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Department of Leadership Studies
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Rarick Hall 235
Phone: 785-628-4303
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Learn and Live Leadership: Hands-On Learning in Leadership Studies

You can't learn leadership just by reading a textbook-you learn it best when you work with other people. That's why the Department of Leadership Studies offers innovative ways for you gain practical, hands-on experience in leadership, including group work inside the classroom, within campus organizations and in real-world experience in the community.

Interactive Classes

You can't avoid lectures in college, but in the Department of Leadership you get the chance to apply the theories you learn right away. Most classes give you the chance to voice your opinion and participate in activities designed to help you stretch your interpersonal skills, build teamwork, and engage in creative problem solving. Whether you discuss the group dynamics you saw in a film or you work with your classmates to create a new project, you gain the skills you need to succeed in the workplace and community.

Leadership 310

The Leadership 310 class, required of all Leadership Studies students, gives you the chance to follow an idea from your imagination to its execution. See a problem in the community? Develop a strategic plan with your team and work with a community organization to implement it. Put your skills to use and learn more about yourself as you respond to a community need over the course of an entire semester. Thank you to Union Pacific Foundation for their support of the LDRS 310 Field Work in Leadership Studies projects through their generous grant funding.

Explore our Leadership 310 Projects


Bringing theory into practice, service-learning develops students' leadership skills by responding to community needs. A deep reflection process makes these projects more impactful than a traditional service project. While Leadership 310 is an important part of the leadership program, you have other opportunities to get involved in service learning. If you would like more experience working with the community before embarking on a semester-long project, try one of our other classes like Topics in Leadership: Youth Leadership Training.

Study Abroad

Every other year, the Department of Leadership Studies provides a unique opportunity for students to travel abroad and learn leadership from a global perspective. From studying Italian and Greek culture to delving into the Holocaust in Europe, students have had the opportunity to connect their classroom learning about leadership to a broader context. Students can receive academic credit for the trip through the department. Learn about study abroad from a student's perspective or view previous trips.


Building on previous courses, all Leadership majors will enroll in an internship during their junior or senior year. Try out a career that has always intrigued you. Work with an organization whose mission speaks to your soul. Travel to a new part of the country. Overwhelmed by the possibilities? Your advisor can help you find internship opportunities in organizations that will not only match your interests but also help you polish your leadership skills.

Center for Civic Leadership

The Center for Civic Leadership, the service arm of the Department of Leadership Studies, presents many opportunities for you to get involved on and off campus. You'll likely find a project that fits your interests: The Center for Civic Leadership houses organizations like Tigers in Service, Model United Nations, the American Democracy Project, Kansas Corps and the Women's Leadership Project. Explore the Center for Civic Leadership Website for more information.

L3 - Live. Learn. Lead. Learning Community

If you would like to learn more about the series please contact the Leadership Studies Department.

As a freshmen at Fort Hays State University, you have an opportunity to take classes together, live on the same residence hall floor, and participate in activities together with other freshmen through the learning community program. L3 - Live. Learn. Lead. is a learning community open to all majors who have an interest in leadership, service, and democracy. Learn more about learning communities at FHSU.

Leadership Studies Speaker Series

Fort Hays State University's Leadership Studies Speakers Series is a program designed to link organizational and community leaders with college students. Successful corporate and civic leaders are invited to campus to speak directly to students as part of the students' leadership studies coursework.

This speaker series allows students the opportunity to learn leadership concepts and skills from individuals who have served in a leadership capacity.

Some past speakers include:

  • Bob Schmidt - Former President and CEO, Eagle Communications
  • Chuck Comeau - Founder, Dessin Fournir
  • David Rolph - President and CEO, SASNAK
  • Denny Stoecklein - General Manager, Kansas State Fair
  • Father Mike Scully - St. Francis Friary
  • Gail Kuehl - Owner/ Operator, Kuehl Operations
  • Gary Sherrer - Former Lieutenant Governor of Kansas
  • George Welch - Managing Director, Solutus Group
  • Harry Craig - President and CEO, Martin Tractor Company
  • Jason Scott - Hollyfrontier Refineries (view presentation)
  • Jim Ney - National Sales Director, Primerica Financial Services
  • Maisie DeVore - Community Volunteer, Eskridge, KS
  • Marilyn Snider - President, Snider and Associates
  • Mike Brown - V.P. of Strategic Market Planning, Yellow Corporation
  • Sandy Jacobs - EVP/Regional Banking, Sunflower Bank
  • Susan Armstrong - President and CEO, Armstrong-Shank
  • Tim Norton - Sedgwick Country Commissioner
  • Ryan Hembree - Walmart Store Manager
  • Megan John - National Crossfit Athlete and Entrepreneur (view presentation)
  • Jamie Kuehl - Owner/Operator, McDonalds (view presentation)

What They're Saying…

"Professors and instructors use a variety of teaching methods such as lectures, whole-class discussions, in-class activities, hands-on experiences, real-life scenarios, and visual aides to appeal to all kinds of learning preferences."
-Laura Dougherty, Colby, KS, Leadership Studies Alumni

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