Leadership Starts with the SDSU Leadership Minor
The SDSU Leadership Minor is a multi-disciplinary program and a collaboration between the ARPE Department and Student Life & Leadership -- offering students both an in-depth look at leadership theory and opportunities to enact it in practice.
The Interdisciplinary SDSU Leadership Minor seeks to develop self aware, culturally competent, transformational leaders. Established in 2008, the minor complements any major and is open to all undergraduate students. The Leadership Minor consists of required coursework, hands-on learning (internships, service learning, and leadership roles), plus elective coursework determined by the student, and a capstone class that integrates the art and science of leadership.
We surveyed hundreds of employers and have designed the minor based on what they want from current graduates. Competencies resulting from the Leadership Minor include:
- Understanding and Applying Current Leadership Theories
- Engaging in Project Planning and Management
- Creating a Shared Vision
- Enacting Compassionate Leadership
- Implementing Equity-mindedness, Diversity, and Inclusion
- Developing Effective Presentation Skills
- Working Collaboratively in Diverse Teams
- Writing Effectively
Program Philosophy & Course Requirements
Students engage the SCIENCE of leadership through sound theoretical exploration by critically examining the underpinnings of current leadership research. The Leadership Minor fosters self-awareness and emotional intelligence and a corresponding awareness of others that transforms people, programs, and organizations.
According to our study of the Leadership Minor (2020), leadership, communication, and working in diverse teams are among the top skills employers seek on a candidate’s resume. The ART of leadership is explored through service learning that develops these critical skills:
SDSU Leadership Minor students benefit from cross-discipline collaboration with peers and faculty from the College of Education, the School of Communication, the Fowler College of Business, and other academic departments. These schools and colleges afford students the opportunity to choose upper-division electives that prepare them to effectively lead in the workplace and in their communities.
A cornerstone of the Leadership Minor is connecting theory to practice. The Capstone course, led by award-winning faculty, integrates the art and science of leadership through the completion of an applied project. The focus of the Capstone is the interplay of current research on leadership, vision development, and project management.
The minor in Leadership consists of 15 units (see course requirements).
Declaration of Minor
It is easy to declare the SDSU Leadership MInor! You can access the form here: https://registrar.sdsu.edu/students/academic_resources/change_declare_major Please complete the top portion and send it to Dr. Lisa Gates, the Director and Advisor for the Leadership Minor at [email protected]. She will send it on to Enrollment Services on your behalf. The SIMS Minor Code for the Leadership Minor is 331907.
Have further questions about the SDSU Leadership Minor? Feel free to reach out to Dr. Gates with any questions.
In a recently conducted study on the benefits of the Leadership Minor, SDSU Leadership Minor alumni described the value and benefits the minor produced within their profession:
“I learned A LOT from the SDSU Leadership Minor such as: Conflict Management Styles; Time Management; Strengths Based Leadership; Servant Leadership; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI); presentation skills; interpersonal skills; intrapersonal skills, and much more!”
“I think anyone who has the ability to collaborate well with others, acknowledge diversity, have strong conflict management and communication skills is important and can be beneficial in any position.”
“It took all three years of learning, reflecting, and executing with the guidance of the leadership minor and the support of the leadership minor professors for me to envision myself as a leader and advocate in and beyond my nursing profession.”
“The minor also opened my eyes to my previously unrecognized privilege. Privilege is not something a cis white female is taught to think about, but my time at SDSU and within the minor helped that to come into focus for me and the minor allowed me to truly open my mind to racial theories as well as what diversity, inclusion, and equal access truly mean in the workplace.”
“In my current profession, I currently apply project management skills, I am currently attending a year-long training to expand my knowledge in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, and the organization is Strengths Based so we refer to our themes a lot.”
Faculty and Staff
Dr. Lisa Gates, Ph.D.
Director and Advisor for the SDSU Leadership Minor
Dr. Randall Timm, Ed.D.
Dean of Students, Student Life & Leadership
Dr. Kara Bauer, Ed.D.
Director, Residential Education
Erica Aros, M.Ed.
Associate Director, Student Ability Success Center
Dr. Caren Sax, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Administration, Rehabilitation, and Postsecondary Education
Shareka White, M.A.
Associate Director, Educational Opportunity Programs & Ethnic Affairs
Leadership Minor FAQs
The university will not allow “double dipping,” that is, having a course satisfy both a major and minor requirement. However, your upper division electives for the minor CAN count toward your upper division GE electives—this will save you time. Also, if you have taken a course/or wish to take one that is NOT on the approved list, and you believe that it could count toward your electives, please email the information below to Dr. Lisa Gates at [email protected] or deliver it to the ARPE Office Suite in LH-246.
- Your contact information (name, Red ID, email, phone number)
- A typewritten, well-reasoned rationale for why you believe the course should be approved as an elective (include the title of the course, the course number and the course description)
- A brief (1-2 paragraphs) description of how it relates to the Leadership Minor theories,
concepts, pathways, etc., the coursework required, and how many units it comprises.