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Educational Foundations

Educational Foundations & Special Education

ETSU Learn2Lead Program


 "Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." —Jack Welch



The mission of ETSU’s Learn2Lead Education program is to equip students with the skills, knowledge and abilities to maximize leadership potential in their personal and professional lives.

The Learn2Lead program features two unique and innovative leadership preparation opportunities: an Interdisciplinary Minor in Leadership Studies for undergraduates and a Graduate Certificate in Community Leadership.


Interdisciplinary Minor in Leadership

This Learn2Lead program is for undergraduate students only. 

Program Purpose

Leadership is a skillset most employers seek and professional schools desire. It is not just for business majors or those seeking political office. Leadership is about personal effectiveness and sustained success at work, at home and in community. The skills learned and practiced here are an excellent foundation designed to help students move quickly into mid-management positions in health care, nonprofit, human services, education, business, government, and even as entrepreneurs.

The Leadership Studies Minor provides:
  • An interdisciplinary academic program for students in all majors. 
  • A program designed to enhance your understanding and practice of leadership.
  • An opportunity to begin or continue your leadership development journey.
  • A catalyst that launches students into career readiness.
  • A curriculum composed of leadership competencies, community experiences, and a portfolio.
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
  1. Knowledge of self through an intense journey of personal awareness and feedback
  2. Foundational understanding of the historical development of leadership theories and their application today
  3. Ability to act within your core values and align an organization's purpose and culture to its core values
  4. Knowledge of organizations and the development of social systems
  5. Ability to create a clear vision, mission, and strategic plan
  6. Knowledge of cultural differences and their influence on social systems
  7. Skill development in leading change, establishing a culture of excellence, and transformational leadership
  8. Ability to present and persuade
  9. Ability to execute your highest priority
  10. Improves skills in managing emotions, time and planning
  11. Improved skills in communication, feedback, and listening
  12. Improved skills in assessing organizational processes, leadership, and improvement opportunities.

Leadership Minor Requirements

To graduate with a Leadership Studies Minor you will need to complete 21 credits and a portfolio.

One 3 credit course is required for each of the following content areas:
The leadership portfolio consists of the following items:
  1. Completion of a 20 hour service project with a leadership component; reflection paper required. 
  2. The assessment results of the Strengths Finder Assessment.
  3. Service as a campus or community leader for one year in a structured organization; reflection paper required.
  4. Three reference letters which include comments about your demonstrated leadership ability.
  5. Three visits with a community leadership mentor; reflection paper required.
  6. The completion of a Leadership Development Summary Plan.

Transferring to ETSU from Northeast State?

Declaring a minor in leadership can help save you time and money! and see flyer for more details. 

Graduate Certificate in Community Leadership

The Graduate Certificate in Community Leadership is for students who have completed a bachelor's degree. To enroll in this Learn2Lead graduate program, admissions application and materials for the ETSU School of Graduate Studies can be found here.

Program Purpose

Community Leadership is a four-course graduate program that provides key leadership skills and credentials for those working in any field including government, civic, health care, nonprofit, education, financial, small business. The certificate is especially designed for those who are in or seeking to become a director, division leader, team leader, or community organizer.

As a graduate program, your instructor will teach, coach, and provide learning experiences for you. Assessment is centered on the integration of content knowledge and analysis with application of skills.

Course Delivery

As graduate students and working adults, we recognize the importance of quality and convenience in choosing an institutional learning partner. Graduate leadership courses use an online delivery with occasional synchronous Web-ex or free conference call-in meetings. Most content can be presented online. However, some assignments and learning experiences require group interaction and feedback in real time. In addition, the ability to connect “in person” with the instructor brings added value to the leadership coaching relationship.


The Certificate in Community Leadership provides:
  • A practical application of leadership skills you can use in the workplace immediately
  • Coaching and collegial interaction among students and faculty
  • Organizational observations of best practices
  • Interactive case studies that challenge and engage 
  • A four-course curriculum designed to elevate supervisory skills, lead teams, manage resources, and create and enhance community partnerships.
  • A program to develop skills and provide immediate application to real world work situations.
  • Skills and behavior coaching by faculty for students to be seen as a collaborators and problem-solvers. 
  • Credentials to jump-start your next promotion or job search.
  • An intensive dive into the best practices of such topics as accountability, team development, mission, vision, strategic planning, financial resources, collaborating for sustained change.



Course Requirements

LEAD 5501 Strategies for Personal Productivity and Interpersonal Effectiveness

A study of self-management, personal leadership growth, dialogue analysis, empathic listening, conflict resolution, trust building, & emotional intelligence 

Learn more...

LEAD 5601 Foundations for 21st Century Leadership

A study of team building, team leadership, & organizational systems, including the alignment of mission, vision, & goals as community leadership best practices

Learn more...

LEAD 5701 Financial Leadership and Resource Development

A study of financial & resource management of community organizations, to include: monitoring, audits, fundraising, & grant management

Learn more...

LEAD 5801 Empowerment, Collaboration, and Advocacy for Change

A capstone study of community leadership as a collaborative team engaged in an organizational change initiative

Learn more...


Interested in the Learn2Lead program? Check out what other leadership students had to say!


 Without a doubt, this has been one of my favorite classes in the journey to complete my master’s degree. Not only have I learned how to polish the leadership skills I already possess, I have been exposed to ideas and concepts that I am very interested in using to grow as a leader in the future."

This is the first graduate online course I have been able to say I actually learned something from the teacher and not what I read from numerous pages in a book."

I have learned so much in this course on the foundations of what a leader should be and want to be. It has given me a new inspiration of who I really want to be as a leader."

I love my job and I am happy to say that leadership got me here. I have been able to handle the challenges of this job due to what I learned in the leadership minor."

I have stumbled into a new position as a youth leadership program director. I immediately though of my ETSU leadership classes and all the notes and experiences we shared. I know I would not be here if it were not for the classes you provided."

Click here for a profile on leadership studies minor Jordan Smith!

“Leadership has always been something that interests me, and I’ve always strived to be a leader who sees other people as equals, so everything’s more of a partnership versus being just a leader and follower.” -Jordan Smith

Dr. Harley-McClaskey sits down to talk with Edwina Morris about the impact of the leadership minor on her success in the healthcare industry and how she applied skillsets learned in the program to secure a competitive job and become a leadership coach at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

“I realized, wow…never would I have imagined that this [content] would be so relevant to the field that I was going into. And honestly, I believe that anybody in any field, whether it be health care, business, education, whatever…the leadership studies minor is going to benefit you one way or another and it did for me.” -former ETSU leadership student Edwina Morris

Deborah Harley

Deborah Harley-McClaskey, EdD
Associate Professor
Warf-Pickel 426
(423) 439-7683

More about Deborah Harley-McClaskey  

The Harley-McClaskey Scholarship Endowment is available to high-caliber undergraduate leadership minor students. Application for Fall 2017 is due on May 1, 2017. Click here to apply and for more information.     

Leadership Resources:

Leadership Challenge

Ken Blanchard (free webinars)

Mestiza Leadership International for Latino Leadership Programs

Strengths Quest Newsletter

Gallup - international research on leadership and education issues

Center for Creative Leadership

Lean In - News about programs for the development of women leaders

VitalSmarts - innovator in corporate training and organizational performance

The Leader in Me - FranklinCovey empowers students through lessons on 21st century leadership and life skills. 

Journal of Leadership Education - Committed to the advancement of leadership learning

International Leadership Association - Promotes a deeper understanding of leadership knowledge and practice for the greater good

Leadership at ETSU:

Student Organization Resource Center - Leadership Development

Dr. Brenda White Wright Emerging Leaders Academy - 8-week leadership skills program

The Leading Edge - New ETSU student leadership conference

LeaderShape ETSU - 6-day leadership intensive experience

LAUNCH: An Initiative to Lead - conference for aspiring and current high school student leaders 

Learn2Lead Snapshots

  • Learn2Lead guest speaker Kiran Singh Sirah, executive director of International Storytelling Center (Jonesborough).

    Learn2Lead guest speaker Kiran Singh Sirah, executive director of International Storytelling Center (Jonesborough).

  • Leadership seminar

    Leadership seminar

  • Guest speaker Amanda Fondren, Master Sergeant in the US Marine Corps

    Guest speaker Amanda Fondren, Master Sergeant in the US Marine Corps

  • Annual dinner celebration for Leadership Theory & Practice class

    Annual dinner celebration for Leadership Theory & Practice class

  • "Order of the rug" class exercise

    "Order of the rug" class exercise

  • Workshop for Leadership Theory & Practice class

    Workshop for Leadership Theory & Practice class

  • Guest speaker Dave McCauley, founder of Summit Leadership Foundation (Johnson City)

    Guest speaker Dave McCauley, founder of Summit Leadership Foundation (Johnson City)

  • Group work on the "7 Habits of Highly Effective People"

    Group work on the "7 Habits of Highly Effective People"

Get Involved

Learn2Lead at ETSU welcomes community involvement as:

  • Leadership mentors
  • Service project hosts
  • Support for guest speakers, travel, library, scholarships
  • Advisory committee

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