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Leadership Courses

A strength of Leadership Development in the John Martinson Honors College lies in our curricular approach. Leadership experience is valuable, but that value increases significantly when leadership experience is matched with instruction on leadership concepts, coaching on leadership principles and practices, and opportunities for structured reflection. These courses allow students to excel in their leadership roles and accelerate their leadership growth while at Purdue.

From courses where students begin to explore their leadership strengths and commitments, to courses that provide intensive coaching and resources that students need to execute their own leadership vision, the college offers enriching experiences for all students at each stage of their leadership journey. Descriptions of our current offerings for leadership-focused courses are listed below. To see when these courses are being offered, check the HONR Courses page.

HONR 299: Honors Leadership Retreat (1 credit)

This retreat is for Honors students who want to take meaningful steps on the path to becoming an exceptional leader. The retreat consists of a highly interactive two-day, one-night stay at Jameson Camp over Fall Break. Here, students can explore principles of leadership excellence in a fun, supportive, low-stakes environment, while also making connections with other Honors leaders. The fundamental tenets of the Leadership Development Pillar will be explored, including collaborative leadership; social responsibility and inclusion; and developing one’s personal leadership strengths, values, and commitments.

HONR 299: Visiting Leaders Seminar (1 credit)

Every semester, our campus hosts a changing line-up of distinguished leaders from various realms, from CEOs and politicians to university presidents. This 1-credit HONR seminar offers students the opportunity to hone their ideas about leadership and to reflect on their own leadership goals by engaging the ideas of these campus guests. Students in the seminar will attend talks and events with these visitors, whose work they will engage with on numerous levels, from preparatory research to final reflection. The goal of this seminar is to launch students on their own leadership paths by allowing them to analyze and reflect upon the pathways that visiting leaders have taken on their road to Purdue. Students should plan on attending some events outside of class time as part of their effort for the course.

HONR 299: Science of Teamwork (1 credit)

Science of Teamwork will provide students with an exciting opportunity to experiment with collaboration principles and strategies through fun teambuilding activities and games. Course content will consist of cutting-edge research on teambuilding, collaborative problem solving, the psychology of groups, as well as the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Course work will consist primarily of readings and reflections regarding application of teamwork concepts to in-class activities. At the end of the course, students will work in groups to design and assess their own teambuilding activity based on relevant research.

HONR 299: Lead Forward Theory (1 credit)

Lead Forward Theory provides students with concepts for social impact leadership based in the three leadership areas noted above. The course will include case studies of various kinds of social impact leadership, including social entrepreneurship, community action, developing social movements, founding organizations to address public needs. Both textbook and Purdue alumni examples will be offered to help students imagine possibilities for their own leadership vision and reflect on leadership principles in context. In addition to student examples, visiting speakers will be brought in to discuss their own efforts to make a positive social impact, challenges they faced, and what they learned along the way.

HONR 299: Lead Forward Practice (2 credit)

Lead Forward Practice provides students with more active learning opportunities to put concepts and strategies into practice. This will include workshops on vision setting and planning, cultivating ethical relationships with stakeholders, needs assessment, grant writing, coalition building, teambuilding, culturally-relevant leadership training, and more. Several of these workshops will be developed collaboratively with or otherwise involve social impact practitioners. Students will also participate in community service opportunities.

HONR 299: Leadership Praxis (3 credit)

Leadership Praxis acts as an asynchronous, curricular companion to a student's extracurricular leadership experience. Students will choose from a menu of course modules, allowing them to tailor the instruction they receive to their leadership context. A portion of the course is designated as a leadership lab, which acknowledges time devoted to the leadership role as part of the course. The course aims to help students feel more prepared for leadership roles as well as turn those roles into opportunities for intelligently experimenting with leadership practices to find out what works for the given context and the students’ own unique leadership style.