2021-2022 Undergraduate Bulletin

Leadership Studies Program

Office: DFRV Level 1 East Wing
Mail Code: 2020 S High Street, Room P177,Denver, CO 80208
Phone: 303.871.2462
Email: applyplp@du.edu
Web Site: 
http://www.du.edu/leadership

The Pioneer Leadership Program (PLP) has been developing the leadership skills of some of the University of Denver's most talented undergraduate students since 1995. PLP is a unique academic minor and Living and Learning Community at the University of Denver that emphasizes leadership ignited by community, curiosity, courage, and action.

Each year the Pioneer Leadership Program (PLP) selects 88 incoming students who are ready to embrace the ever-increasing challenges of our world.

PLP is a transformational learning experience that combines course work, a residential community, civic engagement, and professional networks to equip 21st century citizen leaders. Through the study and practice of leadership, you will acquire the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to become an effective, collaborative leader in whatever field you choose. 

The vision of the Pioneer Leadership Program is "Building inclusive leadership for a just world".

Leadership Studies

Minor Requirements - Pioneer Leadership

The minor requires 24 credits. 

First year
LDRS 2017Inclusive Leadership1,2
LDRS 2019Teaming for Social Change1,2
LDRS 2021 Leadership and Social Movements 1-2
Second year
LDRS 2040Leading Community Change4
LDRS 2050Collaborative Leadership: Local Perspectives2
LDRS 2060Collaborative Leadership: Global Perspectives2
40 service hours
Third and/or fourth year
LDRS 3000Capstone: Leadership Ethics4
6 credits at the 2000 level or above 16
Total Credits23-24

Minor Requirements - CWC Scholars

The minor requires 24 credits.

First year
LDRS 2017Inclusive Leadership1,2
LDRS 2019Teaming for Social Change1,2
LDRS 2021 Leadership and Social Movements 1-2
Second year
LDRS 2040Leading Community Change4
LDRS 2050Collaborative Leadership: Local Perspectives2
LDRS 2060Collaborative Leadership: Global Perspectives2
Third and/or fourth year
LDRS 3000Capstone: Leadership Ethics4
6 credits at the 2000 level or above 16
Total Credits23-24

Minor Requirements - Army ROTC

The minor requires 24 credits.

LDRS 2000Foundations of Leadership4
RTC1 2031Methods of Leadership and Management 14
RTC1 2041Methods of Leadership and Management 24
RTC1 3072Adaptive Leadership4
RTC1 3082Leadership in a Complex World4
LDRS 3000Capstone: Leadership Ethics4
Total Credits24

Minor Requirements-Air Force ROTC

The minor requires 24 credits. 

LDRS 2000Foundations of Leadership4
RTC2 3010Leading People and Effective Communication 14
RTC2 3020Leading People and Effective Communication 24
RTC2 3030National Security, Leadership Responsibilities/Commissioning Preparation 14
RTC2 3031National Security, Leadership Responsibilities/Commissioning Preparation 24
LDRS 3000Capstone: Leadership Ethics4
RTC 3010/3020 and RTC 3030/3031: These courses are two semester courses, and total credits for the minor must be equal or greater than 24 credits.
Total Credits24

Approved Elective Courses

ANTH 2400Social Change in Latin America4
ANTH 3430Visions, Utopias and Messiahs4
CUI 3055Human Rights & Education3
CUI 3990Service Learning in Community1-4
CUI 3996Urban Youth Development5
GEOG 3420Urban and Regional Planning4
COMN 2115Performance & Social Change4
COMN 2130Introduction to Organizational Communication4
COMN 2300Fundamentals of Argumentation4
COMN 2470Gender and Communication4
COMN 3020Conflict Management4
COMN 3110Intergroup Communication4
COMN 3140Advanced Intercultural Communication4
COMN 3230Principles of Leadership4
COMN 3245Building Group/Team Effectiveness4
COMN 3300Principles of Persuasion4
COMN 3315Public Deliberation4
COMN 3680Gender and Communication4
COMN 3770Mediated Communication and Relationships4
COMN 3850Communication Ethics4
COMN 3852Communication Ethics4
HIST 2530American History: 20th Century4
HIST 2570Civil War & Reconstruction4
INTS 2975Global Issues Research Practicum4
INTS 3385Migrants and Refugees: Humanity on the Move4
INTS 3952Human Rights in the Global World4
MGMT 2040Managing Human Resources4
MGMT 2420Global Management4
MGMT 3100Business Ethics and Social Responsibility4
MGMT 3270Dispute Resolution4
MGMT 3280Resilient Leadership4
MGMT 3700Topics in Management1-8
PHIL 2180Ethics4
PHIL 2785Environmental Ethics4
PLSC 2001Law and Politics4
PLSC 2050Anarchy or Order? World Politics4
PLSC 2420American Presidency4
PLSC 2430Political Parties & Interest Groups4
PLSC 2610Rise of Political Individualism4
PLSC 2820Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties4
PPOL 1910Hard Choices in Public Policy4
SOCI 2190American Communities4
SOCI 2320Race and Ethnic Relations4
SOCI 2420Social Inequality4
SOCI 2719Social Movements4
THEA 3760Stage Management4
THEA 2885Directing I4

LDRS 2000 Foundations of Leadership (4 Credits)

LDRS 2000 focuses on developing an understanding of the foundations of leadership through an overview of leadership theories and definitions, an exploration of the present and future contextual demands on leaders, and in-depth self-assessment which includes identification of strengths, weaknesses, social identity, and leadership practices. The course will also explore the role of leadership and followership in teams. LDRS 2000 is designed to broaden your understanding of what constitutes leadership while challenging you to understand yourself better and begin to apply civically engaged leadership in new ways. This course is designed to broaden your understanding of "who" and "what" constitutes leadership.

LDRS 2017 Inclusive Leadership (1,2 Credit)

In this academic entree to the study of leadership, we explore the fundamental nature of leadership and how to develop as students of leadership in a diverse world. This course encourages students to discover their personal identities, values, preferences, risk-taking propensity and other characteristics as these relate to their leadership potential. Students integrate learning in a Personal Leadership Statement, declaring what they stand for as an inclusive leader. We explore the idea of "community" and our obligations to take on a leadership role in the community with whom we identify. Service as an act of leadership will be expected both as a course requirement and overall program requirement in the Pioneer Leadership Program. Prerequisite: membership in the Pioneer Leadership Program (PLP), or permission of PLP faculty.

LDRS 2018 Leadership: Theory to Innovation (1,2 Credit)

This course continues the process of learning about leadership as a process and the role of the leader and follower in that process. Particular attention will be paid to developing passions, self-interests and facilitation skills that allow leaders and followers to innovate and create change. Service as an act of leadership continues both as a course requirement and overall program requirement in the Pioneer Leadership Program. Prerequisites: LDRS 2017 and membership in the Pioneer Leadership Program (PLP), or permission of PLP faculty.

LDRS 2019 Teaming for Social Change (1,2 Credit)

Teams are the primary vehicle by which many, if not most, complex tasks are accomplished in our society. As a result, there is an increasing demand for leaders who can build, lead and participate in effective teams. With this course, you are completing your first-year sequence as a student of leadership. It will help lay the theoretical and conceptual foundations you need to prepare you to (a) reflect on teams of which you have been a part; (b) develop strategies for making your teams more effective, whether you are a leader or a team member; and (c) help you develop skills for your sophomore service project. Prerequisites: LDRS 2018 and membership in the Pioneer Leadership Program, or permission of PLP faculty.

LDRS 2021 Leadership and Social Movements (1-2 Credits)

This course continues the process of learning about leadership as a process and the role of the leader and follower in that process. Particular attention will be paid to developing passions, self-interests and facilitation skills that allow leaders and followers to innovate and create change. Service as an act of leadership continues both as a course requirement and overall program requirement in the Pioneer Leadership Program. Prerequisites: LDRS 2017, LDRS 2019 and membership in the Pioneer Leadership Program (PLP), membership in the Colorado Women's College or permission of PLP faculty.

LDRS 2040 Leading Community Change (4 Credits)

This course builds on the themes we began in the first-year PLP sequence. Specifically, we continue to expand your understanding of community, citizenship, and spheres of influence. Last year, you explored theories of leadership as well as your own assets and passions you carry into leadership. During the second-year course series we learn how to think strategically and act purposefully to make change happen in a larger context—the community. This course asks you to look at and practice leadership as a relational process that brings people together around common interests in order to effect positive change within institutions and/or communities. We will examine and practice key leadership concepts including self-interest, power, and collaboration. We will also practice specific leadership strategies, including 1-1 interviewing techniques, issue research, developing mission statements and action plans, and conducting community research. Prerequisites: LDRS 2017, LDRS 2018, LDRS 2019 and membership in the Pioneer Leadership Program (PLP), or permission of the PLP faculty.

LDRS 2050 Collaborative Leadership: Local Perspectives (2 Credits)

This course is a continuation of LDRS 2040 and the exploration of the topics of collaborative leadership and community change. In this course you will begin the implementation of the Community Change Initiatives you developed in LDRS 2040. To effectively enact community change, “change agents” must manage project logistics, continually develop as leaders, and be competent communicators. By the end of this course, you will further develop your abilities to effect community change through knowledge and awareness of strategies to effectively impact these areas. Prerequisites: LDRS 2017, LDRS 2018, LDRS 2019, LDRS 2040 and PLP membership or approval.

LDRS 2060 Collaborative Leadership: Global Perspectives (2 Credits)

This course is a continuation of LDRS 2040 and LDRS 2050. We will pursue the exploration of leadership and community change adding a focus on global cultural differences. In LDRS 2050, much of our class was devoted to communication, particularly “crucial conversations,” where we applied new ideas and skills to leadership and followership in CCI teams. This quarter, we will focus on communication skills in diverse cultures and how leadership is enacted and perceived in different cultures around the globe. Students in this course will also finalize the implementation of their CCI developed in LDRS 2040 and LDRS 2050. Community change initiatives require students to understand the communities where they live and work, to be confident in the appropriateness of their community change efforts, and to fairly and conceptually assess their efforts and impacts. By the end of this course, you will develop a deeper understanding of the community change process. Prerequisites: LDRS 2050 and PLP membership or PLP approval.

LDRS 2100 Finding Our Path: Discovering Meaning and Purpose (4 Credits)

The Finding Your Way course is an opportunity to slow down and identify your passion, deep commitment, and calling. To locate a more holistic center, a sovereign-self, away from the influences of academic work, social-networks, family, or self-imposed expectations. In the midst of the busy and compressed experiences of campus life it is easy to lose track of one’s intrinsic drive, an internal-compass of meaning and purpose. The Finding Your Way course is an invitation to meet and develop relationships and sense of belonging with fellow DU students who are also struggling with finding ways to understand the emerging sense of self at the interface between the demands of academia, larger social pressures, and expectations from loved ones. Nationally the rates of depression, anxiety, burnout, cynicism, and loss of heart are increasing on college campuses. It seems that many students are in need of tools and strategies for locating meaning and purpose in their academic life, to make sense of the tension between self and external demands. The Finding Your Way course will address these concerns by: -Disconnecting from the pace and intensity of campus life through dedicated time for rest and personal renewal; -Developing a more wholehearted and integrated self by exploring sources of fragmentation; -Seeking a deeper understanding of identity and sense of purpose through reflection; -Connecting with fellow DU students so as to develop a sense of collegial belonging; and -Experiencing the healing gift of being listened too at the deepest levels of your heart. Finding Your Way course is structured around a retreat format consistent with Courage to Teach practices and principles that have guided the inner-work of young leaders, students, teachers, physicians, faith leaders and members of the helping professions for over 20 years. You and a group of 20-25 DU students are invited (not required), through small group conversation, reflective readings, personal time, journaling, and art to find your way toward wholeness. The retreat will provide participants with greater clarity on how to slow down and attend to one’s deep sense of selfhood with courage, fearlessness, and imagination.

LDRS 2120 Mentorship: Theory to Practice (2 Credits)

Whether being mentored, or mentoring another person, understanding how to make the most of the experience is important. This course will explore the theory and practice of mentoring. Students will explore mentoring philosophy, design, implementation and assessment, as well as the potential benefits and pitfalls of mentoring relationships. They will examine diversity and inclusion in mentoring and the impact of mentoring in different academic pursuits and professional capacities. Students will have the opportunity to hear from professionals who have utilized mentoring in their careers, research important elements of mentoring for their desired career paths, design their “ideal” mentoring experience from both the mentee and mentor experience, and learn how assessment can help evaluate the effectiveness of mentoring programs.

LDRS 2310 Leadership in a Virtual World (4 Credits)

Distributed organizations are commonplace in the high-tech world in which we now find ourselves living and working. Leading in private and public settings requires a developed set of skills to utilize the virtual environment to advance a shared goal. Technical skills and communication take on new importance for leading virtually. This course focuses on these new realities of today's work and community environments. Through readings of current research on virtual work and team leadership as well as online assignments to recognize, practice and develop needed skills, students gain a strong foundational understanding of what constitutes effectiveness in virtual work and community leadership.

LDRS 2340 Gender and Leadership (4 Credits)

This course explores the complex intersections of gender and the intricacies of enacting leadership. Students will consider gender as a socially constructed concept and discuss the historical inequities in which this construct has developed and how this has influenced their understanding and enactment of leadership. This course considers the experiences of trans*, genderqueer, ciswomen, and cismen leaders, as well as concepts of gender expression and the intersectionality of identities as influencers on leadership access and practice. To address these perspectives, the course reviews research from a variety of disciplines, including education, social psychology, sociology, economics, and management and organizational science.

LDRS 2400 Leadership and Sustainability in Belize (4 Credits)

Every day, decisions are made by leaders in business, government, and non-profit settings that impact sustainability in its many forms. This course explores multiple meanings and interpretations of sustainability. The course location of Belize provides a perfect learning laboratory to examine how one country is attempting to balance the sometimes competing demands of economic, cultural, and environmental sustainability. Course activities include staying at a low-environmental impact conference center in the rainforest, visiting a model environmentally sustainable island community, hearing guest lectures from various country experts, and exploring Mayan ruins. Through these activities students examine the role that leadership plays in contributing to small and large scale sustainability efforts. Students must apply and receive instructor permission to register for this course.

LDRS 2420 Leadership in the Movement for Irish Independence (4 Credits)

Much can be learned from the journey toward Irish Independence. Through an intensive study of this movement, students will explore Irish history and culture with specific focus on the role leaders played in gaining independence. Students will visit historical sites in Dublin, Limerick, and Cork and learn about leaders and their legacies from multiple national experts. From these experiences, students will reflect upon and draw connections between historical rebellion movements and those of today. Priority for this course is given to leadership studies minors.

LDRS 2911 The Job & Internship Search: Taking the Lead in Your Career Development (2 Credits)

This course is designed to give students the unique resources, skills, confidence and tools necessary to be successful in the job and internship search and develop a mindset for strong workplace excellence and leadership. The search process involves much more than simply submitting a resume in the current economy. Through in-class activities and assignments, students will understand workplace complexities, deepen self-knowledge around their abilities, strengths, and interests; and, integrate this information to develop a strong career action plan to successfully navigate their professional development. The course will include content delivered by Career & Professional Development professionals, employers, and alumni.

LDRS 2912 Careers and Leadership Development (2 Credits)

This course is designed to facilitate student’s career and professional development through self-reflection, industry knowledge, and building professional connections. Students will develop deep knowledge around their strengths and personal characteristics relevant to the world of work and how to leverage those unique abilities to successfully navigate future internship and work experiences, along with communicating their story and value add when connecting with employers. Through targeted exercises and experiential learning, including readings and assignments, students will learn how to increase their emotional intelligence, self-esteem, and confidence, which is vital to workplace and leadership success. Additionally, students will hear from local leaders and DU alumni to provide further training and insight on topics that promote effective decision-making and planning for lifelong career progression and development.

LDRS 3000 Capstone: Leadership Ethics (4 Credits)

This course completes the leadership studies minor as an undergraduate at DU. It is designed to help students think in a structured, reflective way about the philosophical and behavioral ethics as relates to inclusive leadership. Students will gain a greater understanding of their own and others’ ethical perspectives and develop stronger ethical decision making skills to navigate ambiguous situations and conflicting interests associated with future roles in society. A final leadership statement and code of ethics paper will allow students to summarize their learning, values and hopes for future leadership development and impact. Prerequisites: LDRS 2017, LDRS 2018, LDRS 2019, LDRS 2040, LDRS 2050, and LDRS 2060.

LDRS 3500 Ethics in Leadership (4 Credits)

To fully understand effective leaders, one must also appreciate and apply ethical perspectives and principles to leadership action. All forms of leadership communication involve ethical issues. This course is designed to increase students' understanding of the scope of ethical issues embedded in leadership activities, and to provide the opportunity to identify and discuss current ethical issues and challenges in our local to global world. Research on and application of ethical leadership are discussed in a course environment that encourages and supports the expression of diverse ideas, opinions, and beliefs. The overarching goal of the course is to learn how to ethically navigate ambiguous situations and conflicting interests in one's role as a leader. Prerequisites: LDRS 2517, LDRS 2518 and LDRS 2540 or LDRS 2541. Course open to Colorado Women's College students only.

LDRS 3650 Co-Learning as Co-Leading: Critical Reflection on Development Praxis in South Africa (4 Credits)

Co-Learning as Co-Leading: Critical Reflection on Development Praxis in South Africa is a virtual summer module offered over a period of four weeks. It is a 4-credit elective focused on Development, Leadership, and Gender in faith-based organizations in Southern Africa. The class is a collaboration between the University of Denver leadership studies department and the University of KwaZulu-Natal department of theology in Durban, South Africa. The course offers a space for reflection and deliberation to activists, community organizers, and students in leadership, theology, and community/non-profit development. It is designed as a productive learning space for students, researchers, and activists committed to harnessing feminist, queer, race-critical, and indigenous approaches to development in Southern Africa in general, and in faith-based NGOs in particular. The course uses a collaborative and decolonial learning approach that draws on the knowledge and methods of all the participants. The course will offer a mix of classroom learning, facilitation, community-based service-learning and application, and praxis reflection in collaboration with the Alan Paton Struggle Archives at UKZN. The course comprises of two sets of participants: (1) student-participant who will be doing the course as part of a university/ college degree, and (2) activists-participants who will do the course as a way to reflect on their development praxis as it relates to the organization or social movement they are attached to. Course participants will be collaborators and co-teachers/learners within the learning environment.

LDRS 3980 Internship (1-6 Credits)

The PLP Internship program provides individualized opportunities to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills. This hands-on program complements a student's academic major or a specified interest area that supports the student's leadership development through careful placement in community based learning. All three sectors of government, not-for-profit and private enterprise are available for internship learning opportunities.

LDRS 3991 Independent Study (1-5 Credits)

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