Student Services

Leadership Development and Programming

The University of South Dakota is dedicated to the success of their students. Leadership development and leadership opportunities provide students with hands on experience and training to be better leaders both on and off campus.

Model of Leadership at USD

Leadership at USD follows the Social Change Model employing these basic ideas:

  • Leadership is socially responsible, it impacts change on behalf of others.
  • Leadership is collaborative.
  • Leadership is a process, not a position.
  • Leadership is inclusive and accessible to all people.
  • Leadership is values-based.

The Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Program

Leaders are those individuals who understand themselves, the world around them, how they relate to the world and then can use that knowledge to substantiate change; regardless of title or position. Keeping this in mind the USD LEAD program emphasizes the foundations of personal development, leadership, citizenship and cultural cognizance; the core components of development that lead to satisfying, productive life styles; promote healthy behavior;  help to clarify personal values;  and allow students to form meaningful interpersonal relationships and build cross-cultural understandings. The LEAD program is highly self-led and encompasses four sequential levels of intentional developmental experiences.  This program is open to any student in the USD community regardless of age or leadership experience. Students of the USD community that choose to engage in the LEAD program are provided with the opportunity to enrich their collegiate experience through this transformative experiential program. For more information or to join the LEAD program email Laura Roof, (

Leadership Development

We offer regular leadership development opportunities for students to gain a better understanding of how to lead in their organizations. We also offer sessions devoted to personal growth so our students can learn about themselves in relation to leadership. Topics of these sessions include budgets, fundraising, ethical decision making, transitioning officers, conflict resolution, etc.

Leadership Recognition

The University of South Dakota has many ways to recognize our outstanding leadership. At the end of each year we host the Celebration of University Leadership where we recognize our students with awards for their achievements. We also recognize students monthly for their contributions to the USD and greater Vermillion community.

Leadership Opportunities

At the University of South Dakota we have many opportunities for students to lead. Students can be part of any of our 100+ student organizations and even start their own if the existing organizations don't meet their needs! Organizations on our campus provide students with opportunities to learn about teamwork and personal development. Here at USD we are committed to helping students achieve their personal goals and getting involved is just one of the ways to do it!