CPS Leadership Course for 2021-22

Every year, CPS makes changes to its curriculum and course in response to the changing requirements of the NU schools, who are themselves responding to changes in work practice and new technologies.

Next year will be no different as CPS adjusts its mix of courses to better prepare students for their undergraduate studies and beyond. Our core courses of EAP and math remain as they reflect basic skills without which no student can expect to progress. However, to better prepare our students for leading roles in society we are introducing a new course in Leadership.

Whilst this course is still under development, its core aim is clear: to offer a better understanding of what makes for a well-rounded person, a high achieving student, and a successful leader. Students will look at areas such as values in higher education and the key attributes that define a leader. They will discover what has contributed to the development of many successful leaders, both past and current. This course will include some of the most important elements of our current Professional Development course to focus on the skills a successful student and potential leader needs to master.

So, what makes a great leader? And can it be taught or are leaders born? While we think of leaders as individuals they truth is that today, according to Warren Bennis author of On Becoming a Leader (2003), problems are so complex and demands so great that leaders are much more likely to be teams of talented individuals working together led by a flamboyant personality – think Elon Musk or Jack Ma. On the other hand, consider the leadership that went into producing Covid-19 vaccines this past year. There is no one person responsible but we all know the names of the teams – Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinopharm, Sputnik. What are the qualities of these teams and of the individuals that comprise them?

According to Senior Teaching Fellow Amy Golden, who is heading this course, students will focus on reading a variety of broadly academic texts written by or about people recognized for their leadership and/or the impact they had on society.  Students will be expected to respond critically and assessments are likely to be ongoing and to include journaling, debates, group projects resulting in an end of semester Leadership Portfolio.

It is expected that by the end of the course students will not only have a clear idea of the skills needed for effective leadership but will have started on a path of self-reflection and development to nurture these skills themselves.