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School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

The Leadership Experience Program


What is it?

The Leadership Experience provides students with a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience that focuses on leadership theory, practice, and development. Participants will have opportunities to learn about leadership foundational theories and their day-to-day application, explore social responsibility and citizenship, and develop a personal leadership philosophy and vision for continued development as a leader. Successful completion of the program will result in an official notation on your Southern Miss transcript and the receipt of a certificate signed by the University president and provost.


Who should enroll in the Program?

The Leadership Experience is open to all USM students with a desire to further develop and hone their leadership skills. Special scholarships or memberships are not required.


Why should I enroll in the Program?

The Leadership Experience is a great opportunity for you to enhance your existing leadership skills. You will gain critical leadership and personal development skills that will help you excel personally and professionally, both inside and outside of the classroom. At the end of the program, you’ll have a professional portfolio documenting your experiences that you can share with potential employers or graduate schools.


What is required to complete the Program?

  1. Two required courses:
  • IDS 181: Introduction to Leadership and Practice (3 credits). This course reviews prevailing leadership theories and examines opportunities for how they may be put into practice.
  • IDS 450: Practicum in Leadership Development (3 credits). This course provides practicum experiences for students involved in The Leadership Experience or the Student Affairs minor (prerequisite: IDS 181)
  • Three electives from a list of over 20 courses, many of which are GEC courses
  • Two independent leadership activities with reflective essays.


How do I sign up?

Students wishing to begin the certificate program or those who want to see what it is all about should enroll in IDS 181 for the fall 2017 semester. If you have more questions, email or contact one of the program coordinators:

  • Christy Arrazattee (601-266-5074)
  • Emily Holmes (601-266-4397)
  • Dr. Michael King (601-266-5516)


Information for Current Leadership Experience Students may be found here.

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School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

730 East Beach Blvd
North Academic Building
Room 228
Long Beach, MS 39560

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110 Elizabeth Harkins Hall (EHH)
118 College Dr. #5112
Hattiesburg, MS 39406


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