LDP Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is the difference between the Center for the Development of Leadership Skills (CDLS) and the Leadership Development Program (LDP)?

At Rider, we believe leadership is about influencing others to attain the common good. Leadership is central to our students’ educational and collegiate experience. The Center for Development of Leadership Skills (CDLS) was established to foster the leadership learning experience for our students and provide them with the interpersonal skills and experiences needed for all walks of life. These skills are useful for, but not limited to, the public servant, business person, choral conductor, scientist, and educator.

Currently, the main program of the CDLS is the Leadership Development Program. The LDP is designed to create confident leaders by combining traditional academic learning with intensive skill training and supervised leadership experience through co-curricular activities, experiential learning, fieldwork, and community service. Upon completion, of the program, our students are awarded a Certificate in Leadership that will appear on the college transcripts.

The CDLS philosophy is embedded in the LDP on the premise that leadership is a process, not a position or a set of personality traits. Though leadership can be natural, it can also be learned. With knowledge, training, and hands-on experience, everyone can become a better leader. Thus, the foundation of the (CDLS) is to discover the leader within our students.

Q2: What are the components of the program? How does the program work?

The three components of the LDP (Academic, Experiential and Practical) apply knowledge and skills that are strengthened with hands-on participation in leadership and team environments.

Academic (6 credits)
Students are required to take six academic credit hours including the Foundations of Leadership (LDP 200) course which introduces students to leadership concepts and initiates their skill development in becoming confident leaders. Additionally, they must take one course, on ethics or multicultural studies that exposes them to different cultures, social classes and ethical challenges faced by leaders and teams. A list of the 35 courses for the elective appears on the last page of this document. Students must attain at least a B in both courses.

Experiential Learning
Over 3 academic semesters, students must participate in nine Leadership Skills Seminars that emphasize teamwork, interpersonal skill development, problem solving, decision making and communication skills. The nine sessions are broken into three sections that challenge students to become a team leader; to utilize their leadership skills in an organized group environment (club, organization, or volunteer activity); and to market those leadership skills as they transition into their chosen career.

Each session meets once per month for three hours (or nine times over three semesters). The LDP sends out the list of scheduled seminars to all students early in the semester to allow you to plan accordingly. If you cannot attend your scheduled session, it is possible to attend the same session at another time during the semester.

Students apply their classroom and experiential by participating and actively leading others in various student groups, such as: student government, athletics, sororities, fraternities, community service projects, internships, student employment, and various other clubs and organizations in and around campus. Co-curricular leadership points are awarded to students based on the leadership role and experience of each of the students’ activities. The student must obtain a total of 200 Leadership Points to fulfill the co-curricular requirement. A copy of the co-curricular point system is available on Blackboard. Through coaching and training, reinforce the leadership and interpersonal skills of team building, influence and communication throughout their time at Rider.

Q3: Who runs the LDP?

The LDP is run by the Director of the Leadership Development Program, Laura Seplaki, and her team, because the program has an academic element. Additionally, there is an Advisory Council that is composed of faculty and staff. Finally, there is an Executive Committees Board that is composed of LDP students who contribute to the growth and development of the program. The LDP Executive Committees meet every week and are open to all LDP members to discuss upcoming events, programs, and projects. If you are interested in attending, please e-mail us at [email protected] for more information.

Q4: Is the LDP just for business students? Can other majors join?

The LDP has always included liberal arts and education majors. When students think about leadership, they immediately think about CEOs or CFOs in the business world. However, leadership is important for education, science, government, and the not-for-profit sectors.

Academically, LDP 200: Foundations of Leadership discusses leadership from a contemporary and historical perspective. This course counts as a liberal arts elective for the College of Business and the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. With the School of Education, LDP 200 counts towards a General Studies Elective. In addition to LDP 200, students also must select one course from a list of 35 courses that satisfies the Ethics and Multicultural Studies elective. Most of the courses on the list that appears at the end of this document are taught in American Studies, Communication and Journalism, Gender Studies, Law and Justice, Philosophy, and Sociology. It is possible to select a course that satisfies an LDP requirement and a requirement for your core, major or minor. Take a look.

Experientially, the skills seminars have a leadership theme and not a business theme. These workshops are designed to be taught by facilitators from a variety of professions.

Q5: What activities are available for LDP students?

The LDP plans an assortment of activities each year for students to be involved in. The activities range from community service projects, to speaker series, and off-campus leadership trips. The LDP also welcomes any suggestions on additional leadership activities from its members. If you have an idea you would like to share with us, please e-mail it to [email protected].

Q6: Will I receive points for a leadership activity that was completed on- or off-campus that does not appear on the list of co-curricular points?

The list of Co-curricular activities does not include every leadership activity available to students, because of the wide variety of leadership opportunities. If there is a leadership activity in which you have completed that does not appear on the list, contact the LDP and we will assign the appropriate points and update the list. Many students finish the program with significantly more than the 200 leadership points required.

Q7: How do I figure out how many points I have accumulated?

The point value for most of the Co-curricular activities appears on the Rider LDP Co-Curricular Page, which is available to all LDP students. You can use this document to calculate the amount of leadership points that you have acquired.

You can record your LDP Points using Google Doc Tracking Sheets made available upon email request to [email protected].

You can also e-mail the Director of the LDP, Laura Seplaki, at [email protected] and set up an appointment with her to discuss your status in the LDP and also develop a personalized plan to complete the program.

Q8: What opportunities exist for mentoring new members into the LDP?

Consistent with the University’s Community Values Statement that “true leadership derives from service to others,” the LDP has a mentoring program for incoming LDP students. As a mentor, you will be matched with a freshman (or transfer) student.

Mentors are not expected to assume the role of parents, replace the formal advising system for an academic major, serve as counselors, or act as tutors. Instead, the mentors augment the mentees’ college experience by directing mentees to the appropriate campus resources and dispensing practical advice based on the mentor’s knowledge and experiences about the LDP, clubs, organizations, activities, and the greater Lawrenceville area.

If you are an enthusiastic, ambitious team player, with an interest in improving the new students’ co-curricular involvement and academic achievement within the LDP, please contact us via e-mail at [email protected].

Q9: Why should I participate in the program?

The LDP will assist you in becoming a better leader. Additionally, your participation can serve three important goals. First, as a member of the LDP, you progress along the path of becoming a more confident leader and developing important life skills including team building, influence, and communication. With successful completion of the program, you will receive a Certificate in Leadership on your college transcripts. Second, as you practice leadership within various clubs and organizations of your choice at Rider, you can improve the college experience for students, faculty, and staff. One way to practice leadership is to serve on the LDP executive board, which allows you to set the direction of the program and earn leadership points in the process. Finally, you can become a mentor for newer LDP members. The experience will provide you with valuable skills that will serve you for the rest of your life.

Q10: Why does the LDP send e-mail messages to my Rider University account instead of my Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, or AOL account(s)?

The official policy of Rider University is to use your Rider account for all communications.

Q11: Who can I speak with if I have questions about completing the program on time or if I have suggestions for improving the LDP?

Laura Seplaki, Director of the Leadership Development Program
SWG 250
E-mail: [email protected]
Office: (609) 895-5791
Fax: (609) 896-5304

Q12: What is the minimum cumulative grade point average a student can have in order to be considered for membership into the program?

We will not process the application of a student with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or less, as part of the requirements for an LDP student is maintaining at least a 2.5 GPA.  However, if a student is able to work to increase their GPA to the mandated level, that student may apply to the program during the application process in any semester through their first semester of their junior year.