Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type

Consultancy Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Dale Lamb

Committee Co-Chair

Jeffrey Hamilton


Similar to most universities in the United States, Gardner-Webb University lists leadership development in their students as a high priority. The first two sentences in the Gardner-Webb University strategic plan state,

The mission of Gardner-Webb University is to prepare graduates for leadership and service in their professional careers and in their personal lives. Rigorous and innovative degree programs, combined with distinctive experiential learning opportunities, shape students into thinkers, doers, and world-changers. (Gardner-Webb University, 2021a, p. 1)

There are several key words in these sentences that warrant further discussion. First, leadership development is an instrumental aspect of the core mission of the university. Second, the strategic plan highlights “distinctive experiential learning opportunities,” as an essential element of mission fulfillment, yet there is currently not an identified or intentional program to teach initial leadership principles; allow students to practice and refine their skills; and most importantly, measure the results. The purpose of this project is to propose a Center of Excellence for Leadership at Gardner-Webb University to help synchronize current leadership efforts across the campus and to highlight the need to intentionally measure the results of leadership development. The director of this center will be an individual who wakes up every day thinking about the effectiveness of the university’s leadership programs. This discussion will concentrate only on the undergraduate population since there are additional complexities associated with the graduate community.

Included in

Education Commons