Acadia University

Challenge
It’s a well-known fact that 7-10 leaders fail. It’s also a well-known fact that the competition for students in the secondary education system is a complex and dynamic problem for all secondary institutions, especially ones that offer liberal arts degrees. We engaged in a relationship with one of the top undergraduate universities in Canada with has deep roots in Atlantic Canada. The school wanted to look for different ways to both attract students and to examine additional ways to better prepare students for their journey after they graduate. The concept of figuring out a methodology that could help develop future leaders was appealing to senior administrators and academic deans and chairs. It was thought that his would help them in attracting, retaining, and developing a more mature and prepared student.

Action
A Leadership Pilot was conceived, developed and implemented in partnership with the university’s Center for Social and Business Entrepreneurship. To develop this program it was necessary to develop the Leadership Success Profile. This provided a benchmark as to what a graduate who attended the university believes are core skills for their current success. This was done through a modified job analysis that involved a survey of over 200 graduates who are currently in leadership positions. The next step was to develop the program methodology, curriculum, handouts, learning objectives and implementation plan for how to fund and operationalize the program. The sole objective of the pilot was to prove the concept and to obtain student impact as to the value proposition of this type of training as part of their under graduate experience.

Solution
Launched the pilot and ran it over the fall term. The pilot was fully endorsed by the president of the university, academic vice president, deans and chairs. Feedback from students was positive and supportive. The concept has been proven. Future implementation of this program will be dependent on funding and operational priorities.