The University of West Georgia (UWG) Center for Student Involvement (CSI) offers a variety of programs to help students excel while attending UWG. One of these programs offered through the CSI’s Lead West campaign is Leadership To Go.
“Leadership To Go is a series of short workshops,” said Laura Keath the Coordinator for Student Involvement and Leadership Programs, “with topics covering a variety of both leadership and life skills.”
The program is called Leadership To Go because the workshops are kept to about 30 minutes. This allows for students to attend sessions without having to give up a whole day. Leadership To Go has been on UWG’s campus for ten years and currently offers five leadership tracks that students can choose from.
“A leadership track is just a certain grouping of workshops and activities based on a particular theme,” said Keath. “When students complete a leadership track, they are invited to the Campus Activities Awards ceremony, held every spring, where they are recognized and presented with a certificate.”
The different tracks offered at UWG. They are listed under two categories: Emerge West and Lead West. Under Emerge West, there is the New Student Leadership Track, which is designed for students new to UWG who would like to learn more about campus, what it means to be a leader, and how to make the most of their college experience. Under Lead West, there are four tracks available: The Personal, The Organizational, The Advance and The Greek Leadership tracks.
“The personal leadership track is designed to help students understand themselves, which is the foundation of being a great leader,” said Keath. “The organizational leadership track covers various group development skills. The advanced leadership track covers various theories of leadership. The Greek leadership track is for students who are members of a social Greek student organization.”
This semester, students have been able to attend one of the four sessions offered during the week. The workshops are held on Tuesday and Wednesdays with two time slots at 4pm and 5pm. Starting fall 2014, they plan on offering two sessions a week on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 6pm.
“A big challenge has been finding the best times to schedule Leadership To Go to fit the availability of the greatest amount of students,” said Keath. “Students are increasingly busy with classes and other requirements, such as organizations and jobs, so we probably won’t find a time that works perfectly for everyone.”
Students have two semesters to complete a track. This allows participants to attend workshops at their own pace. Although multiple tracks are available, these tracks are built on progression. The Personal Leadership Track is the first track that must be completed under the Lead West programs.
“The layout of the Leadership Tracks is new this year,” said Keath. “In the past, students could work toward certificates much like they can now, but we changed the format and added the new ‘track’ language.”
Students who are completing a track are required to attended workshops, participate in activities on campus, complete community service and complete a written reflection upon completion of the track.
“Our goal is not to give students the answers to being successful, as success is defined in different ways based on the individual,” said Keath. “But rather to give students the tools they need to be successful, in whichever way they choose to define that, both in college and after they graduate.”