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Master of Science in Leadership
Degree Programs > Master of Science in Leadership Concentration Options > Political Leadership & Civic Engagement

Political Leadership and Civic Engagement

Concentration Focus

The Political Leadership & Civic Engagement Concentration of the Master of Science in Leadership program will empower students with in-depth knowledge, leadership and management skills necessary to facilitate socially-conscious political processes in their local, state, and national communities.

Concentration Content

  • Political Institutions and Processes: Political leadership and civic engagement requires a solid working knowledge of government and non-governmental organizations and processes. Students will understand political dynamics and develop capacities to influence the public policymaking processes.
  • Leadership and Public Impact: Political leadership and civic engagement in democratic societies requires effective advocates. Students will develop and use a variety of analytic, communication and network abilities necessary to identify, organize, and sustain grassroots initiatives.
  • Service through civic engagement: Perhaps the greatest challenge facing today′s institutions is establishing a core mission that focuses on service. Students will explore the responsibilities necessary for political and civic leaders as they model and mobilize citizen service in the interest of meeting the challenges of our society.

Who Should Pursue This Concentration?

  • Individuals who seek to expand their understanding of effective strategies for leading and managing political activities.
  • Elected officials and those who desire to become elected officials.
  • Community advocates, public administrators, and citizens motivated to engage in public debate and action.

Career impact of This Concentration

An effective democratic republic, where people vote for leaders to represent them, requires informed and effective leaders at all levels of government. The assumption of our form of government is that an engaged citizenry will continue to interact with its elected leadership as issues and controversies emerge. Skilled, knowledgeable issue advocates, whether for or against a given position, are essential if America is to maintain a political system that draws its strength from an informed citizenry.

The Political Leadership and Civic Engagement concentration empowers individual citizens, as well as community activists, those who seek governmental leadership, or current elected leaders, to combine their desire to serve with the skills, knowledge, and abilities they will need to lead strategically, efficiently and effectively.

The concentration is designed to develop the necessary process skills for identifying issues that people care about, designing and executing effective campaigns, enlisting a broad base of supportive stakeholders, and building and applying servant leadership and advocacy skills within a variety of governing and issue advocacy contexts.

The need for this concentration, the likes of which is currently not offered anywhere in the U.S., is evident when the sheer number of available elected offices is considered on national, state, and local scales. The table below describes the estimated number of elected offices just Indiana residents can pursue. This does not include the other 50 states, or positions within private and nonprofit organizational governance structures:

Table 1. Estimated Number of Elected Offices in the State of Indiana

Federal Elected Officials


Executive President, Vice President and others 2
Legislative Senators, Congressmen 532
Judicial Supreme Court 9
State Elected Officials 2
Executive Governor, Lieutenant Governor, others 7
Legislative Senators, Representatives 150
Judicial Indiana Court System 369
Local Elected Officials  - 3,200 local governmental units in the state
Executive City Mayors, County Commissioners, Auditors, Assessors, Clerk, Coroner, Recorder, Surveyor, Sheriff, Prosecutor 92 counties, over 4,000 office holders
Legislative City Councils, County Councils, School Boards, Trustees,to name a few, over 6,000 elected office holders
Total Estimated Elected Officials 11,071

Concentration Coursework (15 Credit Hours)

LDR 6303 Political Marketing and Management (3)
This course empowers students to create an interdisciplinary strategy to analyze constituent priorities and community resources, effectively engage media and society in framing public debate, and facilitate effective political leadership that can implement chosen policies. The principles of power and leadership are explored, featuring effective state and national political leaders who discuss their principles of leadership and engagement. Prerequisites: All LDR Core Courses - LDR 5003, LDR 5023, LDR 5043, LDR 5063, LDR 5083, LDR 5203 LDR 5223, LDR 5243;or admission as a Special Graduate Student

LDR 6323 Leading Community Engagement (3)
This course provides the student with a deeper understanding of the major components and principles of civic leadership. Classroom activities examine the leadership process in the context of community and society. This approach encourages ordinary citizens to take responsibility, organize, and build coalitions for the purpose of productive public discussion. Prerequisites: All LDR Core Courses - LDR 5003, LDR 5023, LDR 5043, LDR 5063, LDR 5083, LDR 5203 LDR 5223, LDR 5243;or admission as a Special Graduate Student

LDR 6343 Public Governance and Servant Leadership (3)
This course explores the essential elements of effective governance within the framework of servant leadership, which is essential for the survival of a democratic Republic. The legal, moral, and ethical implications of these elements will be in both historical and contemporary contexts. Prerequisites: All LDR Core Courses - LDR 5003, LDR 5023, LDR 5043, LDR 5063, LDR 5083, LDR 5203 LDR 5223, LDR 5243; or admission as a Special Graduate Student

LDR 6366 Political Leadership & Civic Engagement Capstone Course (6)
This course is the capstone course for all students in the Political Leadership & Civic Engagement Concentration. The capstone is a special project conducted within a local, state, or national community setting. It may be arranged within the organization in which the student is employed or in another organization which agrees to work with the student on a project of mutual interest. The capstone experience affords each student an opportunity to apply the skills, knowledge, and abilities gained through the leadership core and concentration-area content courses in a process that will generate a solution(s) to, or facilitate substantive public debate of a critical problem or issue. Prerequisites: All LDR Core Courses - LDR 5003, LDR 5023, LDR 5043, LDR 5063, LDR 5083, LDR 5203 LDR 5223, LDR 5243; Political Leadership & Civic Engagement Concentration applied skills courses – LDR 6303, LDR 6323, LDR 6343


Master of Science in Leadership

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