Leadership Minor

The leadership minor is the academic component of a broader initiative at Saint Mary’s to “awaken, nurture, and empower learners to ethical lives of service and leadership.” It’s in our mission statement.

Graduates with skills and knowledge in ethical and effective leadership are in demand, both in society and in the workplace, and students in many majors will benefit from the communication and leadership theory and practice packaged in the leadership minor. Throughout students' course work, they'll have countless opportunities to grow leadership skills both inside and outside of the classroom.

Enhance Your Experience

This minor is not available to students majoring in strategic communication, but would be an excellent pairing with many other majors. 

Degree Requirements

A. All of the following

COM175 Leadership Theory and Practice (3 cr.)

This course will explore the discipline of Leadership and its application to present-day issues.  Past and present leaders will be used as examples to understand Leadership's history, theories and communication practices.  The course will also demonstrate the necessary ethical considerations regarding leadership as applied within a pluralistic society.  Course activities will move students from theory to the practical process of leadership in their own lives.

COM250 Intercultural Communication (3 cr.)

The Intercultural Communication course is an introduction to approaching communication across cultural differences.  It is designed to explore the impact of culture on communication and to improve each student's ability to communicate with others, both formally and informally.  We live in an era of rapid globalization in which being able to communicate across cultures is imperative to our ability to function in a diverse workplace, city, and world.  In this class, culture is defined broadly to include race, ethnicity, gender, age, socio-economic class, and so on.  Students enrolled in this course are encouraged to examine their own lives and the influence of their backgrounds on their communication processes.  It involves both individual and group work.  Class time consists of lectures, group activities, simulations, written exercises, service learning, presentations, and discussions.  Students will gain theoretical and practical knowledge as they study and mindfully experience intercultural communication.

COM270 Persuasion and Advocacy (3 cr.)

This course investigates seminal and current persuasive theories as a means to create change within a workplace, community, or world.  It puts into practice being a "voice for the voiceless".  Students will apply theories to create a strategic communication plan with the use of interpersonal, public, organizational, and social media tactics to be an advocate for social justice.  Students will also learn to recognize strategies used to influence their own thought processes and actions.

COM360 Ethical Communication and Leadership (3 cr.)

This course is designed for all students interested in increasing the effectiveness of the groups/teams with which they work and improving their interpersonal relationships.  Leadership, at its core, is about developing relationships and maintaining integrity.  This course will investigate the impact of ethical interpersonal and small group communication within an organization.  Topics covered will be: conversations as organizational cornerstones; emotional intelligence; ethical philosophies; small group theory; group roles, norms, and networks; dysfunctional group dynamics; gender considerations; problem solving; and ethical decision making.  This course will enable students to effectively lead groups in ethical decision making and team building processes.

COM375 Organizational Communication (3 cr.)

This course will provide students insight into the complexity of communication within organizations.  It provides an overview of how organizations work by discussing organizational theories, models, relevant research and case studies.  Students will gain a deeper understanding of organizational structure, culture, communication and strategic planning processes.  They will analyze cases and engage in experiential exercises to facilitate critical thinking and apply course content to a variety of organizational settings.

Additionally, students will engage in discussion with a variety of organizational leaders from organizations and business in and around the Midwest as part of the course experience.  This will serve as an opportunity for students to begin to create formal networks as they consider their post Saint Mary's University of Minnesota opportunities.

COM475 Transforming Community: Leadership Capstone (3 cr.)

This seminar serves as the capstone course for the Leadership minor.  It will include advanced readings on the theory and practice of Transformational Leadership as well as completion of an applied project.  Under the direction of a project mentor, students will create a leadership plan to address a particular issue.  The student will create and follow through on proposed leadership goals for self, group or organization.  The e-folio entry will consist of the plan, enactment, outcomes, and assessment.  It will also include designated components for each course.  The final e-folio will be presented in a formal presentation.  An individual mentorship component is the signature experience of this capstone and will allow the student to focus on vocation/career exploration or the pursuit of fellowship upon completing their degree with Saint Mary's University.