Frequently Asked Questions
What is "LEV"?
“LEV” stands for Leadership, Ethics and Values. A distinct program, North Central College is proud to offer LEV courses, minors and concentrations which greatly enhance a student's coursework within their major. There are three LEV minors available: (1) Conflict Resolution, (2) Organizational Leadership, and (3) Social Change and Public Advocacy. Depending on which LEV track is chosen, the minor is comprised of courses from several different academic fields, including Business, Sociology, Speech Communication, Philosophy and Religion.
In a more global sense, LEV is a program of interdisciplinary courses and significant co-curricular activities designed to help students develop and examine their own leadership capabilities within a framework of values.
Why is LEV important at North Central College?
NCC's mission statement clearly states that North Central is a community "dedicated to preparing informed, involved, principled and productive citizens and leaders over a lifetime." The Leadership, Ethics and Values program is the main avenue by which NCC prepares its students to pursue meaningful and ethical leadership opportunities. This commitment to producing ethical leaders is also emphasized in the College's strategic plan for the future.
Why should I take an LEV course?
The LEV program is a truly unique opportunity. NCC, along with many Ivy League schools, recognizes the present-day need for ethical leadership and has provided a distinctive program for its students to experience. Put simply, LEV can be used to: raise personal awareness of one’s own moral framework and leadership capabilities, prepare one for the ethical dilemmas that will be faced in all aspects of life, gain the skills to effectively communicate one’s interests and ideas, and finally, become familiar with the skills and techniques used to resolve international, organizational or interpersonal conflict.
Further, students who develop leadership skills enhance their prospects for meaningful work, rewarding careers, and the inherent satisfaction that comes from taking initiative and engaging others in the pursuit of worthy goals.
It seems like LEV is just about ideas and concepts. Wouldn’t I be better off taking another business or speech communication class, i.e., learning a skill?
LEV classes, specifically, those in conflict resolution and leadership, provide transferable skills that any employer will value. In all likelihood, an employer will have many applicants with identical academic backgrounds. LEV can set a student apart by showing he or she has taken an active interest in becoming a more principled leader.
Students will learn to ethically and persuasively communicate their interests, a necessity in the working world—no matter the field. Armed with skills in the resolution of conflict, students are prepared to meet the needs and interests of all parties, be it co-workers, supervisors, clients or the local or international community. Further, after completion of Conflict Resolution (LEV 230), students are fully equipped with the skills to practice as a mediator, much like licensed attorneys who take intensive seminars on the topic.
What "co-curricular" opportunities are available to me?
Upper-level LEV courses—430, 497 and 499—allow students to earn course credit for engaging in leadership activities outside of the classroom. In fact, students are given much leeway in choosing a co-curricular experience that is unique and suited to their individual interests and goals. Community service organizations and local business enterprises are examples of sites where students can put into practice the skills they have developed in leadership, communication and conflict resolution courses. Students should also explore our iLEAD program for first-year students and our student organizations, LEVerage and the Blue Key Honor Society.
I don’t have room for an LEV minor. Is it worth my time to take just one class?
LEV minors range from 17-24 hours. If a student’s schedule does not allow for a complete LEV minor, he or she may want to consider one of two LEV concentration. The Leadership Concentration and the Ethics Concentration have been designed for those students who do not have enough room in their course schedule but want to further their understanding of leadership through select interdisciplinary courses, co-curricular activities and reflective writings. On the off chance that a minor and concentration are unattainable, students can still benefit from taking one or two LEV courses. There are several classes that can be a valuable supplement to both current studies and future plans. For example, Professional Ethics, Conflict Resolution and Contemporary Issues in Leadership are all courses that will raise awareness of ethical issues, which students will undoubtedly encounter after graduation.
I already have an undergraduate degree. What type of LEV experience is available to me?
Regardless of age, the skill of leadership is a valuable asset in one’s professional, personal or political life. In order to accommodate individuals with more educational and work experience, North Central College has created a Master of Leadership Studies degree (MLD), a program for students with an interest in the dynamics between leaders and followers, as well as the implications of power and decision-making.
If you have additional questions about the LEV program or what opportunities are available to you, please contact:
Thomas D. Cavenagh, JD
Schneller Professor of Leadership, Ethics and Values
Director Leadership, Ethics and Values Program