The PostScript

Columbia College establishes new leadership badging initiative

These+are+some+examples+of+the+Student+Leadership+Competency+badges+and+what+they+stand+for.
These are some examples of the Student Leadership Competency badges and what they stand for.

These are some examples of the Student Leadership Competency badges and what they stand for.

These are some examples of the Student Leadership Competency badges and what they stand for.

Rachell Harglerode, staff writer

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Columbia College’s Center for Leadership and Social Change (CLSC) jumped at the opportunity for the college to become the fourth institution in the country to partner with the Student Leadership Competencies Badging (SLC).  

This is a nationally recognized research-based initiative that is dedicated to student leadership development. The SLC website defines what their specific badging program entails: “Badges are a way to recognize a student’s development of a particular competency. Think of it similarly to that of a sash from the Scouts in which you could earn your fire making badge and other badges to sew onto your sash. Digital badges are awarded in a similar fashion but are kept in an online portal for students to showcase on ePortfolios, through social media, and even on their resumes. They are the 21st century version of certificates.”

Tamara Burk, Ph.D., communication and leadership faculty member and director of the CLSC, established this partnership last summer because the SLC is recognized as a National Best Practices for badging and leadership programs. There are many different badging programs all around but “this Student Leadership Competencies thinks about badging and competencies from a leadership perspective and that was important for us as the Center for Leadership and Social Change,” Lauren Fleming said. Program manager for the Center for Leadership & Social Change.

Fleming and Burke contacted the author of the Student Leadership Competencies, Dr. Corey Seemiller, about including the badging program as part of the leadership program at Columbia College. A lot of thinking and hard work went into making this competency model as beneficial for students as possible.  

“Our department is constantly thinking of new ways to engage students and bring students what they want and think will be beneficial for them in the long run and will help maximize their time and energy and their learning,” said Fleming.  “I think it [Student Leadership Competencies Badging] is one of many things ongoing at the college that now makes Columbia College special and that makes our opportunities significant for students and gives our students opportunities to earn leadership credentials in a way that many other colleges do not,” Fleming further explained.

Students should get excited about this program because some of the leadership opportunities they are already taking advantage of tie in with a competency badge. The badge is a way to stamp that learning experience that students have already been a part of and they can also jump into new leadership opportunities.

Badging is not just for those students who are already in a leadership role, but students who want to start leadership development, as well. If you are thinking the badging system will not have a badge that pertains to you or something you are interested in, then you would be mistaken. The Student Leadership Competencies Badging Program is made up of 60 leadership competencies, six of which the CLSC has already implemented at Columbia College.The six already available are: Ethics, Conflict Negotiation, Organizational Behavior, Facilitation, Self-understanding and Social Justice. The Center for Leadership and Social Change is currently working with other CC departments to expand badge offerings as early as next semester.  

How do you go about earning these badges, you may ask? The details of the requirements for earning a badge are specific to the institution. Columbia College’s process consist of four elements: learning, application, assessment and reflection. For learning, you must complete at least four hours of workshops, trainings and retreats or courses that teach the competency. Application requires students to put into practice what they have learned. And assessment is used to measure the students’ development in the competency. Lastly, students submit, through Canvas, a written or oral reflection of their learning experience.

How will this affect you after you graduate? “I think at any point in the game it puts you in a position to certify what you’re earning and what you’re learning. We focus a lot at the college on preparing the students to enter the workforce well before they graduate, and I think badging is just one of those steps to put a student ahead and have employers look at them in a way that they might not look at other candidates” Fleming said.

Through Student Leadership Competencies Badging, employers will be able to see your accomplishments and competencies and recognize that you have not only experienced something but learned from it as well. If you are interested in knowing more about this opportunity to develop as a leader and earn badges, visit the website. For information on how to start your competency journey here at Columbia College, contact Lauren Fleming, the Program Manager for the Center of Leadership and Social Change.

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Rachell Harglerode, staff writer

Rachell Harglerode is a first-year elementary education major intending to minor in both psychology and media writing. Harglerode hopes to become a third...

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Columbia College establishes new leadership badging initiative