The Leadership Model
The leadership model at North Georgia University & State University uses a military form to develop leadership qualities in participating students. The model is implemented through the organization and function of the Corps of Cadets. The program is four years in duration and takes a cadet through annual phases of increasing responsibility, which progress from recruit/private to squad leader to senior NCO and officer. These steps correspond to responsibilities associated in the civilian sector with workers, first-line supervisors, and middle- and upper-level managers.
Leadership development starts the freshman year. The emphasis at first is on followership and peer leadership. Sophomores attend a workshop called the Non-Commissioned Officers Academy (NCOA). Successful completion of the NCOA is a demonstration of a Cadet's potential for leadership positions and her/his desire to succeed in the Corps of Cadets. Following completion of the academy, Cadets are selected for entry-level supervisory positions, known in the military vernacular as section or squad leaders. These leaders are responsible for the discipline, morale, training, and welfare of four to nine Cadets, while integrating the activities of the section and squad into the higher-level organizational structure of the platoon. The theory learned in NCOA is continually reinforced in the practical experience of daily leadership and laboratories comprising inspections, drill, and ceremonies.
During the junior year, successful entry-level supervisors are picked for platoon, company, and staff assignments at the middle and upper management levels. Cadet leaders in these assignments are responsible for the planning, execution, and control of activities involving up to 75 Cadets and nine entry level managers. It is during the junior year that intensive leadership workshops are held one afternoon per week and several weekends per semester. The purpose of these workshops is to develop physical fitness, improve problem-solving skills, and refine leadership development through a variety of role-playing situations.
In the senior year, Cadets move into positions in which they are trained in upper-level management. These are officer positions, which include command of a company (50-70 Cadets), a battalion (150-250 Cadets), and a brigade (500-700 Cadets), as well as other key training and command positions. Classroom instruction offers a chance to explore theories of leadership, while daily life in the Corps of Cadets provides ample opportunities to put theoretical understanding into practice.