What is the Leadership Development Certificate Program?

The Leadership Development Certificate Program was developed to provide a structured framework through which you, undergraduate students in the College of Agriculture, can enhance your leadership skills. It is a not-for-credit, voluntary program to grow your leadership abilities. It is assumed that each student will come into the program with different leadership experiences, abilities, interests, and levels of development. Some of you have been leaders in high school and are leaders here on campus. Some of you may not see yourself as a leader. This program is intended to be flexible and to accommodate your own goals in leadership, starting with where you are and growing in the direction that fits your interests.​​

How Did the Purdue College of Agriculture’s Leadership Development Certificate Program Get Started?  

Employers that interview students at Purdue University have frequently stated that students with leadership skills and experiences are most desirable in today’s changing environment. Based upon these comments, a group of Purdue faculty began exploring the potential for some type of leadership development learning experience for undergraduate students in Purdue University’s College of Agriculture. This discussion led to a one-day focus group meeting with about twenty community and industrial leaders on April 1, 2004. They clearly articulated the need for:
  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Flexibility
  • Commitment to the business
  • Team player
From these discussions and deliberations, the Leadership Development Certificate Program was created in 2005 as a joint venture between several departments within the Purdue University College of Agriculture and supported by the Office of Academic Programs. The purpose of the program is to:
  • Prepare students for the workforce by responding to direct feedback from employers, alumni, and recent graduates through structured leadership experiences
  • Help more students intentionally plan their leadership journey beginning earlier
  • Increase the number of students engaged in leadership development, especially those who may not view him or herself as a leader.
  • Enhance students’ skills in leadership to be a productive team member, organizational and community leader
  • Increase the percent of graduates with the competencies to become active citizens in their communities
  • Create some visible added-value incentive to students to stretch themselves
The initiating faculty group consulted with the University of Illinois regarding their leadership certificate program. Their program was used as a model for the development of this program. A leadership development philosophy statement was written early in the process to serve as a foundation for the program. A general framework, along with the philosophy statement, was presented at a College of Agriculture faculty meeting on April 20, 2005 and was approved.
The Leadership Development Certificate Program Committee was formed to implement the program. The committee is composed of a faculty representative from each of the departments in the College of Agriculture. It is responsible for the overall development of the program and its policies. A subgroup of this committee is responsible for its implementation.  
The program was launched in August 2005 with approximately 56 students responding to the call-out. About 37 students submitted a Statement of Intent to participate in the program.