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POL 381 Community Leadership: Principles and Approaches

What is leadership? What skills and qualities make a good leader? What is the relationship between leadership, civic participation and the common good? Open to both experienced leaders and those who are just starting out, this course will explore a variety of leadership principles and approaches as well as the relationship between civic engagement and social justice. Students will investigate a variety of community participation strategies including: volunteer service, citizen organizing, electoral politics, public and non-profit boards and commissions, and community development. On-line and community resources and assignments will supplement class-room based learning. Students will be able to apply previous community experience to completion of course requirements.


Special information

Overlap: SOC 381 Community Leadership: Principles and Approaches

Learning outcomes


  • Can compare and evaluate the public contexts in which community leadership takes place: non-profit organizations, government, electoral politics and issue-based organizations.
  • Critically compare and analyze the leadership characteristics of major historical figures at an upper division college level.
  • Critically evaluate and apply leadership theory to concrete case studies at an upper division college level.
  • Identify one's own personal characteristics and values as a leader.
  • Understands key theories of leadership and leadership development.
  • Write critically and analytically at a level consistent with upper division university standards.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility

  • Examine, articulate, and apply their own ethical views.
  • Understand and apply core concepts (e.g. politics, rights and obligations, justice, liberty) to specific issues.
  • Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and scientific issues.
  • Recognize the diversity of political motivations and interests of others.
  • Identify ways to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.