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HWS Leads Certificate

The HWS Leads Leadership Certificate Program is designed to purposefully guide students in the study of leadership as well as offers the opportunity to develop as a leader through academic enrichment and applied learning. Throughout the program, students will reflect upon themselves as leaders (Leading Self), the complexities of leading a group of diverse others (Leading Others) and the effects of situational, organizational and cultural contexts (Leadership in Action). This program provides the foundation for students to embark upon, or continue, their journey of developing into ethical, inclusive and value-based leaders.

HWS Leads Certificate Requirements:

  1. HWS Leads: Leadership Theory I Reader’s College (formerly HWS Leads: Minds Wide Open) is the gateway course into the certificate program. By providing an overview of contemporary leadership theories, this course deepens students’ understanding of leadership and balances academic enrichment with engaged learning. Students enter in a cohort by way of the Leadership Theory I course and complete a cohort project together. Students also start an individual portfolio that chronicles their growth, perspectives, values, experiences and personal leadership understanding. Students will add to their portfolio throughout each of the certificate requirements and be expected to submit a copy of their completed portfolio.

  2. HWS Leads: Public Speaking Reader’s College introduces students to the basics of public speaking and presentation techniques, an essential leadership skill. Topics covered include: critiquing a speech, analyzing an audience, exploring a topic, arranging a speech, the use of language and the performance of speech through the voice and body. This course provides a practical opportunity for students to become a better public speaker while framing techniques for ethical, inclusive, value-driven leaders who are poised to articulate their views.

  3. HWS Leads: Leadership Theory II Reader’s College is an advanced leadership theory course that focuses on the conceptual understanding and technical skills necessary for global leadership, community leadership and entrepreneurial leadership. This course demonstrates the capacity to which these concepts overlap and apply to the work of contemporary leaders who must navigate the public, private and non-profit sectors. This course will provide an in-depth examination of various leadership theories and prepare students to apply innovative problem-solving concepts and techniques in both local and global contexts.

  4. Leadership Practicum is designed to be the certificate’s capstone experience. Students can construct a general practicum or a practicum that specializes in global, community, or entrepreneurial leadership. Students are asked to serve one semester in a substantial leadership role on campus or in the community or to complete a Community-Based Research Project (CBR). Prior to enrolling in the practicum, student will meet with a CCL staff member and complete a practicum description that outlines their role as well as their work for the semester. After this advising session, practicum students must complete an action plan that details an initiative, focus or project. Once they have gained approval, students are expected to complete reflective journal assignments and gather for cohort meetings throughout the semester to discuss challenges, breakthroughs and experience with other practicum students. Students are encouraged to seek roles with significant responsibility, unique opportunity and practical learning experiences.

  5. Leadership Portfolio spans work derived from all three Reader’s College courses and the practicum. A mainstay of the certificate program is self-reflection. Students are asked to document their growth and experience as well as complete assignments designed to assess learning outcomes. Portfolios must be submitted prior to completion of the certificate.

Example e-portfolios:

Weston Traub ’14
Megan Soule ’15
Danielle Shaw ’14
Dana Williams ’16
Amira Abdulkadir ’14
Julie Kunzman ’15
Guanqun Li ’14

Typical HWS Leads Sequence

Suggested Timeline

1st Fall Semester
Cohort recruitment

1st Spring Semester

2nd Fall Semester
Cohort Recruitment

1st Spring Semester

3rd Fall Semester

Suggested Program Steps for Students

Apply to HWS Leads Certificate Program

Leadership Theory I

Leadership Theory II
Public Speaking

Leadership Theory II
Public Speaking




603 South Main Street
Geneva, NY 14456

Phone: (315) 781-4550
E-Mail: Leadership@hws.edu