A-Z Index

Leadership Certificate

Northwest students: Are you interested in deepening your knowledge on the topic of leadership, as well as gaining practical skills to help you become a more effective leader in college and after you graduate?

In the Leadership Certificate program, you will select from an array of leadership experiences: seminars, off-campus retreats, conferences, peer educator training workshops, service projects, student clubs and organizations, living-learning communities, and unique campus initiatives, all thoughtfully designed to help you foster your leadership development.

The Leadership Certificate program is open to any NW student at any class level and is self-paced. On average, students complete the program in 18-24 months.

Participation in these activities will be tracked by the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership and eventually will be documented on the NW Co-Curricular Transcript. Any questions can be directed to

There are 6 components to the Leadership Certificate:

1. Leadership Learning

Through participation in seven (7) workshops (schedule below), you will begin to develop your own personal model of leadership awareness through awareness of values, distinguishing your own personality style/traits and those of others, exploring conflict styles, and comparing and contrasting various leadership models

Action step: Participate in seven (7) workshops, consisting of five (5) required, and two (2) self-selected, from the options listed below. You must RSVP for any given workshop at least 24 hours in advance. There must be at least 5 participants that RSVP in order for a workshop to be held. We can only accommodate a maximum of 25 students due to seating capacity.

  • Five (5) Required workshops:
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Decision Making
    • Resiliency & Multiplicity of Effect or RCM
    • Team Building
    • Diversity Inclusion Certification
  • Two (2) Self-Selected workshops:

    • Office of Student Involvement & Leadership offerings (vary by semester):

      • A workshop in the Leadership Lunch Series

      • Etiquette

      • Student Organization Conflict Training

      • Relational Leadership

      • Time Management

      • Situational Leadership

    • Other on-campus leadership related workshops (i.e., Residential Education, Peer Health Educators)

      • Must be approved by Leadership Certificate Advisor in Office of Student Involvement & Leadership prior to attending other campus workshops.

2. Experiential Leadership

Through participation in experiential type programs (retreats, conferences, community events, mentoring), you may increase your interpersonal efficacy through building relationships and networks; increase self-awareness through the exploration of strengths, values, beliefs, culture and identity; increase knowledge, skill and competencies from interactive experiences; and foster an appreciation of cultural diversity, and intercultural and cross-cultural understanding.

Action step: Participate in two (2) of the following:
  • Attend Greek Life Team Retreat
  • Attend the NW Leadership Summit
  • Participate in 2 of the 4 trainings (Note: completing 2 of the following trainings will count as 1 Experiential Leadership event). If a training has multiple sessions, you must complete all components to receive credit.
    • Green Dot Training
    • SafeZones Training
    • Other
  • Pending availability on committee, participate in the MLK Jr. Day Program, Diversity Leadership Program or as a volunteer with a University Planning Committee for Diversity (meeting, event attendance, leadership role as a volunteer)
    • Documented proof of participation must be turned in to Office of Student Involvement & Leadership within two weeks after the event.
  • Pending availability on committee, participate in Family Weekend or Homecoming Parade as a volunteer with the University Planning Committee (meeting, event attendance, leadership role as a volunteer)
    • Documented proof of participation must be turned in to Office of Student Involvement & Leadership within two weeks after the parade.

3. Leadership Service

Through participation in off-campus service to the local community, you will demonstrate civic responsibility, and have the opportunity to build and develop professional working relationships.

Action step: Participate in twenty-five (25) hours of community service in Maryville/surrounding area.

Documented proof of service to be submitted online to Apply for Opportunity form within 30 days of completion of the service. Please refer to our page on logging hours if you're unfamiliar with the process.

4. Leadership Role

Through current participation in an on-campus leadership role, you have the opportunity to experience impactful communication (within and beyond the team, active listening, effective speaking, written communication) and shared leadership (influencing and motivating others, fostering teamwork, building trust, understanding and managing change).

Action step: Participate in a current leadership role on campus for a minimum of twenty (20) hours where major responsibilities are leadership related and allow for personal growth. This may be a formal position within a student organization/group, or a different role where you are expected to set and accomplish goals, lead others, or have a significant impact and foster positive social change on other students, the organization, the campus, and/or the community.

  • Before beginning the leadership role: A detailed description of the position and 3 personal leadership goals that you hope to accomplish through your leadership role. Send this to the Leadership Certificate Advisor (
  • After completing the leadership role: Your leadership role faculty/staff advisor must turn in a Letter of Verification to the Leadership Certificate Advisor ( This can be done via email or intercampus mail.

5. Leadership & Mentoring (NEEDS UPDATED)

Through participation in the Career Service Program you will gain valuable guidance on a variety of career-related topics including one-on-one advice, networking, interviewing and job shadowing. The program pairs NW juniors, seniors and graduate students in one-on-one mentorships with established alumni/professionals on campus and beyond. This program requires an 8- to 12-hour time commitment by students over the course of one semester.

UPDATE: A second option to fulfill this requirement would be to participate in a pre-approved internship/shadowing on campus with: various areas designated for choice (needs researched) the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership office over the course of one semester. This must be approved by the Assistant Director of Office of Student Involvement & Leadership in advance.

6. Critical Thinking/Reflection-Capstone

After completing all the specified requirements of the certificate, you will be asked produce a “Capstone Reflection Paper/Video/Portfolio."

The paper, video or online portfolio is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your leadership-related skills, competencies, knowledge, and experiences in a personalized fashion. It should contain evidence and examples of your participation in the Leadership Certificate program. It should discuss your leadership strengths, areas of growth during the program, and future plans for continual development. The paper/video serves as a final, summative performance assessment as well as a tool of self-assessment.


Looking to complete the Leadership Certificate this academic year?

To request the capstone prompt, email the Leadership Certificate Advisor ( ).

We formally award the Leadership Certificates once a year in the Spring. However, for students graduating in mid-year, we will grant their certificate at that time.