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Cougars LEAD Leadership Certificate


Leadership is happening all around you and new leaders emerge every day. The Cougars LEAD Leadership Certificate is a great way for you to establish yourself as a leader at Saint Xavier University and beyond! The Cougars LEAD Leadership Certificate program will help you:

  • LEARN about leadership opportunities that exist on and off campus
  • EXPLORE interests and connect with peers, mentors, and staff
  • ACHIEVE leadership identity through action by taking on new roles and tasks
  • DEVELOP lifelong leadership skills to mentor others and create new leaders
Use the Cougars LEAD Planning Sheet to help you map out a completion plan for the certificate across the five areas and additional track.


Complete All Required Experiences

You will complete experiences across five areas including Hospitality, Diversity, Service, Learning for Life, and Applied Excellence. Finally, individuals must attend one (1) Synergy Leadership Summit and complete a Final Reflection in the Den.

Hospitality draws us to do our daily work with a spirit of graciousness that welcomes new ideas and people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

At Saint Xavier, the value of hospitality means making space for an unexpected visitor, a surprising idea, a fresh insight, even a disturbing question or challenging opportunity. Welcoming the ideas of another may not result in agreement, but such hospitality does require attentive listening and a readiness to reconsider one's position.

  • Serve on a University committee.
  • Serve on a University candidate search.
  • Serve as a Student Ambassador (+ AE).
  • Work with faculty on academic research or a project.
  • Join a student organization.
  • Create a new student organization (+ AE).
  • Serve as a Student Government Association volunteer (+ S).
  • Deliver a training or workshop (+ AE).
  • Serve on a panel (+ AE).
  • Serve as a tutor (+ AE).
  • Serve as a mentor or peer mentor.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile and connect with 25+ individuals.
  • Participate in a public speaking engagement.
  • Participate in a Campus Ministry retreat (+ LL).
  • Conduct an informational interview with an upperclass student to learn about leadership on-campus.
  • Write an original piece for the Xavierite or WXAV.
  • Complete an independent study focused on hospitality.
  • Complete a CLAVES workshop related to hospitality.
  • Other hospitality experiences are welcome!

Diversity builds a community that fosters a climate that is open and welcoming to diverse people, ideas and perspectives; that promotes a constructive discourse on the nature of diversity; and that engages faculty, staff and students in activities that promote the University's core values.

Saint Xavier's founding sisters were Irish, American, German and French. Its first students included Native Americans and "Yankees," as well as Midwesterners, Protestants, Jews and Catholics. Today's diverse student body has expanded such early diversity, and the University continues its efforts to enrich the diversity of its faculty and staff. Such diversity strengthens Saint Xavier's academic program and educational environment, preparing students to live and work in an international society and global economy.

  • Plan a diversity or multicultural awareness event (+ AE).
  • Attend a diversity and inclusion event.
  • Attend a cultural heritage celebration.
  • Complete a diversity and inclusion training (excludes Safe Zone).
  • Complete Safe Zone Ally Training (+ AE).
  • Take a Diversity course in addition to the General Education requirements (+ AE).
  • Demonstrate engagement in activism or advocacy.
  • Complete an independent study focused on diversity.
  • Complete a CLAVES workshop related to diversity.
  • Complete the DACA Ally Training (+ AE)
  • Other diversity experiences are welcome!

Service calls us to use our gifts, talents and abilities to advance the genuine well-being of our community and those we encounter.

Service to students is a basic tenet of life at Saint Xavier University, as is service by students, staff and faculty -- each lending personal skills and professional expertise to assist others through campus clinics, off-campus internships, service trips and numerous volunteer opportunities that extend the ethos and the value of service well beyond Saint Xavier's campus.

  • Complete a service trip (+ AE).
  • Complete the TS: 100 in-class service project.
  • Complete a service project (on-campus).
  • Complete a service project (off-campus).
  • Complete a service initiative from GivePulse.
  • Complete a project tied to mission.
  • Lead an on-campus service project (+ AE).
  • Volunteer or complete community service hours.
  • Serve as a Student Government Association volunteer (+ H).
  • Complete a Cougar Service Scholars activity.
  • Volunteer at an event.
  • Organize a service trip (+ AE).
  • Complete an independent study focused on service.
  • Complete a CLAVES workshop related to service.
  • Other service experiences are welcome!

Please note:

  • Service experiences must be at least 30 minutes in length to count as an experience toward the Cougars LEAD Leadership Certificate.
  • Individuals may report a service experience more than once if it exceeds eight hours. Example: if an individual volunteers at an organization for 36 hours they may choose to report the experience up to three times using the additional service items available on the Den, e.g. option 1, option 2, etc.

Learning for Life, in the liberal arts tradition, encourages us to pursue knowledge and truth throughout our lives in ways that improve our communities and ourselves and that strengthen our understanding of each other.

Saint Xavier's commitment to the liberal arts and sciences, as well as to a variety of professional programs, is a commitment to education as a means of liberating people to live meaningful lives as well as earn a decent living. In accord with the value of learning for life, the University enrolls students of all ages and supports programs and activities that expand the knowledge of members of the broader community, whatever their age or formal education.

  • Complete an internship, externship, or relevant work experience (+ AE).
  • Complete a micro-internship.
  • Job shadow an individual in your field.
  • Set a S.M.A.R.T. goal and provide evidence for completion.
  • Keep a time management journal for 1-week (168 hours).
  • Learn a new software, program or tool.
  • Attend a professional development event.
  • Attend a leadership event.
  • Attend a self-care event.
  • Attend a career development workshop.
  • Complete a leadership development appointment with a Center for SUCCESS staff member.
  • Watch an educational YouTube video and write a reflection.
  • Conduct an informational interview with a leader in your field to learn more about leadership development.
  • Attend an employer informational session.
  • Create a leadership road map outlining your goals for your time at SXU.
  • Complete Focus 2 and discuss the results with a Center for SUCCESS staff member.
  • Attend the College-to-Career Expo.
  • Organize a professional development event (+ AE).
  • Participate in a Campus Ministry retreat (+ H).
  • Attend a networking event.
  • Attend a conference.
  • Serve as a manager in a position on or off-campus (+ AE).
  • Present at a conference (+ AE).
  • Join a professional organization.
  • Complete a passion project.
  • Attend an employer event in Handshake.
  • Develop a resume and have it reviewed by a Center for SUCCESS staff member.
  • Complete an independent study focused on Learning for Life.
  • Complete a CLAVES workshop on professional development.
  • Complete the WhichWay modules
  • Other learning for life experiences are welcome!

Excellence commits us to challenge ourselves to utilize our God-given gifts -- intellectual, social, physical, spiritual and ethical.

Saint Xavier's commitment to excellence impels both individuals and the University itself to consistently strive for outcomes that are exemplary rather than simply satisfactory. Such striving for excellence touches all aspects of University life from academic programs to sports, from student services to campus environment, from recruitment to publications, from special occasions to daily business. This value also inspires the University community to recognize its members' significant achievements and contributions to the welfare of others.

  • Deliver a training or workshop (+ H).
  • Plan a diversity or multicultural event (+ D).
  • Create a new student organization (+ H).
  • Serve on a panel (+ H).
  • Serve as a manager in a position on or off campus (+ LL).
  • Serve in an X-Factor Student Leadership position.
  • Hold a leadership position in a student organization.
  • Participate in Cougar Service Scholars.
  • Participate in Schmitt Scholars.
  • Participate in Emerging Scholars.
  • Serve as a mentor or peer mentor (+ H).
  • Serve as a tutor (+ H).
  • Complete an internship, externship, or relevant work experience (+ LL).
  • Serve as a Campus Ministry Retreat Leader (+ H).
  • Serve as an athletic team captain.
  • Complete an independent study focused on applied excellence.
  • Serve on the Synergy Leadership Summit Planning Committee.
  • Serve on the Scarlet and Gray Planning Committee.
  • Present at the Synergy Leadership Summit.
  • Create an educational resource or video for other students.
  • Participate in a podcast or interview highlighting your leadership experience.
  • Lead an on-campus service project (+ S).
  • Complete the Safe Zone Ally Training (+ D).
  • Complete the CLAVES Certification.
  • Complete the DACA Ally Training ( + D)
  • Other applied excellence experiences welcome!

The Synergy Leadership Summit is a student-led, student-planned leadership conference for all students interested in expanding or developing their leadership identity through a series of breakout sessions presented by students, faculty, and staff.

  • Attend the Synergy Leadership Summit from start to finish.
  • Present at the Synergy Leadership Summit and receive Applied Leadership Experience credit (+ AE).
  • Individual Synergy sessions cannot be used to complete the five other areas of the Certificate.

As part of the Cougars LEAD Certificate program, students will be required to complete a final reflection about their experience as well as asked to evaluate how their experience deepened their connection to the University mission and core values and developed or further enhanced their leadership identity.

Students can complete the reflection using the Cougars LEAD Final Reflection form on the Den.

Note: more experiences may count for credit than what is listed. Students are responsible for tracking their own involvement by self-reporting their experiences in The Den under Paths.

(+ Area Acronym): counts toward more than one area

recording experiences on the den

  1. Log in to The Den.
  2. Click on your initial in the top right corner.
  3. Click Paths.
  4. Select the Cougars LEAD Path from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click on the area you want to report to expand a list of available options and click on an experience to complete the reflection for that respective experience.


Program Completion

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