Graduate Student Leadership Certificate Program

Call for applications: UCSC Graduate Leadership Certificate Program

Winter Quarter 2017 (January-March 2017)

The Division of Graduate Studies is pleased to call for applications for our Winter 2017 program in leadership for graduate students.

Why leadership? Through the example of their action, the inspiration of their vision, and the persuasion of their words, leaders help build individual actions into collective achievements. Whether you are beginning your first year as a graduate student or preparing to go on the job market degree-in-hand, the (learnable!) skills of exceptional leadership will help you translate the disciplinary expertise and experience you have acquired in your degree program into your broader professional life and aspirations.  Seeking to understand the dynamics of group processes and your role within them, you can expand your capacity for self-awareness and become more mindful of and responsive to those around you. Developing a skilled leadership practice enhances your efficacy in the many leading roles you may occupy: as teacher, researcher, mentor, manager, team leader, advocate, innovator, and entrepreneur.  

The program will introduce a range of leadership theory, practical skills, and special topics relevant for application in both academic and professional contexts.  With a varied format including readings, interactive group activities, case studies, panel discussions, and professionally conducted workshop sessions, program participants will learn about major trends in contemporary leadership thought, develop practical skills for negotiation and conflict resolution, and discuss modes of translating collaborative teamwork and the positive, productive employment of the different disciplinary perspectives and backgrounds students bring to the program.

Schedule and Activities.  The program will meet every Friday afternoon (1-4:30PM) throughout the Winter quarter, with the exception of the fourth and fifth sessions, which will be full day workshops (8:30AM-5PM) taking place on February 3 and February 10. 

In week 5, students receive 360-degree feedback, a process that requires some advance planning. Also known as multi-rater feedback, multi source feedback, or multi source assessment, the “360” provides information about an individual’s qualities and capabilities from multiple perspectives, including one’s own. A few weeks in advance, students invite several members of his or her professional community to complete a confidential online review using both quantitative and qualitative methods of evaluation; the student completes the same review, and the results are consolidated in the form of a comprehensive report. Interpretation of the results, trends, and themes will assist in setting goals for self-development that will presumably benefit both the graduate student and the network of individuals whose feedback generates the data. Ultimately, the goal of the 360 is to give participants the unique opportunity to learn—in a positive and constructive way—about what they are doing well within their professional relationships, and where they might strive for improvement. Students must confirm his or her respondents—adviser, mentor(s), lab manager, colleagues, etc.—several weeks in advance of receiving the report in order to ensure time for them to complete the review.

Students should apply only if they can commit to attending all sessions; limited excused absences only.  Session attendance and participation are mandatory requirements for earning the program certificate. 

The certification of completion of the Graduate Leadership Program will be provided by the Division of Graduate Studies.  The UCSC Academic Senate has reviewed and approved the program, and completion of the program is recorded as an official credential on your transcript.

The program will be coordinated by Dean of Graduate Studies Tyrus Miller and Assistant Dean Jim Moore, along with various invited facilitators and guest panelists. Three sessions will be conducted jointly with the faculty and staff Leadership Academy program.

To apply: Send electronically to (attn: Graduate Leadership Program) the following:

  1. A one-page letter of application.  Include the following information: your name, degree program and department, year in program and candidacy status, intended year of completion, and brief (3-4 sentences maximum) description of your academic and research foci.  In a second paragraph explain your interest in participating in the leadership program: particular areas of interest, needs and goals that might be addressed by it.
  2. A brief email endorsement by your faculty advisor or PI stating that you are in good academic standing and that they approve your participation in and dedication of time to the leadership program during Winter 2017.

Students from all disciplines and any graduate program (Doctoral and Masters) may apply.  Approximately 20 students will be selected for participation each year.

The application deadline: End of day, Friday, November 18, 2016.

Please see the Call for Applications (Word document). You can also download a sample program summary, schedule and syllabus from the most recent Graduate Student Leadership Program.

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