Jun 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Leadership Studies

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The Morse Leadership Institute engages students in the formal study of leadership combined with practical application to develop students’ leadership capacity with the hope of encouraging lifelong leadership learning. MLI’s mission is to develop student leaders who can work collaboratively and inclusively with others by honoring diverse leadership values, styles, and perspectives, which results in more equitable solutions and communities. Students engage in active learning, reflective inquiry, critical thinking, empirical research, and practice in the program. While Leadership Studies are based in the social sciences, curricular initiatives include interdisciplinary contributions from the arts, humanities, sciences, applied and professional studies.

The Leadership Minor provides a focused course of study and reflective practice in leadership that enables students to combine formal learning of leadership foundations with practical application of leadership skills. The minor enables students to develop knowledge, skills, and experience in leadership that are transferable to a wide range of civic and career settings.

The Institute supports campus partners who provide curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular opportunities aimed at student leadership learning so that all WWU students can engage in their desired social and professional change efforts. Students from any department or program on campus may take many courses offered by the Institute. Advisors in the program will work with students to find electives or connections with majors to make the LDST minor more accessible for students to complete. 

Program Objectives

Students in Leadership Studies will develop knowledge in the following areas of study:

  • the definitions, perceptions, and impacts of leadership.
  • the cultural and contextual forces that influence leadership processes and outcomes, especially as it relates to individuals’ social experiences and identities.
  • theories of leadership and their implications for leadership practice and development.
  • the relationship between leadership and power in social relations.
  • the connection between leadership style and team effectiveness.
  • the role of leadership in creating and managing change.
  • the ethical issues and consequences of leadership action.
  • the process of leadership and followership development.

For more information, contact the Morse Leadership Institute at 360-650-4000 or email Morse.Institute@wwu.edu.


KAREN ROHRBAUCK STOUT (2000) Bowman Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies and Director of the Morse Leadership Institute. BA, University of Puget Sound; MA, University of Montana; PhD, University of Utah.
HOLLY DIAZ (2013) Associate Director, Morse Leadership Institute. BA, Western Washington University; MA, Saybrook University, LIOS; MA, Antioch University; PhD Antioch University.


    Undergraduate Minor


      Leadership Studies

      Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies  section of this catalog.

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