the development of general campus citizenship. Since its founding, Omicron Delta Kappa has initiated more than 300,000 members. The Society recognizes achievement in the following five areas: scholarship, athletics, community service/campus involvement, media, and creative and performing arts.
Involvement in formal student leadership positions affords students an opportunity to practice effective leadership skills. Effective leadership means more than running meetings and planning events; it involves making an impact on one’s community. Leadership skills are life skills. The staff members in Student Life are committed to developing the leadership potential of all students. When individual students become more effective leaders, our student organizations, and the educational experience for all students, are enriched and strengthened. At Jefferson, formal student positions with leadership potential include:
- Executive Members of Student Organizations
- Resident Assistants
- Orientation Leaders
- Student Athletes
- Teaching Assistants & Tutors
- Commuter Leaders
- FYE Coordinators
- Community Service Coordinators