Michelle Aberle of Walker, IA, is one of 55 graduating seniors at Iowa State University this spring to earn a Leadership Studies certificate in addition to an undergraduate degree.

The Leadership Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program designed for students in all majors who, regardless of their profession, seek to develop their leadership skills. The program consists of a 21-credit certificate or a 15-credit minor. By building on university courses offered in a variety of academic disciplines, the students completing either the certificate or minor gain a strong foundation and appropriate experience in leadership, communication and organizational theory.

“Students who earn the certificate or minor in leadership studies demonstrate substantial learning of leadership competencies through education, development and engagement activities,” said Dianne Bystrom, who directs the program through the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. “These graduates will be well prepared to assume leadership positions in their careers and communities.”

The certificate requires courses in leadership, speech communication, organizational theory and communication; multiple elective courses in the field and the completion of a capstone course, internship or study abroad experience.