Leadership minor to make major impact

New minor a ‘differentiator’ in job hunt

periodiCALS, Vol. 7, Issue 2, 2017

The new leadership minor from Cornell CALS is aimed at developing skills in community engagement, service learning and leadership. Students in Collaboration, Leadership, and Career Skills in the Plant Sciences (PLSCI 1110) engaged in a service-learning project making improvements to the Habitat Trail outside of Trumansburg. Photo by Craig Cramer / CALS.

Every day across campus, our students are developing the knowledge and technical expertise they need to succeed in their chosen fields. But a new minor available this fall focuses on the skills they need to attract employers across all disciplines.

The leadership minor helps students build key skills to excel professionally and in their personal lives. The goal is to enhance the abilities of students to understand their own strengths, collaborate with others and be positive role models, said Marvin Pritts, professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) and director of the new minor program.

Pritts hopes students will become more aware of the links between community engagement, service learning, leadership and personal growth. The new minor provides opportunities for direct, hands-on experience. It grew out of a desire to formally provide integration and academic credit for the many leadership opportunities that exist at Cornell, both inside and outside the classroom. 

“When recruiters come to campus, they already assume that Cornell students are equipped with excellent technical skills, so they are looking for differentiators,” Pritts said. “Having leadership experiences and a language to describe these attributes will impress recruiters.”