Leadership and Mentoring

Instructor Name: 
Sarah A. Bunton, PhD
Course Description: 

Developing Leadership Skills through Mentoring in Education  This course explores education as a key influence on an individual’s social and economic future and opportunities to contribute to the educational process in a leadership capacity. Through course material, students are exposed to leadership development, theory, and skills. During service activities like tutoring at mentoring at Portland high schools, PSU students will be challenged to use and develop communication, relationship-building, and leadership skills. Each student will mentor at the school throughout the term and using those experiences as a foundation for discussion and reflection in class will explore educational capital, educational equity, social responsibility, and leadership. A background check will be required for this class.

 Senior Capstone courses are designed to build cooperative learning communities by taking students out of the classroom and into the field. Students from a variety of majors and backgrounds work as a team, pooling resources, and collaborating with faculty and community leaders to understand and find solutions for social issues (in this course the focus is on educational equity). Experiential learning facilitates the creation and ownership of mutually beneficial goals, as well as underscores the meaning and power that an engaged citizen has or can have on her/himself and on the communities in which s/he is and will be a part. 


 Educational Equity Capstone Cluster Goals:

·          To facilitate an understanding of education, civic engagement and social responsibility and education as essential to a healthy, functioning, and democratic society

·          To explore and dismantle barriers to educational access (power and privilege)

·          To gain an awareness of educational experiences fostering pathways to success 


·          To develop leadership  


Specific course goals:

·          To facilitate understanding of the importance of educational equity and educational capital in society 

·          To develop an understanding of  the social change leadership theory and to develop students’ leadership potential to become more civically engaged 

·          To encourage students to develop their own responsible working theory of leadership and to empower students to participate in social change 

·          To provide students with an understanding of leadership as applied to high school students 

·          To facilitate linkages between leadership theory and practice by providing practical experience in using tutoring and mentoring skills when working with high school students 

Project Description: 

The format of class sessions is based on the understanding that students actively construct their own learning. Class sessions will emphasize active and collaborative learning, including discussions focused largely on assigned readings, student experiences at the community partner site, interactive lecture, and in-class projects.

Attendance and participation: Class attendance and participation are a required component of the class. Preparation includes completing readings on time, having discussion points for class, active participation in class activities and peer grading exercise, and leading discussions. 

Reflective essays: A series of reflective essays will be utilized to synthesize the various course components.

Community service activities:  Informed community work comprises this portion of the grade.  Students spend approximately 2 hours per week (20 hrs/term) engaged in tutoring and mentoring at Jefferson High School. A log of time at the site will be submitted at the end of the term and students will deliver an oral in-class reflection on their time at the school. Students will also co-create and develop a group project/resource for the school.

In-class final reflection: Students will be asked to respond to s series of questions on the content covered in the class over the course of the term. Notes and materials may be utilized during this writing exercise, which is to reflect on the integration of the Universities Studies goal areas (communication, diversity of human experience, critical thinking, and ethics and social responsibility) in the course and work with the community partner.