Link to Chancellor's Student Service and Leadership Awards Webpage

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SLDVS Leadership


Based in the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services believes that everyone can lead and create positive change at UIC and in the greater community. Through our various programs and workshops, we provide opportunities for students to explore and discover their personal style of leadership while building upon various skills to help them succeed in their academic and professional lives. Emphasizing the connections between individuals, groups, and community, we focus on helping students build connections while linking their passions to a greater cause in making positive social change.


The Social Change Model approaches leadership as a purposeful, collaborative, values-based process that results in positive social change. The Model was built upon the following assumptions:

  • Leadership is concerned with effecting change on behalf of others and society
  • Leadership is collaborative
  • Leadership is a process rather than a position
  • Leadership should be value-based
  • All students (not just those that hold formal leadership positions) are potential leaders
  • Service is a powerful vehicle for developing students' leadership skills

The Social Change Model of Leadership has two primary goals:

  • To enhance student learning and development; more specifically, to develop in each student participant greater:
    • Self-knowledge - Understanding one's talents, values, and interests, especially as these relate to the student's capacity to provide effective leadership
    • Leadership competence - The capacity to mobilize one-self and others to serve and work collaboratively
  • To facilitate positive social change at the institution or in the community. That is, undertake actions which will help the institution/community to function more effectively and humanly.

The Social Change Model of Leadership is based on seven dimensions, or values, called the "Seven C's": consciousness of self, congruence, commitment, common purpose, controversy with civility, collaboration, and citizenship. All seven values work together to accomplish change. Each dimension interacts with one another as shown above.

The "Seven C's"

Individual Values

  • Consciousness of self - Awareness of the beliefs, values, attitudes, and emotions that motivate one to take action.
  • Congruence - Thinking, feeling, and behaving with consistency, genuineness, authenticity, and honesty.
  • Commitment - Motivational energy to serve and that drives the collective effort. Commitment implies passion, intensity, and duration.

Group Values

  • Collaboration - Working with others in a common effort. It constitutes the cornerstone value of the group leadership effort because it empowers self and others through trust.
  • Common Purpose - Working with shared aims and values. It facilitates the group's ability to engage in collective analysis of the issues at hand and the task to be undertaken.
  • Controversy with Civility - ecognizes two fundamental realities of any creative group effort: that differences in viewpoint are inevitable, and that such difference must be aired openly but with civility.

Community/Societal Values

  • Citizenship - Process whereby the individual and the collaborative group become responsibly connected to the community and the society through the leadership experience.


  • Change - "Hub" which gives meaning and purpose to the 7 C's. Change, in other words, is the ultimate goal of the creative process of leadership - to make a better world and a better society for self and others.


Higher Education Research Institute. (1996). A social change model of leadership development (Version III). Los Angeles: University of California Los Angeles Higher Education Research Institute.


Working within the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services welcomes all students, no matter where they are on their leadership journey. The SLDVS Leadership Development Spectrum has been created to help students make meaning of their experiences, as well as serve as a reference point in their development. Intentionally set up on a spectrum, this model is designed to show students they can always learn and grow as leaders while acknowledging that leadership strengths and abilities depend on context. Each SLDVS program and workshop is based around one level of the spectrum with the intention of moving students from Exploring Leaders to Transformed Leaders.



IGNITE is a semester-long program for first- and second-year undergraduate students that explores the concepts of leadership and self-reflection. Meeting once a week with a cohort and mentor, participants engage in questions about who they are and what change they want to make. IGNITE students will gain insight into the values, communication, and leadership competencies necessary for positive involvement at UIC.

Ignite Leadership Experience


FlashPoint is a semester-long program for UIC students in at least their second year who want to kick their leadership skills into high gear. Students who participant in FlashPoint will meet once a week with a cohort of engaged student peers and mentors. Each week, FlashPoint participants work on their collaboration, conflict management, and vision-setting skills as they develop meaningful plans for change at UIC and beyond.

Flash Point Leadership Experience


Blaze is a capstone leadership experience for students graduating within the next year. During Blaze, students will participate in the Student Leadership Practices Inventory and receive one-on-one coaching from facilitators as they clarify their mission, vision, and values. Blaze is a once-a-week program offered for eight weeks during the Fall semester.

Blaze Leadership Experience


Catalyst is a one-day intensive leadership retreat that allows students to engage in meaningful dialogue about leadership, change, and possibility. Facilitated by the nationally-recognized LeaderShape organization, Catalyst offers the chance to meet other UIC students interested in leadership, discover values, and get started on making a difference. By encouraging both collaborative work and individual reflection, Catalyst helps participants understand themselves and the steps to turn goals into actions.



The LeaderShape Institute is a six-day, off-campus, experience challenging participants to lead with integrity while working towards a vision grounded in their deepest values. Participants explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be. Dynamic, challenging, and exciting, the week is intended to produce a breakthrough in the leadership capacity of participants—benefiting them individually, as well as their respective communities and the organizations they will go on to lead and serve in the future.



Focus on the positives and learn about how your individual talents can be turned into leadership strengths! This workshop allows students to take the acclaimed Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment and then explore their results through a series of interactive exercises. The StrengthsQuest curriculum offers groups the chance to focus in on individual development, group cohesion, change practices, and more.



Build toward your personal leadership best with LPI, an assessment tool that allows you to understand your leadership from multiple angles! SLDVS will provide you or a group with LPI development so you can successfully apply your results as an individual and as a group.



Learn to Lead brings leadership into UIC’s classrooms, with engaging and active lessons on building leadership capacities. Our leadership curriculum includes units on foundations of leadership, the social change model of leadership development, StrengthsQuest leadership, conflict management, and social justice leadership. Lessons can be modified to accommodate any class size and/or focus



Bring SLDVS to your organization! We offer leadership consults for organizations addressing capacity-building, conflict strategies, vision- and goal-setting, officer transitions, and more. We can present workshops for your executive board, your full organization, or we can design a program unique to your organization’s needs.



Working to Lead brings student employees together to learn how an on-campus job can be a gateway to personal development and student leadership. UIC student employees are already engaged and involved individuals, this workshop helps students continue to develop their skills in ways that offer both individual and organizational benefits. These workshops can be conducted as individual sessions or as a longer retreat and can accommodate all sizes of student employee groups.

Working to Lead