Historically Black Tennessee State University has partnered with FedEx to reinstitute a program that trains and develops students with top leadership skills to help them be more competitive in the workforce. The program, Leadership TSU (LTSU), closed about seven years ago, but has recently selected its first new cohort of 40 students, who started the program on January 20.
“We are bringing it back under the same idea of developing top leaders at the university. We secured the funding and created the opportunity,” said Frank Stevenson, dean of students at Tennessee State. “We pitched the idea to FedEx about creating an opportunity for students to learn some of their best practices, they immediately were on board.”
The inaugural cohort consists of students who have demonstrated ability to lead. FedEx will expose these students to the company’s leadership practices as well as provide materials and other support. Faculty from the university and national leadership training experts will also participate in the students’ training.
In addition to leadership workshops, a main component of LTSU will be to connect students with successful individuals and groups so they can learn the habits of successful people. In February, they will visit the Tennessee State Capitol to learn about law and policy making. In March, they will take a social justice learning trip to Washington D.C.
“As student affairs practitioners, we really understand that being a student leader goes beyond academic excellence. It is more about being well rounded and well cultivated,” said Tasha Andrews, director of student activities at Tennessee State. “We have students with 2.7 or 2.8. Some of them may have a low GPA, but they excel in other ways. It was important that we had a very diverse group. All of those students bring leadership traits that we admire and that are unique to each of them.”