University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Illinois Sesquicentennial College of ACES
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Leadership Development

Illinois Leadership Center
Illinois Leadership Center

Leadership Philosophy at the University of Illinois

Leaders are individuals who work with others to create positive change, and leadership can be practiced by anyone interested in making a contribution, regardless of formal authority or position. Leadership development begins with self-knowledge, and leaders are committed to continual self-discovery, reflection, and learning. Learning to work with others is essential, since leadership never happens alone, and leadership is exercised as members of teams; business, civic, and community organizations; and as global citizens. At the University of Illinois, students learn and practice leadership in their academic coursework and out-of-classroom activities.

Undergraduate Minor in Leadership Studies

The College of ACES administers an undergraduate minor in Leadership Studies. The Minor in Leadership Studies is an interdisciplinary minor open to all undergraduate students at the University of Illinois. The focus is on the study of leadership theory and its application in real-world situations. It draws from the fields of social psychology, philosophy, organizational development and administration, communication, and educational theory and aims to enhance our understanding of the social and organizational processes that influence effective leadership across diverse contexts.

Campus Leadership Center

The Campus Leadership Center offers workshops and programming throughout the year to help students with their leadership journeys. The Campus Leadership Center offers workshops and i-Programs, and administers a leadership certificate program. The center is a fantastic resource for any student who is interested in developing leadership skills and working with others to create positive change.

College of ACES Student Organizations

In ACES, over 30 organizations provide students with the opportunity to gain meaningful leadership experience while also networking, learning about careers, and contributing to the life of the college. From student clubs based on subjects or hobbies to honorary societies, there are plenty of ways to get involved in ACES. 

Off-Campus Leadership Programs

Opportunities exist for ACES students to participate in off-campus leadership programs sponsored by other organizations. Financial support from College of ACES donors is potentially available. Among the most popular programs is The Institute™ by LeaderShape®, which is a nationally recognized six-day, five-night leadership development program that takes place over winter break at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At The Institute, participants learn how to lead with integrity through a variety of fun and educational experiences. They create a vision for change focused on their organizations and an action plan designed to assist them in effectively implementing their vision and goals.

More information is available from the Student Development and Career Services office in 115 ACES Library.