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Leadership and Citizenship

Otterbein offers a variety of opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills inside and outside of the classroom. By participating in leadership development programs, holding an office in one of our many student organizations, or assuming positions of responsibility and involvement within the university community, students are able to promote positive change while enhancing their ability to lead. Students explore the ethics of leadership and various models of leadership (e.g., leadership for social change, situational leadership, action-centered leadership) to develop their own commitment to a leadership style.

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Opportunities to Earn this Card

Click here to see the opportunities.

Will My Experience Count as a Card?

To count as a Card, the experience must meet these essential components. 

Card Characteristics 


  • Project-Oriented: The student’s experience was project-oriented and included intentional real-world activities.
  • Time Commitment: The student’s experience lasted over a significant duration of time.  Relative duration and time commitment were discussed with mentor(s) at the beginning of the experience.
  • Concrete Outcome: The student created a concrete outcome. For example, results in some degree of social change, assists organization in better meeting its mission, increases membership or financial support, mobilize public opinion.
  • Authentic Experience: The level of scholarship and engagement was appropriate to a field(s) of study. Needs to be a meaningful leadership experience.


  • Hands-on: The student’s experience included a hands-on application of knowledge and skill.
  • Student Ownership: The student’s ideas were original and the student took at least partial responsibility for the scope and direction of the project.


  • Student Reflection: The student showed evidence of reflective thinking about the experience.  
  • Mentorship: The student worked with one or more faculty, staff, or peer who served as a guide or mentor.


  • Evidence of Change: Engagement promoted change in the community,organization or group.
  • Personal Transformation: Student had opportunities to reshape their personal and academic lenses. For example, increased self-confidence and development of additional knowledge or skills in leadership.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop additional knowledge (or refine their existing knowledge) of leadership theories, frameworks, principles and practices. (For example, a deeper understanding of transformational leadership, group dynamics, principles of change management etc. This can be accomplished via pre-experience training or reading, guided reflection and reading, etc.)
  • Students will develop and/or apply practical skills and tools for leadership and citizenship. (For example, skills in managing change, engaging others in constructive dialogue, developing reasoned discourse, and analysis of others and situations).
  • Students will practice leadership and citizenship through active participation in groups, organizations and communities.
  • Students will develop increased self-confidence and an awareness of their ideals, beliefs and values and how these shape their leadership and/or citizenship.
  • Students will develop an interest in learning more about leadership and/or citizenship.

Personalized Cardinal Experience 

Many courses, co-curricular activities, research opportunities, non-credit bearing work, and off-campus experiences can serve as a Personalized Cardinal Experience (PCE). Review the application for the Leadership and Citizenship Card to determine if an experience may qualify. Each Personalized Cardinal Experience needs to be sponsored by a faculty or staff member who will help you identify how the experience will meet the criteria for earning a Card. A PCE Checklist should be completed with your sponsor prior to participation. 

To start your Personalized Cardinal Experience journey complete the form below with your Card sponsor.

Personalized Cardinal Experience Leadership and Citizenship 

More Information

For more information on leadership and citizenship opportunities click here.


Melissa Gilbert
Associate Dean Experiential Learning and Community Engagement

Alana Gaither
Five Cards Graduate Assistant

p/ 614.823.1270
e/ 5cards@otterbein.edu

Leadership and Citizenship Five Cardinal Experience