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Background work

Page history last edited by jaromiro@... 15 years, 3 months ago


The Guidelines for Leadership Education Programs Learning Community (GLEP/LC) is a volunteer project that has its roots in discussions and presentations dating back to the conference in Seattle (2002). In Washington (2004), a formal panel entitled “Emerging Accreditation Issues: Toward Professional Standards for Leadership Programs?” sparked interest in pursuing the issues that were raised. (Ritch, Robinson, Riggio, Roberts and Cherrey, 2004).


As a follow up to these and other discussions regarding the establishment of guidelines and standards for leadership studies programs, six ILA members gathered in roundtable sponsored by Regent University in early 2005.


The roundtable participants agreed on primary directions to move forward, understanding that this was the beginning of a complex process would require the voices and expertise of many and diverse stakeholders. The following benefits, and therefore aims, were declared:


1.      Create frameworks to articulate both the essential nature and distinctiveness of individual leadership programs.

2.      Address issues of legitimacy both internal and external to academia.

3.      Serve as a resource for new and developing programs.

4.      Serve as a reference for programs responding to accrediting processes.

5.      Maintain an internal locus of control and creativity for individual programs.


A research agenda was proposed to explore both the content and context of leadership programs. Although this research was originally designed to be more prescriptive through an inclusive process of setting standards, this was later modified due to ILA member input in Amsterdam (2005).


The ILA Board of Directors approved this proposal in April, 2005. A voluntary advisory group comprised of representatives from nine colleges and universities was assembled and Regent University faculty began research over that summer.


This preliminary research was presented in a panel, “Academic Standards for Leadership Studies Programs: Enlarging the Conversation” (Patterson, King, Hartsfield, Klenke, and Harter, 2005) in Amsterdam. In addition, two related programs, one a roundtable and the other a forum, were presented in Amsterdam. The roundtable, “Tools, Guidelines, and Outcomes for Leadership Studies Programs” (Robinson, 2005) resulted in not only a sharing of experiences but also a first spark of ideas concerning the topics that might be most helpful to address in a document. The forum, “Standards and Guidelines for Leadership Programs: What Shall We Do?” was a deliberative, democratic forum that was designed to inform and expand the conversation among the ILA membership and conference attendees regarding guidelines and standards for leadership programs (Ritch and Roberts, 2005). This forum also modeled a highly effective process for achieving consensus and direction for social change. A full report including a description of the choicework process, alternatives, and participant responses is available in the ILA 2005 Conference Proceedings.


The conclusions of this forum were crucial in the evolution of this project:


“There was unanimous agreement that this project and process must be kept grounded in the mission of the International Leadership Association. …The consensus was that these conversations and the research associated with them should continue. The research should be broadened to include not only the content and context of our field but also “best practices” relating to conceptual framework, mission, assessment, instruction, and other programmatic elements. This research should produce guidelines, endorsed by the ILA that can be used, following a format of essential “guiding questions,” to create and improve leadership programs. This process should be an important professional imperative that is transparent, iterative, and ongoing.” (Ritch and Roberts, 2005).


In Chicago (2006) participants in the learning lab “Guidelines for Leadership Programs: Enlarging the Conversation” (Ritch, 2006) identified organizing topics/chapters, guiding questions, and recommendations for next steps that were consistent with the consensus reached in Amsterdam.



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