Grosse Pointe North's Emerging Leaders Program - Overview
What is the Emerging Leaders Program?Emerging Leaders is a program to develop and utilize the leadership potential of students within the school to accomplishgreat things in the classroom and community.What level of commitment is required of members of the ELP?Regular meetings will take place 1-2 times per month, but ongoing participation in activities, projects and role modelingin classrooms on a regular basis will also be components. Student leaders will meet with a mentor staff member to discussclassroom progress, learn leadership skills, and plan for upcoming goals. Feedback from students to the mentor teacherwill allow for meaningful adjustments to classroom happenings, while feedback from the mentor teacher to the studentswill allow them to interact with course content at a different level than is possible in the regular classroom setting. Theteaching and learning process will be at the forefront of the service that the ELP provides, and in addition to this will becommunity development among the school population.Whats involved in the program for members?Emerging Leaders will take part in structured activities to further develop their leadership skills and then deploy thoseskills out in classrooms and the community. For example, one aspect of leadership is communication. ELP students willtake part in activities that help develop their communication skills to a leadership level. Then, they will utilize thosecommunication skills in classrooms to model ideal verbal and non-verbal interactions to others. Emerging Leaders willalso be able to utilize their communication skill in public speaking opportunities and other inspirational experiences.Program development and action planThe program will be developed by students and staff together using the Design Thinking process of prototyping, testing,refining, re-prototyping, and testing until the program is completely developed. To begin, the program will be deployed inthe classroom setting, but eventually will be expanded to the school and community setting. Elements of the individualclassroom in which the program is initially deployed will be discussed in preview to students who take part in theprogram. This will be done in an effort to equip them to be student learning facilitators among their peers. With skills tonavigate the elements of the individual class, the students in the Emerging Leaders Program will model correct learningprocesses and techniques for their peers and, in conjunction with the classroom teacher, will help to facilitate the learningin the classroom. Eventually this program will give rise to leadership opportunities outside of the classroom but stillwithin the school community. Service projects and action research projects will put students in the ELP at the forefront ofmaking a difference in the school and community to design creative solutions that address relevant issues. Ultimately, theprogram would pair upperclassmen leaders with underclassmen in a mentoring capacity and various ways to build the nextgeneration of leaders and yield a self-sustaining program.What do members get out of being in the program?Members will be a part of designing and developing a new organization at the high school level that is centered onleadership. Unique opportunities for personal and academic development will be afforded to members. Each member willreceive community service hours that can be applied toward required hours or college applications; furthermore, a strongletter of personal recommendation from the club advisor will be provided to each member for use with post-secondaryprogram (e.g., college) applications.Motivations for the programBorn out of an action research project from the graduate college of education at Saginaw Valley State University, theEmerging Leaders Program is being developed and piloted for use in the high school setting. Research suggests thatstudents learn best when the educational environment is student-centered; however, many traditional learningenvironments still exist. Students who are used to learning environments that are not very student-centered sometimestake more time to adjust to research based methods for instruction and developing community culture. In an effort tofacilitate the teaching and learning that take place in student-centered classrooms, and to support students in being wellrounded and successful in their school community, the Emerging Leaders Program is a designed solution that will addressthe needs of the classroom, school, and community to provide a service learning experience that develops leadership.Similarly to the way that high schools have department leaders for each subject discipline, who work closely withadministrators to then support their department members, the Emerging Leaders Program will take on a similar structureand function at the student level. With inspiration from similar programs at the college level, the Emerging LeadersProgram will be a first of its kind at the high school level. Additionally, the Emerging Leaders Program seeks to supportthe cohesiveness of the school community and student body through connecting student leaders in meaningful ways withpeers in a variety of settings to address a wide range of needs at the school.