PRST 5500/6500/7500 - Foundations of Leadership

Course Information

Course Description:

Students will study leadership from a contemporary perspective. They will identify, apply, and reflect on aspects of leadership development, including concepts of personal change toward effective leadership in a changing environment. Topics cover development of leadership theories, personal assessment and development, values and ethics, motivation, power, followership, group dynamics, multiculturalism in leadership, conflict resolution, performance excellence, change process, and citizenship. Through a process of selected readings, self discovery, group observations, and case studies, the student will identify, observe, analyze, and apply new leadership behaviors. Students will be required to devote time to in-person observations, and interviews.

Course Philosophy and Goals:

The philosophy of Foundations of Leadership is that leadership is learned and that all will benefit from improved understanding of its art and complexities.
This course will highlight the changes in leadership development theory over time. Students will assess and frame their own leadership style, strengths and weaknesses. Students will expand their understanding of inclusive and collaborative leadership behaviors and develop competencies for using them effectively. Using observation, interview and reflective learning techniques, students will explore the inclusive and relational nature of leadership.

Course Objectives:

A. Cognitive skills:

Acquire knowledge of the history of leadership development.
Acquire specific knowledge of current theories of leadership.
Explore range of leadership behaviors in themselves and others.
Develop a personal definition of leadership.
Compare and contrast selected authors of current leadership books.
Examine the impact of leadership on organizations.
Understand the nature of individuals in groups.
Understand and value the nature of followership as a leadership development process.
Demonstrate knowledge of the practice of collaboration to achieve a common purpose.
Demonstrate the ability to express opinions and acceptance of others.
Identify responsibilities of citizenship.
Assess leader's role in various group processes.
Express in writing the learning experiences of the course.
Demonstrate knowledge of multiculturalism in leadership.
Analyze biographical knowledge of current leaders to add to understanding of best practices.
Apply new knowledge to synthesize a personal definition of leadership and develop an ongoing plan for personal continuous improvement in leadership development.

B. Affective Skills

Discover the impact of a leader's style on others.
Explore and recognize congruence of actions and values.
Recognize signs of commitment in self and others.
Accept and value leadership style preferences of self and others.
Understand ethnic and cultural impacts in leadership development.
Commit to a personal plan of leadership development.

Prerequisites and Corequisites:
Acceptance into M.P.S. program or by special permission.
Course Topics:
Module 1: Overview of Leadership and Purpose of Course; Syllabus Review; Music metaphor; Developing a Leadership Definition; Observable Group identification communicated to faculty member; Behavior Style Assessment; Selection of Leadership Book for Analysis; Journal Entry #1; On-line introduction to faculty member and classmates; Read Text - Chapters 1 & 2.

Module 2: Trait Theory key points discussion; 'Sharpen the Saw'; Behavior Style Assessment Feedback and discussion; Read 'Appreciating the Styles'; Journal Entry #2; Read Text - Chapter 3 and "Followership" Article; Visit # 1 to observable group.

Module 3: Skill Theories and Followership discussion; Interview Skills; Journal Entry #3; Arrange Leader Interview #1; Read Text - Chapter 4; Visit # 2 to observable group.

Module 4: Assessment 1 Assigned; Style Approach to Leadership discussion; Simulation Exercise; Journal Entry #4; Conduct and summarize Leadership Interview #1; Read Text - Chapter 5; Visit # 3 to observable group.

Module 5: Assessment 1 due; Situational Approach to Leadership; Journal Entry #5; Read Text - Chapter 6; Visit # 4 to observable group.

Module 6: Contingency Theory discussion; Journal Entry # 6; Read Text - Chapter 7; Visit # 5 to observable group.

Module 7: Path-Goal Theory, Power, Influence and Motivation discussion; Case Studies; Journal Entry #7; Read Text - Chapter 8 and "Communication" Article, Visit # 6 to observable group.

Module 8:? Leader-Member Exchange Theory and Communication discussion; Assessment 2 Assignment; 2nd Leader Interview Assignment; Journal Entry #8; Read Text - Chapters 9 and 14; Visit # 7 to observable group.

Module 9:? Assessment 2 due; Transformational Leadership and Ethics discussion; Film John Gardner, Uncommon American; Journal Entry #9; Read Text - Chapters 10 & 11, and "Managing Conflict" Article; Visit # 8 to observable group.

Module 10: Team Leadership, Psychodynamic Approach, and Conflict Management discussion; leadership books compare and contrast analysis due; Journal Entry #10; Read Text - Chapters 12 & 13; Visit # 9 to observable group.

Module 11: Women and Leadership and Multicultural Leadership discussion; Complete Leader Interview #2 and summarize; Journal Entry #11; Read assignement on Performance Leadership; Visit # 10 to observable group.

Module 12: Diversity in Leadership discussion; Journal Entry #12 (final entry); Read Text - Chapter 13 and "Citizenship"; Visit # 11 to observable group.

Module 13: Leadership Ethics, Values, Congruence, and Citizenship discussion; Sharpen the Saw list due; Assessment 3 Assignment.

Module 14: Assessment 3 due; A Higher Level of Leadership discussion; Assignment for Final.

Module 15:? Final Exam - use APA style

Specific Course Requirements:
Students will be expected to read, reflect, and analyze theories of leadership; assess their own and others styles, connecting analysis to leadership and group behavior; communicate effectively in writing with classmates and faculty member on a weekly basis; keep a weekly journal; conduct and summarize 2 leader interviews; observe a decision-making group on a weekly basis and apply leadership concepts to the group; participate in on-line discussions; write an analysis of leadership books; be open to personal change for excellence and set a course for their own future leadership development.
Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements
Required Textbooks:
Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook ordering information for this course:
Supplementary Materials:
Students will be required to select and read two additional current leadership books available from the Tennessee Virtual Library. Suggested/preferred books will be listed on the course website.
Hardware Requirements:
The minimum requirements can be found at
Software Requirements:
The minimum requirements can be found at Specific software requirements for this course include Acrobat Read and Microsoft Office (to include PowerPoint.)
Instructor Information
Please see the separate page inside the course to find instructor contact information as well as a statement of virtual office hours and other communication information.
Assessment and Grading
Testing Procedures:
There will be 3 assessments of the students understanding of the text concepts. They will be short essay and open book. The final exam is open note, open book, open journal. It is expected to be the student's own work, but will not need to be proctored..
Grading Procedure:
Grades for this course will be determined by adequate completion of all required exams, assignments, and class participation in the various discussion forums. 
Grading Scale:
Weekly Reading Assignments and On-line Discussion Participation 15 points
Assessments (10 points each) 30 points
Group Observations and Reflective Journal Entries
30 points

Leader Interviews (10 points each) 20 points
Leadership Book Analysis 20 points
Sharpen the Saw 5 points
Final Exam 30 points
150 points

A - 135 - 150 points
B - 120 - 134 points
C - 105 - 119 points
F - < 105 points

Assignments and Participation
Assignments and Projects:
See weekly module details above under course topics.
Class Participation:
Leadership is not a solo enterprise. As such, participation in interactive aspects of the class are key learning applications and result in participation points calculated in the final grade. Students will be expected to communicate in the chat room, with the instructor, regularly check the course bulletin board, and participate in threaded discussions.
The instructor expects students to complete all readings, assignments, module discussions, assessments, etc. on time. Not having the textbook at the first week of class will cause late assignments. As a rule, late assignments & assessments will not be accepted. Consideration will be given for family emergencies and professional travel (if requested in advance of the travel). Consideration may be given for illness or change in observation group meeting times. Each student will receive 1 "get out of jail free" card. A request to accept a late assignment must be accompanied by this virtual card. There is no penalty to use your card. Cards are not transferable to another student. Unused cards will be redeemed at the end of the semester for 2 additional points on your final grade. 
Course Ground Rules
Participation is required for successful completion of this course. Each student is expected to communicate with other students through the discussions in each module. Students are expected to learn how to navigate in the Course Management System and keep abreast of course announcements.The Course Management Systemassigned e-mail address is to be used as opposed to a personal e-mail address. Technical problems need to be addressed immediately. Failure to submit assignments due to technical problems will not be considered grounds for leniency as it is the student's obligation to communicate problems with the instructor and to obtain technical assistance from the appropriate sources. Course netiquette is to be observed at all times. 
Guidelines for Communications
  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members
Discussion Groups:
  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of otherís ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.
  • Introduce yourself to the other learners in the chat session.
  • Be polite. Choose your words carefully. Do not use derogatory statements.
  • Be concise in responding to others in the chat session.
  • Be prepared to open the chat session at the scheduled time.
  • Be constructive in your comments and suggestion
Web Resources:


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in the Regents Degree Program. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading must be included in all courses. 

Students With Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.

Technical Support

Telephone Support:
If you are having problems logging into your course, timing out of your course, using your course web site tools, or other technical problems, please contact the AskRODP Help Desk by calling?
1-866-550-7637 (toll free)

or go to the AskRODP Help Desk website at: