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PRST 5500/6500/7500 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

PRST 5500/6500/7500 - Foundations of Leadership

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

Students will study leadership from a contemporary perspective. They will identify, apply, and reflect on aspects of leadership development, including concepts of personal change toward effective leadership in a changing environment. Topics cover development of leadership theories, personal assessment and development, values and ethics, motivation, power, followership, group dynamics, multiculturalism in leadership, conflict resolution, performance excellence, change process, and citizenship. Through a process of selected readings, self-discovery, group observations, and case studies, the student will identify, observe, analyze, and apply new leadership behaviors. Students will be required to devote time to in-person observations, and interviews.

Course Outcomes:

Cognitive skills:

1. Acquire knowledge of the history of leadership development.

2. Acquire specific knowledge of current theories of leadership.

3. Explore range of leadership behaviors in themselves and others.

4. Develop a personal definition of leadership.

5. Compare and contrast selected authors of current leadership books.

6. Examine the impact of leadership on organizations.

7. Understand the nature of individuals in groups.

8. Understand and value the nature of followership as a leadership development process.

9. Demonstrate knowledge of the practice of collaboration to achieve a common purpose.

10. Demonstrate the ability to express opinions and acceptance of others.

11. Identify responsibilities of citizenship.

12. Assess leader's role in various group processes.

13. Express in writing the learning experiences of the course.

14. Demonstrate knowledge of multiculturalism in leadership.

15. Analyze biographical knowledge of current leaders to add to understanding of best practices.

16. Apply new knowledge to synthesize a personal definition of leadership and develop an ongoing plan for personal continuous improvement in leadership development.

Affective Skills:

1. Discover the impact of a leader's style on others.

2. Explore and recognize congruence of actions and values.

3. Recognize signs of commitment in self and others.

4. Accept and value leadership style preferences of self and others.

5. Understand ethnic and cultural impacts in leadership development.

6. Commit to a personal plan of leadership development.

Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Admission to the Master of Professional Studies program or departmental approval.

Course Topics:

Module 1: Overview of Leadership and Purpose of Course; Syllabus Review; Music metaphor; Developing a Leadership Definition; Observable Group identification communicated to faculty member; Behavior Style Assessment; Selection of Leadership Book for Analysis; Journal Entry #1; On-line introduction to faculty member and classmates.

Module 2: Trait Theory key points discussion; Read Assignments; Journal Entry; Visit observable group.

Module 3: Skill Theories and Followership discussion; Interview Skills; Journal Entry; Read assignments; Visit observable group.

Module 4: Style Approach to Leadership discussion; Journal Entry; Read assignments; Visit observable group.

Module 5: Situational Approach to Leadership; Journal Entry; Read assignments; Visit observable group; make interview question list.

Module 6: Contingency Theory discussion; Read assignments; Visit observable group; make interview appointment.

Module 7: Path-Goal Theory, Power, Influence and Motivation discussion; Journal; Read assignments, Visit observable group.

Module 8: Leader-Member Exchange Theory and Communication discussion; Journal; Read assignments; Visit observable group.

Module 9: Transformational Leadership; Citizenship; Film John Gardner, Uncommon American; Journal; Visit observable group.

Module 10: Authentic Leadership & Ethics, Journal; Visit observable group.

Module 11: Teamwork; trust; group dynamics; followership; visit observable group.

Module 12: Women and Multicultural Leadership; Diversity in Leadership discussion; Journal; Visit observable group.

Module 13: Change Theory; Performance Excellence; continuous improvement.

Module 14: Final Exam - use APA style.

Specific Course Requirements:

Students are expected to be engaged with leaders in their community though in-person interviews and observations. Students will be expected to read, reflect, and analyze theories of leadership; assess their own and others styles, connecting analysis to leadership and group behavior; communicate effectively in writing with classmates and faculty member on a weekly basis; keep a journal from observations; conduct and summarize 1 leader interview; observe a decision-making group on a weekly basis and apply leadership concepts to the group; participate and facilitate on-line discussions; write an analysis of leadership books; be open to personal change for excellence and set a course for their own future leadership development.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

Students will be required to select and read one additional current leadership book available from the Tennessee Virtual Library. Suggested/preferred books will be listed on the course website.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

There are 9 journals which will be used to assess the students understanding and application of the material. The final exam is open note, open book, open journal. It is expected to be the student's own work, but will not need to be proctored.

Grading Procedures:

Grades for this course will be determined by competent completion of all required journals, interviews, assignments, and class participation in the various discussion forums.

Grading Scale:

Point Range Assigned Grade

257-285 Points A

228-256 Points B

199-227 Points C

## - ## Points D

under 198 Points F

Assignments and Projects:

See weekly module details above under course topics.

This course requires students to be engaged with leaders in the community. Each student will select a decision-making group to observe weekly throughout the course. Students will be expected to select a group that makes decisions on a regular basis and whose schedule is compatible with theirs. The group must be approved by the instructor as well as permission granted by the group. The student may not lead the group, although he/she could be a participant. Examples could be a work team in your place of employment, a church council meeting, a staff meeting of a local organization, etc. Observations are kept in the student's journal and are shared only with the instructor. In addition, students will conduct 1 in-person interview of the leader of the group being observed.

Through threaded discussions online, students will respond to questions related to each module posed by the instructor as well as share specific assignments of benefit to all. In teams of 2, students will facilitate one of the online discussions, giving feedback and encouraging thoughtful dialogue.

Students will develop and share in on-line discussion their future leadership development reading list through a "Sharpen the Saw" assignment.


On-line Discussion Participation, 4points x 14 modules

Co-facilitate an online discussion



Sharpen the Saw, 11 points11
Group Observations and Reflective Journal Entries, 9 journals x 12 points 108
Leader Interview 20 points20
Leadership Book Analysis, 30 points30
Final Exam, 50 points50
Total Points285
Class Participation:

Leadership is not a solo enterprise. As such, participation in interactive aspects of the class are key learning applications and result in participation points calculated in the final grade. Students will be expected to communicate with the instructor, regularly check the course bulletin board, and participate in threaded discussions.

Late Policy:

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on May 16, 2017