Our Approach

M-LEAD is our integrative leadership education approach at the University of Michigan. This approach aims to be purposeful, collaborative, values based, and oriented toward social change. We believe that change occurs through the development of self, collaboration with others, and commitment to citizenship.

M-LEAD is guided by three units within Student Life: Center for Campus Involvement, Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning and Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs. We work to align existing and emerging leadership education efforts across Student Life departments. This is achieved by offering strategic advancements that strengthen the presence and access to leadership opportunities for students.

Our Collective Impact Framework

Since the 2011 Stanford Social Innovation Review article introduced the concept, collective impact has been widely adopted as an effective form of cross-sector collaboration to address complex social and environmental challenges. “…research shows that successful collective impact initiatives typically have five conditions that together produce true alignment and lead to powerful results: a common agenda, shared measurement systems, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support organizations.” (Stanford Social Innovation Review, John Kania & Mark Kramer, Winter 2011). Below we have defined each of these conditions related to how we approach them.

    • Backbone Support

M-LEAD has an associate director serving in the capacity as backbone support to the collective efforts of Student Life. The associate director also works with a Strategic Lead Team and Action Team. The Strategic Lead Team includes directors of the Center for Campus Involvement, Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning and Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs. The Action Team is comprised of staff in departments across the division who have a primary function of leadership programming and education. M-LEAD works collective across the institution to establish pathways for students to locate, select, and participate in intentional leadership education that will further develop their competency to lead social change. 

    • Common Agenda

All University of Michigan students will have access to leadership education and opportunities that empower and prepare them to create positive, sustainable social change on their campus and in their community. 

    • Continuous Communication

Members of the Strategic Lead Team and Action Team meet regularly with one another and share ideas, information and resources. M-LEAD communicates information about leadership offerings with students, faculty and staff. M-LEAD also works with campus partners to adjourn a meeting of leadership educators called the Michigan Leadership Collaborative.

    • Mutually Reinforcing Activities

M-LEAD works with departments in Student Life to ensure that leadership programs and activities reinforce one another through our CORE Competencies, assessment strategies, curricular design and implementation.

    • Shared Measurements

M-LEAD works with departments across the division in aligning data collection and measurement tools to ensure consistency and alignment. This includes data collected from the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership.


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