LEWISTON, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State College has been chosen to receive the 2021 American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Excellence and Innovation Award for Leadership Development and Diversity, AASCU officials have announced.
The award recognizes exemplary leadership development programs that are designed to enhance the leadership capacity and diversity of the next generation of higher education leaders. LC State was honored for its Do More: Leadership Development Program because of its outstanding results and potential to influence and serve as a model for other institutions.
The criteria for the award included that LC State had to demonstrate its leadership program is part of an integrated approach designed to identify, develop, and promote high-potential talent throughout the college. The college also had to show its program is diverse by design, meaning the enhancement and development of a diverse group of leaders is reflected in the program goals and evaluation criteria.
The final criteria was that LC State had to demonstrate the leadership program is connected to institutional outcomes. The program must have completed three cycles and have outcome data as evidence. LC State used data collected from 2018-20.
College officials renamed the Student Union Building as the Student Union Building/Center for Student Leadership in 2018 and began offering a variety of leadership opportunities to students. The goal was to prepare students to become successful leaders, engaged citizens and lifelong learners by providing opportunities that promote diverse learning, exploration, and campus involvement to supplement their academic experiences.
One opportunity is through the LC Leadership Spotlight, which is a monthly event that features speakers from the campus and community focusing on different areas of leadership. Some of the topics covered during the recent spring semester included “Leading With Confidence,” “Leadership Through Serving Others,” and “The Difference - Difference Makes, Women in Leadership.”
Another monthly opportunity developed by the Center for Student Leadership is the Skills Builder Series where campus personnel present on a transferable skill, such as communication, and help students hone these skills through open discussion and practical application. The skills and topics for these presentations are derived from 20 transferable skills that students can earn via the LC State Do More App, which is managed by Holly Daugherty, LC State coordinator of Student Involvement.
“We are incredibly honored to receive this award recognition and could not be prouder of Holly for her leadership in bringing this concept to life,” LC State President Cynthia Pemberton said. “LC State is a school that lives its mission; helping students develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to be successful leaders, engaged citizens and lifelong learners; and this is just one more example of how LC authentically and comprehensively connects learning to life!”
In 2020, LC State began to offer a digital micro credential through Idaho SkillStack. The program focuses on four areas of leadership – leading self, leading others, managing processes, and leading for legacy. Students must demonstrate the characteristics and skills of a trustworthy leader in order to earn the credential and digital badge from Idaho SkillStack.
To receive the digital badge students complete the requirements for the LC Leadership Credential, which include participating in the Center for Student Leadership programs, becoming a student leader either through holding an officer role in one of the many student organizations or serving as a peer mentor or resident assistant, and participating in various campus activities and workshops. Student progress is tracked through the Do More App where they reflect on these experiences.
Andy Hanson, LC State’s vice president for Student Affairs, said the idea behind the renaming of the Student Union Building and for creating a micro credential was to provide students and the greater community with a different lens through which to view student activities, including participating in student clubs, and even their classes. He said the goal is to help students document their campus experiences and see how those experiences translate into relevant and marketable workplace skills.
“We encourage students to extract all they can from their college experiences,” Hanson said. “That certainly includes specific content in their classes but it also includes those critical work and leadership skills that are embedded in all facets of the college experience. We want students to learn how to lead, to follow, to solve problems creatively, to process information critically, and to otherwise unlock the vast potential within them. Our Do More: Leadership Development Program represents a significant milestone in our work to accomplish these goals.”
For winning the award, LC State will receive an engraved sculpture and will be recognized during the opening session of the hybrid 2021 AASCU Annual Meeting, which will be held Nov. 7 in Clearwater, Fla. A short video featuring all the honorees will be presented during the session.
AASCU also selects award winners in other categories, including civic learning and community engagement, international education, regional and economic development, student success, sustainability and sustainable development, and teacher education. This year, AASCU also recognized member institutions who performed model work in achieving student success despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am honored to recognize these Excellence and Innovation Award winners, who demonstrated immense creativity, resilience, and dedication during an incredibly difficult year,” AASCU President Mildred García said. “These institutions are paving the way in prioritizing equity, student success, and moving their diverse communities and regions forward as Stewards of Place.”
For more information on student leadership opportunities at LC State visit the Center for Student Leadership website.