The Master of Professional Studies in Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) provides graduate education and preparation for talented, highly qualified Junior Officers to serve as Company Officers at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) and for continued future service in the Navy and Marine Corps. The program develops students’ abilities to think critically and analytically, and focuses on the knowledge, skills, and abilities essential for understanding, designing, and conducting leader and team development. The program is academically administered through the University’s Department of Counseling and Personnel Services (EDCP) in the College of Education.
Selected students are admitted into the University of Maryland and are encouraged to become involved in campus and department graduate student organizations. LEAD Fellows have full access to the University’s extensive resources including libraries, computer laboratories, software and networks, and recreation centers. Campus parking, shuttle services, and use of all other campus facilities are available to students throughout their time in the program.
LEAD is a 45-credit hour program with 36 credit hours taught by University of Maryland faculty at the College Park campus. The remaining nine credits are taught by appropriately credentialed faculty assigned by USNA during the enrollment period. The Masters of Professional Studies degree is completed in a 12-month period in three academic terms: Summer, Fall, and Spring.
The LEAD program is built around the following seven fundamental curricular themes: (1) leadership theory and application, (2) group and organizational dynamics, (3) counseling and mentoring skills and techniques, (4) student development theory and applications (cognitive, affective and moral development), (5) college teaching and curriculum development, (6) military sociology, and (7) integration and application contextualized in the navy environment.
The following represent the LEAD program’s associated learning outcomes objectives:
All courses require students to actively participate in instruction while developing the ability to critically analyze the material presented. In addition, all courses relate to issues that are most prominent in the USNA as students will be required to apply their knowledge to their future position at the USNA.
All courses enhance students’ ability to analyze material and issues within the framework of the behavioral and social sciences and to apply those analyses to the military organization. The ability to define a problem, marshal and analyze relevant literature, acquire and assess relevant data, and reach data-driven conclusions, are central to all of the courses. The final seminar uses the case study method, requiring students to apply all that they have learned to real-life problems that they will encounter as Company Officers.
A combination of courses and experiences provide an interdisciplinary understanding of leadership and motivation theories and concepts and the application of leadership and motivation techniques. Course materials are integrated into instructional experiences to influence a comprehensive and coordinated understanding of the elements of role modeling. In addition, seminar discussions and invited speakers provide interaction with actual users of this body of knowledge for “real-world” application of these ideas in the setting of the USNA.
ENHANCING INDIVIDUAL AND TEAM PERFORMANCE
A combination of courses and experiences provide an interdisciplinary understanding of appraisal techniques, counseling techniques, team development, and the development of plans for individuals and teams. Courses also provide the theoretical foundations for character development.
ROLE MODELING AND MENTORING
Courses provide the foundation of role modeling and mentoring theory along with skills-based practice. Under faculty supervision and assistance, students teach an undergraduate course in leadership and learn how to apply their mentoring skills in a higher education environment. Students participate in seminar presentations provided by effective mentors to discuss mentoring in the military environment.
Courses also focus on effective time management and formal and informal public speaking abilities. Students will develop oral presentations, using the latest technologies, to describe issues relating to current events as they impact the military and broader society, what effect these have on the Naval profession, and how the USNA and its students are shaped by such developments.
INDIVIDUAL, TEAM AND ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Several courses focus on the theory and practice of individual, team and organizational development with special application to the military. Students apply these ideas and techniques during seminar discussions and in cases studies during the final semester of the program.
UNDERSTANDING THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS IN AN UNDERGRADUATE SETTING
In tandem with extensive training in undergraduate teaching techniques, students apply new knowledge by designing, delivering, and assessing leadership courses at the USNA by co-teaching an undergraduate leadership course under faculty supervision.