Student Leadership Development

Versatile leadership development programs for undergraduate and graduate students.

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Institute for Leadership Studies

The Institute for Leadership Studies (ILS) provides a variety of opportunities to assist students in developing their own unique strengths as leaders. ILS has a course, club, program or activity to meet students’ leadership development needs.

The following programs offer academic credit:

Leadership Practicum

The Leadership Practicum offers undergraduate students leadership and management experience working in teams to complete projects for clients from businesses and community organizations. Projects have included environmental scanning, marketing, and operational coordination, event planning and execution, canvassing customer and client interests, social change campaigns, business plans, and budgeting.

Leadership Fellows

Leadership Fellows are graduates of the LeaderShape Institute,® a learning community that collaborates on positive change projects to improve the Dominican campus and its communities. Additional credit is earned through independent study where students implement an approved change project.

A Minor in Leadership Studies

A Minor in Leadership Studies is designed for undergraduate students to learn and practice leadership theories and skills, and to position themselves to be ethical leaders and team members in their chosen field.

The Leon and Sylvia Panetta Leadership Institute

Each year, the Department of Politics and International Studies partners with the Institute for Leadership Studies to select an undergraduate student to attend the summer Leadership Institute on the CSU Monterey Bay campus, as well a U.S. Congressional Internship in Washington, D.C. funded by the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy.

Leadership Learning Lab

The Leadership Learning Lab offers leadership effectiveness assessments and leadership coaching and consulting services to leaders and their organizations. The lab provides MBA students with a living laboratory for the study and practice of leadership development while serving as a community consulting service to leaders of Bay Area organizations.

Global Ambassadors

Global Ambassadors is a community of Dominican’s international, exchange, and study abroad students who serve as ambassadors of global and multi-cultural understanding to cultivate comfort with difference. Ambassadors present at Marin County K-12 schools and also convene campus events generating cultural awareness and exchanges that build community. Founded by the Institute for Leadership Studies, the program is a partnership with the Global Education Office.


In addition to academic coursework, the Institute for Leadership Studies provides opportunities for students to learn and practice leadership and teamwork through extracurricular activities, programs, and experiences related to personal interests.

American Association of University Women

American Association of University Women is a worldwide community that empowers women by advocating for their rights, researching and reducing social barriers, and
delivering programs that give them the confidence and skills to succeed. Men are welcome to participate.

Business Bakers Association

Business Bakers Association is a community-building social club that convenes to discuss world events while baking delicious treats for the Barowsky School of Business and University campus community.

Leadership Lecture Host Ambassadors

Leadership Lecture Host Ambassadors are students, staff, and faculty who volunteer to support the production of the exceptional speakers and campus guests attending the Leadership Lecture Series, which engages the campus and Bay Area community in socially relevant discussions, highlighting inspired acts of leadership.

The LeaderShape Institute®

The LeaderShape Institute® is a one-week summer leadership training for undergraduates in residence on the Dominican campus. Participants from many Bay Area colleges and universities attend and build a local network. Graduates may elect to earn degree credit and serve in leadership roles on campus.

Leadership Development Day

Dominican hosts this day-long event involving students’ clubs and organizations, as well as students from all parts of the Dominican community.


Rotaract is the college-level club of Rotary International, supported by local Rotary clubs. Students uphold the Rotarian value of ‘Service Above Self’ by participating in service projects on campus and in the community.

Toastmasters International

Toastmasters International is a global organization that provides opportunities to build confidence and expertise in public speaking. Students are joined by members of the business and campus communities and offered opportunities to serve in leadership roles within the weekly meetings or as a club officer.

Team Sailing

Team Sailing teaches the skills of teamwork through the practice of sailing on San Francisco Bay as two people alternate leading and following while sailing a small boat. Graduates may qualify to be an assistant instructor or camp counselor.