Leadership By Design uses existing resources and programs within SAA and Student Affairs, streamlining efforts to provide students with an achievable path to obtain leadership certifications in five categories of development throughout their college career at ESU.

The five certification paths are designed to help students grow as both a professional and person, in a holistic way, taking advantage of existing resources and experiences:

  • LEADERSHIP (Office of Student Engagement and Stony Acres)
  • WELLNESS (Campus Rec & Wellness and Wellness Education & Prevention)
  • CAREER (Career Development Center and Career & Workforce Development)
  • DIVERSITY (International Programs, Office of Multicultural Affairs and Gender & Sexuality Center)
  • SERVICE (Office of Student Engagement and Fraternity & Sorority Life)

Students are encouraged to design a certification path that works with their schedule and needs.



Leadership Certification Path

Through the Leadership Certification Path students will develop an understanding of their personal leadership skills, an introduction to organizational management, and participate in hands on experience in leadership programing. The Leadership Certification Path is sponsored through programs developed within the Office of Student Engagement and Stony Acres.


  • Students will develop an understanding of their personal leadership skills, strengths, and shadows
  • Students will develop a basic understanding of ethical theory in decision making
  • Students will put into practice principles of team development
  • Students will develop skills needed to become an effective communicator
  • Students will obtain real-world experience in managing teams and running an event

Career Certification Path

 The Career Certification Path will provide students with an overview of job search preparation and career discovery process.  The modules are designed to prepare students as future professionals who effectively navigate the process of identifying and securing a meaningful career. Through the videos, practice activities and exploring an array of Career Development Center resources, the ultimate goal is to help students become confident in their ability to secure a professional level job after college and achieve the next step in their professional development. The Career Certification Path is sponsored through programs developed within Career Development Center and Career & Workforce Development.


  • Engage in career/major exploration in order to discover new career options, and affirm career goals through a greater understanding of the available resources
  • Develop skills in resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, and general job search strategies
  • Develop a professional, online presence, and improve networking skills
  • Increase confidence in presenting professional brand and in speaking in front of others
  • Become confident in ability to search for and successfully obtain next job, internship, or entrance to graduate school

Wellness Certification Path

Through the Wellness Certification Path, individual students and student organizations will have the opportunity to learn about basic wellness and responsible behavior choices. They will be able to set up personal fitness goals and learn about responsible decision making when it comes to suicide prevention, sexual health, alcohol and other drugs. The Wellness Certification Path is sponsored through programs developed within Campus Rec & Wellness and Wellness Education & Prevention.


  • Develop personal goals associated to one’s fitness and wellness 
  • To train students to identify people who are at risk of suicide and how to respond and refer them to professional services
  • Evaluates fitness levels pre- and post- 6 weeks to strive for better results
  • Obtain knowledge of alcohol, other drugs, sexual health and/or sexual assault, and how to make responsible decisions when it comes to these topics
  • Obtain knowledge and best practices when it comes to fitness and basic wellness
  • Acquire proper barrier methods for individuals preferred sexual activities and learn where to get tested, consensual behaviors and how to properly use the barrier methods

Diversity Certification Path

The Diversity Certification Path is purposed to foster an understanding of one’s multiple identities and how those intersecting identities impact the world around them. This certification is also purposed to help students define themselves as a global citizen going beyond the realities of the United States. The Diversity Certification Path is sponsored through programs developed within the Office of International Programs, Office of Multicultural Affairs and Gender & Sexuality Center.


  • Students will be able to define diversity and the diversity found within their identity
  • Students will understand the contributions and tribulations of “minoritized” (rather disenfranchised) groups
  • Students will understand their role and responsibilities as a global citizen
  • Students will develop a better understanding of communities living with disabilities and their needs

Service Certification Path

In order to complete the Service Certification Path, students need to fulfill 20 points of service per semester (or a minimum of 40 per year).

Approved Service opportunities will be posted each semester on the Leadership By Design website. Each approved project will be allocated a number of points. The Service Certification Path is coordinated through the Office of Student Engagement and Fraternity & Sorority Life.


  • Students will understand the value of humanitarian work through local and outside service projects
  • Students will participate in hands-on activities where they will give back to the community

Examples of pre-approved service programs include:

  • AWAY Day Trips — 20 points
  • AWAY Spring Break— 40 points
  • Adopt-A-Block — 5 points
  • Relay for Life — 10 points
  • Stony Acres service projects — 20 points
  • Pink Light Walk volunteering — 10 points
  • MLK Day of Service volunteering— 10 points



Programs are offered each semester that will count as points toward one of the five certifications. Students can select from the available programing, as it fits their schedule, and accumulate points to fulfill each of the desired certifications. Students have the full length of their time at ESU to complete the requirements for any of their desired badges designing a personal plan of achievement with the support of the Leadership By Design mentors.

Qualifying programs will be posted in the following ways:

Leadership By Design Website: Students will be able to see an updated list of approved programs offered each semester in each of the five certifications.

Social Media: Follow esu_saa on Twitter to receive notifications about qualifying programs that are created mid-semester.

Posters: Qualifying programs will be identified on posters by displaying the corresponding icon for each certification.


Once students have completed the list of requirements for a particular certification, they will receive a badge with the certification’s logo, to go on a Leadership By Design sash which they can wear at graduation, along with a plaque commemorating their efforts.

In order to obtain the sash, students must:

  • Complete all requirements for at least one of the certification paths
  • Complete at least 15 points in other approved Leadership By Design trainings

In order to obtain the plaque, students must:

  • Obtain a minimum of three badges

Professional and student staff provide advising to participants of Leadership By Design in regards to their process, available upon request. These mentors include the staff coordinators and staff within their departments. Students may set up appointments by emailing one of the coordinators in any of the sponsoring departments.


Progress for each certification path will be recorded and tracked in a module within Warrior Careers with the Career Development Center. At the beginning of events which serve as approved Leadership By Design programs, students will be asked to identify themselves as members of Leadership By Design and sign up at the end of the presentation.

Students will also receive a printed track sheet where they can keep track of their personal progress in each of the certification paths.

Follow Ups

Students will be offered times with the Leadership By Design mentors to touch base on their progress, ask questions, and receive encouragement to continue strong in the program.

Opportunities include:

  • Orientation at the beginning of each semester
  • Etiquette Dinner
  • Individual mentor appointments
  • At the end of qualifying events and programs
  • Completion ceremony