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UM System Graduate Student Leadership Development Program (GSLDP)

Members of the 2017 cohort at UMKC during a entrepreneurship activity - "Idea Napkin."

2017 cohort at UMKC in an entrepreneurship activity.

Program Overview

Launched in 2014, the aim of the Graduate Student Leadership Development Program (GSLDP) is to enhance students’ “transferable skills” — the high-demand skills that employers seek across academic, business, government, nonprofit and industry sectors. 

How it works: This collaborative professional development program will engage 32 stellar doctoral students from across the UM System in activities designed to enhance their leadership abilities and transferable skills. Each campus will select eight doctoral students to participate in the calendar year program. Students take leadership of a service project on their respective campus, and travel to each of the other campuses for an overnight visit and extended training. All materials, travel, hotel rooms and meals are underwritten by University of Missouri System. A certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of the GSLDP. 

Curriculum: Ruben’s (2006) Leadership Competency Scorecard (LSC 2.0) serves as our framework for leadership development. Ruben's model is grounded in the leadership literature and is particularly relevant for graduate students because it corresponds with employers’ expectations of new hires. Programming varies by site and is framed by the five competency areas of the LSC 2.0:

Competency Areas             Illustrative Topics in GSLDP Curriculum
Analytical 360 assessment; situational analysis; critical thinking; problem solving; stakeholder analysis
Personal emotional intelligence; ethical leadership; creativity; 
Communication academic writing; storytelling; difficult conversations; diversity; mindfulness; team building
Organizational empowerment; goal setting; project management
Positional higher ed, nonprofit, industry, government & entrepreneurial careers

Eligibility: Must be nominated in the first or second year of a doctoral program. Good academic standing. Prefer nominee with demonstrated leadership ability and/or a strong interest in developing leadership skills. Must be able to attend all four GSLDP seminars in 2017, including overnight travel to the three other UM campuses (transportation, hotel and meals provided). The dates are February 23-24 at Mizzou; April 20-21, at UMKC; September 28-29 at UMSL; November 16-17 at Missouri S&T. Orientation via telepresence will be December 2016. Students must complete a 360 assessment over winter break.

Annual selection & notification cycle: The Request for Nominations is released in mid-September. Only Directors of Graduate Studies may submit a nomination, but other interested faculty may work with the DGS to submit a nomination. Interested students should proactively talk with mentors and the Director of Graduate Studies about the nomination process. Applications must be received by the deadline. Students are notified of acceptance into the GSLDP by December 1.  

See the GSLDP Facebook page for photos.

Ruben, Brent D. (2006). What Leaders Need to Know and Do: A Leadership Competencies Scorecard. Washington, DC: National Association of College and University Business Officers.