University of California, Riverside

Leadership Pathway



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Leadership Pathway

The future of California depends on its leaders.  The next generation of California leaders must know how to work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, reflecting the diversity of the state.  

The UCR campus reflects the population of the new California; one-third of its students come from historically under-represented minority groups.  Now is the time for the campus to put the pieces in place to prepare leaders for the new California.  To do so will require moving beyond the campus’s recognized achievements in providing access to focus on the transformative potential of education for leadership. 

The Leadership Pathway will include three inter-linked seminar-style courses that offer qualified students the opportunity to learn the literature on leadership and to hone and apply their leadership skills.

 UCR faculty members Ronald O. Loveridge (Political Science), Thomas Sy (Psychology), and Elaine Wong (Business) will be teaching in the program, beginning with Thomas Sy’s seminar on “Studies in Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness" in winter 2014.   Elaine Wong's course, "Leadership Discovery" will be offered in Fall 2014 and Ron Loveridge's course, "Leadership Laboratory" will be offered in Spring 2015.  Vice Provost Steven Brint will also join the teaching rotation at a later date.  Roger Conway, a nationally-known consultant on leadership, who has worked with Fortune 500 firms and the Joint Chiefs, will serve as chief adviser to the program. 

Ideally, students who are admitted to the program will take all three courses offered during AY 2013-14 and 2014-15.  All courses are planned as seminar-style discussion courses with capped enrollments.  We understand that some students admitted to the program may not be able to take all three courses, but they must commit to taking at least two of the courses.  

Admission to the program is limited to 30 students.  In Spring 2015, the campus will recognize all students who complete all three courses with a Chancellor’s Leadership Fellows award and pin.

The program is based on strategies for drawing on the “Three E’s” of leadership development: Education, Exemplars, and Experience.  The Education component is focused on developing foundational concepts in leadership and will include seminar discussions, workshops, key readings, self-discovery inventories, and reflective writing. The Exemplars component involves vicarious learning from role models, mentors, and coaches, and will include leadership shadowing, identifying and securing personal mentors and coaches, gaining insights from case studies, and interacting with California leaders.  The Experience component is focused on acquiring leadership skills via experiential learning. This involves the application of previously learned leadership concepts via internships, laboratory exercises that have real world applications (e.g., ropes courses, team building activities, etc.), and leadership development plans.

The program is intended for sophomores and juniors who have the potential to become leaders in their communities, in business, politics, non-profits, or professional fields.  In the past leadership programs on campus have recruited students primarily from Athletics, Fraternities and Sororities, Student Government, and University Honors.  However, the Pathway program is not limited to students who have been involved in these organizations and programs.  .

Students who have a 3.2 GPA are eligible for consideration.  (Exceptions to the GPA minimum may be made in special cases.)  To apply for admission to the Leadershp Pathway program, please click on the “Application” bar to the left or the following link: Leadership Online Application

Pathway faculty will begin reviewing applications at the end of October.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Thomas Sy
E-mail: thomas.sy@ucr.edu

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