HWS Leads

2021 Cohort

What is it?

The HWS Leads program is designed to purposefully guide students in the study of leadership and offer the opportunity to develop as leaders through academic enrichment and applied learning. This program provides the foundation for students to embark upon, or continue, their journey of developing into ethical, inclusive and value-based leaders.

How does it work?

The HWS Leads program encompasses five requirements: Leadership Theory (regular course), Public Speaking Reader's College course, Leadership Applied Training, a Leadership Fieldwork Experience or Research, and a culminating e-Portfolio. Once students complete the Leadership Theory course, they are able to complete the rest of the requirements in whatever order they choose. This allows flexibility to accommodate for study abroad, extracurricular commitments, etc.

HWS Leads Certificate Requirements:

  • Leadership Theory 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 will begin working on their individual portfolio that chronicles their growth, perspectives, values, experiences and personal leadership understanding. Students are not eligible for the Leads program until they successfully complete this one credit course.

  • 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 in a variety of public speaking and communication contexts.

  • Leadership Applied is a Leadership training experience. Students have the flexibility to complete over one academic year by accumulating points earned by attending a variety of workshops, trainings, speakers and programs that the Centennial Center offers. These opportunities are specifically designed to assist students in making the connections between the theory and concepts learned in the Leadership Theory 1 and the Public Speaking Reader's College course to applied leadership experiences.

  • Fieldwork is designed to be the certificate’s capstone experience. During this time, students will have the opportunity to practice and develop the theories and skills they have learned throughout their time in the Leads Certificate program, through a structured experience. Fieldwork will be focused in a particular area that meets the student’s interests and professional development goals. Fieldwork can be a community placement or internship, approved on-campus leadership role, or academic research. Prior to enrolling in Fieldwork, students will meet with a Centennial Center staff member to discuss Fieldwork opportunities. After this advising session, students must complete an action plan that details their field work experience, goals, and intended outcomes. Students will identify and partner with a Fieldwork Supervisor for their project in addition to receiving regular support from a Centennial Center Fieldwork Advisor.

  • Leadership ePortfolio spans work derived from both courses, Leadership Applied trainings, and the Fieldwork experience. 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. Students will add to their portfolio throughout each of the certificate requirements and be expected to submit a copy of their completed portfolio. Portfolios must be submitted prior to completion of the certificate.

Who is eligible?

Only students who have successfully completed Leadership Theory 1 are eligible to continue with the Leads certificate program. We encourage students to begin during their first or sophomore year to allow ample time to complete the requirements, however upperclassmen are also welcome.


603 South Main Street
Geneva, NY 14456

Phone: (315) 781-4550

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Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.