Wesleyan CCE Offering More Opportunites

Friday, August 17th, 2012

The Center for Community Engagement (CEE) at West Virginia Wesleyan is known for encouraging and enabling students to volunteer their time and share their talents with the campus and the community. As the new school year begins, the CCE is adding to its list of opportunities and its name by becoming the Center for Community Engagement and Leadership Development to reflect the intentional leadership development theory and skills students are learning in CCE programs.

“As we continue to move forward with programs that support community service and engagement, it is clear that leadership is integrated into all aspects of project planning and issue awareness,” said LeeAnn Brown, director of Community Engagement and Leadership Development.

To enable Wesleyan students to become more involved, increase leadership efficacy, and better prepare themselves for the future, the CCE is now offering the Leadership Exploration through Applied Practice (LEAP) program. LEAP is the first co-curricular, leadership certificate program in the state designed to increase students’ leadership skills across three levels of knowledge and expertise.

“All students have the potential to benefit from leadership development and training because all careers require some capacity for leadership, whether it be leading groups of people or using leadership skills to direct one’s own goals and accomplishments,” Brown added. “Participating in LEAP will be an opportunity to increase skills or improve existing strengths.”

Jessica Wagner, who will coordinate the LEAP program, is the newest staff member in the Center for Community Engagement and Leadership Development. Wagner has a long history of service in the local community and held several leadership positions as a student.  As a former Bonner Scholar, member of WE LEAD and soon-to-be Wesleyan MBA graduate, she brings many skills to the new position.

“As a student I discovered my own leadership capacity through my community engagement experiences and I look forward to assisting current students in realizing their leadership potential,” Wagner said.

CCE staff members are encouraging all sophomores, juniors, and seniors to become involved in LEAP. Brown says students in all disciplines can benefit from this co-curricular leadership program, especially those that will require high levels of interaction and collaboration to further develop leadership skills.

The LEAP sessions will be taught by a mix of Wesleyan alumni, community partners, faculty, staff, and other successful professionals connected to the College. Each instructor will conduct one to two sessions per semester on a topic specific to their respective area of expertise, and students can expect to learn a variety of applied leadership techniques and strategies from a vast range of specialized areas.

The LEAP program will have three separate levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold.  LEAP will begin in September 2012 with the Bronze Level: Individual Life Skills Certificate. Sessions in the bronze level include knowing and applying individual strengths, setting and living one’s own values, effective listening, networking, stress management, and more.  Those interested in becoming a LEAP instructor may contact Wagner, Leadership and Service Program Assistant, at wagner_jd@wvwc.edu.

Jessica Wagner