Leadership can be defined as “caring about people and working toward completing a mission”. Consequently, there is a strong relationship between leadership and civic engagement (or commitment to and engagement with the community). Part of the mission of the university or college should be to develop the students’ leadership skills and their feeling of commitment toward the community (whether local or global, nearby or remote) and the nation at a large scale. In this study, I present seven co-curricular programs that were established and are being offered at Virginia Tech (a public land-grant American university) for harnessing these two issues (civic engagement, and leadership) among college students at their undergraduate and graduate studies. As a participant, observer, or facilitator; I provide comments and suggestions about the effectiveness and progress of these programs, and the reaction of the participating students to these them. The study aims at presenting these programs as good candidates for colleges and universities, worldwide, that are in the process of selecting, designing, or adopting programs to develop student civic engagement and leadership.
|Keywords:||College Students, Community, Civic Engagement, Commitment, Responsibility, Leadership|
Teaching Fellow / Research Assistant, Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
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