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Pieces of Eight


Lessons in Leadership Greet First-Year Students

A special course for first-year students at East Carolina University will gain an additional component this fall focused on leadership development.

COAD1000 is a course that helps students in their first semester of college transition to university life. The one-credit class fosters academic skills, learning processes, career decision-making and personal attributes essential to student success.

This fall, the course will infuse leadership as an important lesson. The addition is part of ECU’s mission to create a culture of leaders on campus and redefine itself as The Leadership University.

Kendra Harris of the ECU Leadership Collaborative said, “This is a great opportunity to start introducing students to the concepts of leadership, foundational skills, experiences and opportunities they will have here at ECU related to leadership development.”

Students in the COAD classes will learn about the meaning and importance of leadership at ECU, develop a sense of self as a leader, identify leadership development opportunities and begin to incorporate leadership behavior in every day life.

Mary Beth Corbin, director of ECU’s Center for Academic Services, said she hopes the lessons will inspire students to think about how to be leaders on campus and not just in the obvious ways, such as serving in Student Government Association.

“Being a leader is not necessarily being SGA President. Students can be a leader in many different ways, and there are many different opportunities on this campus,” she said. “Hopefully, this course will put the thought in their head, ‘Maybe I can do this. Maybe I’ll try.’”

Enrollment in the COAD course is voluntary. About half of ECU’s incoming freshmen have enrolled for the fall.

Most of the classes, which are taught by ECU faculty, Student Life staff and academic advisors, have 25 or fewer students. New this fall, students may enroll in one of three online sessions.

In addition to leadership, the course covers topics such as the transition from high school to college, student development and motivation, goal-setting skills, learning styles, memory development, listening skills, note-taking skills, study skills, test taking, communication, critical-thinking skills, ECU academic rules and regulations and career development.

This page originally appeared in the July 31, 2009 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at