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Leadership Education At The University Of Michigan

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.390.1 - 3.390.25

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Paper Authors

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Andrew S. Crawford

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2632


ANDREW S. CRAWFORD University of Michigan


The College of Engineering is making “team building” an instructional commitment as part of the revision for our Curriculum 2000. Students will have curricular instruction in aspects of team building and the opportunity to practice these skills in significant team projects during each year of their education. Part of our goal is to meet the ABET requirement to demonstrate that our graduates have “an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.”

The University of Michigan has developed a model for leadership based on developing “skills” that are applicable for different leadership or citizenship roles. Each student has differing goals and capabilities around mastering their “leadership” potential. The College of Engineering has established a minimum level of team skills required for each of our graduates. These involve skills in relating with team members, in accepting roles and responsibilities that contribute to the team, and in developing and implementing effective group decisions. We will assist students who choose to master skills in “team building” and “leadership” beyond the requirements to get the needed instruction and practice.

There is controversy about the ability of any university to develop “leaders”i. We recognize that many students will not choose to, or have the basic skills to, become classic hierarchical leaders. Our hope is that we can help all students to become effective members of teams and to rise to informal leadership roles when the situation demands. Research by Debra Moriartyii shows that students who participate in a leadership class or program coupled with co-curricular activities report the highest levels of leadership ability. We expect to be able to develop leadership ability through our programs. A significant challenge is to assess these programs over time to refine them to better meet our goals.

This paper begins with a description of the skill-based model developed by the Michigan Leadership Initiative task force. It defines “competency,” “leadership” and “citizenship” from the perspective of how these concepts are applied in our program. The paper describes our conceptual model and shows the progression of skills to be obtained over the four years of undergraduate education. Plans for implementing the model in the College of Engineering are described. These were developed by a committee with members from each of the departments in the College. The freshman module, currently in place, provides an example of how the plan will be implemented. Finally, the challenges of assessing progress and implementing future stages of the plan are discussed.

ASEE Paper #2632 Page 1, 04/06/98

Crawford, A. S. (1998, June), Leadership Education At The University Of Michigan Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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