Leadership development in undergraduate programs: an example at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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The paper presents specific examples of leadership training practices and educational activities that have been successfully implemented in an undergraduate program at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The purpose of this study is to illustrate a model of experiential learning that facilitates leadership development in an undergraduate program. The integration of cadets’ learning in a classroom, during students’ engagement in service learning, community engagements, internships, and extra-curricular activities allows cadets to develop necessary leadership skills required for graduation and employment in the future. A structured experiential learning environment allows students to discover their own styles of self-leadership and explore new leadership approaches. Concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation are exercised in the learning communities that include faculty, coaches, students (peer groups) and the community they serve

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