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Community Leadership Model

Rochester’s Approach to Leadership

At Rochester, we understand leadership as a collaborative process through which individuals create change in their communities whether or not they hold a position of authority. We believe that leadership can be learned through reflective experience and must be practiced to achieve competency and excellence.

Our programs are informed by the Social Change Model of leadership, developed by the National Clearinghouse on Leadership Programs. Our programs also reference the leadership domains prioritized by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education which identify the following desirable outcomes for leadership programs:

  • intellectual growth
  • effective communication
  • realistic self‐appraisal
  • enhanced self‐ esteem
  • clarified values
  • career choices
  • leadership development
  • healthy behaviors
  • meaningful interpersonal relationships
  • independence
  • collaboration
  • social responsibility
  • satisfying and productive lifestyles
  • appreciation of diversity
  • spiritual awareness
  • achievement of personal and educational goals

We are committed to evaluating leadership outcomes for our students, both globally, and on an individual and programmatic basis. We have participated in the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership on a triennial schedule since its inception in 2006.

At the same time, the following features create a distinctive ad fertile context for leadership education at Rochester:

  • The award-winning Rochester curriculum places freedom as a core value in undergraduate education, and invites students to pursue their passions and learn what they love. The co-curricular experience affords numerous opportunities for students to explore and identify their interests, and to form and test their commitments to various causes.
  • The residential college system that is a centerpiece of our undergraduate experience provides a rich campus environment for peer interaction and collaboration. A high number of students participate in campus organizations (90%) as well as service in the community (48% according to the COHFE Senior Survey, 2014).
  • Over the past decade, entrepreneurship has become a focal point at Rochester, and students are encouraged to create and innovate, both in the classroom and in the community.
  • International education is a hallmark of Rochester, and has been strengthened in recent years through increased enrollments of international students as well as overseas study programs. This creates a dynamic environment in which to learn leadership across cultural differences.
  • The City of Rochester provides a diverse and rich historical, cultural and social context that informs and inspires undergraduate education at Rochester. From the historical models of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass to the entrepreneurship and philanthropy of George Eastman and Joseph C. Wilson, our students learn through engagement with the community.

Underlying all of these aspects of leadership at Rochester are our communal principles: fairness, freedom, honesty, inclusion, respect, and responsibility. These are our shared values that form the pillars of undergraduate student life, and they are infused throughout our leadership programs.