The Gordon Institute, a school within the Tufts School of Engineering, introduced a new minor this semester called Foundations for Future Leadership. The minor aims to equip students with the personal and professional skills they need to develop their leadership skills and meet future challenges.
Will Trevor, Gordon Institute’s director of programs, operations and marketing, described how the minor fits with the institution’s overarching goal of helping students become transformative leaders.
“[The minor] really comes from the idea that the Gordon Institute is about creating a community of transformative leaders with deep intent or deep hearts,” said Trevor. “We want to make sure that the leaders we help grow … have an attitude that they have an ethical responsibility to society.”
While only Undergraduate School of Engineering students can declare the minor, the courses are open to all Tufts students. School of Arts and Sciences students have an academic minor requirement of 15 credits, so they cannot declare the minor as it only requires eight credits, according to the Gordon Institute website. However, you can still take the courses and use them to meet other closely related minors, including Entrepreneurship or Engineering Management.
Trevor emphasized that there are many paths students can take with this minor.
“It’s really for students who might have hope of becoming leaders in the future,” Trevor explained. “Whether it’s leadership in the corporate world, whether it’s leadership in nonprofit, charitable, or church organizations… whatever organization someone wants to be a leader in.”
Students earn the minor after completing four courses: three semester core courses, each worth two credits, and one elective from the Tufts Gordon Institute’s portfolio of 100-level courses. Core classes include Preparation for New and Emerging Leaders (TGI 110) and Communication Skills for Personal and Professional Life (TGI 112).
According to Trevor, students are also encouraged to bolster their studies with relevant courses and co-curriculars offered by the Derby Entrepreneurship Center, which is also part of the Gordon Institute.
Malakia Silcott, Associate Director of the Tufts Career Center, will teach one of the 100-level elective courses within the Gordon Institute that students can use to complete the minor in Developing a Career Focus: Planning Your Career Pathway.
“As a student completes the course, each student will be able to see how a liberal arts education enables them to develop career skills that are in demand by employers, and each student will have a range of personal resources helping him identify them and get closer to their personal career goals,” Silcott wrote in an email to the Daily.
Silcott’s class has a capacity of 25 students and is open to students of all grades who are interested in exploring career development at all levels.
“We’re also going through a lot of electronic resources … that can support those who are currently in it [the] process of major selection and exploration, but can also support those students who are explained and are looking for a structured way to understand different career paths associated with academic majors and a career plan for themselves on campus and off tufts create,” Silcott wrote.
George Blount, an instructor for TGI 111, a financial education course, commented that he has been impressed with the students’ engagement so far. The TGI 111 course format consists of three-hour sessions and includes a phase in which students analyze monetary issues through a behavioral lens.
Blount stressed that the course aims to help future leaders understand how to approach financial decisions.
“AAs a financial therapist, I focus on a person’s emotional relationship with money, and prejudice can prevent people from seeing opportunity,” Blount wrote in an email to the Daily. “My approach allows me to explore personal finance, corporate finance and entrepreneurial finance to demonstrate that wealth and equity are built through prudent financial decisions.”
The Minor was approved in early summer 2022, but Trevor says it’s already promising to grow in popularity and impact. He said he is confident that the Gordon Institute will continue to support the minor over the next year.
“I think it’s very timely,” Trevor remarked. “And I think I can only see it growing in the years to come.”