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Student Leadership Academy
Developing Leaders for a Changing World

The CUNY Star
A Model for Leadership Education *

The CUNY Star

The 10 CUNY Star Leadership Competencies
The following are brief descriptions of each leadership competency identified by the CUNY Star Model. The Malave Leadership Academy, and affiliated leadership programs, strive to provide educational and developmental opportunities for students to develop each of these competencies.

Self-Awareness
Understanding one's skills, knowledge, experience, and dispositions as an individual both personally and professionally with respect to leadership. Also the ability to promote the same in others.

Identity Development
Consciousness of one's own socio-cultural beliefs, values, and norms within multiple contexts (home, community, work, globally) and awareness of one's social location. Also recognizing leadership as a part of one's identity within each context.

Cultural Competency
The ongoing development of global perspectives, a multicultural worldview, an inclusive disposition, cross-cultural communications skills, and respect for persons perspectives based on socially constructed differences (race, class, gender, ethnicity, ability, religion, sexual identity, age, etc.).

Contextual Literacy
Knowledge and understanding of communities, hierarchies, influences, political landscapes and privileges relevant to one's individual, community and organizational contexts and how that relates to leadership efficacy.

Civic Engagement
Development of one's social consciousness demonstrated through responsive service and/or advocacy addressing issues of public concern and social justice.

Work-Life Balance
Development and promotion of a healthy balance of one's time, attention, and growth with respect to self, family, community, and career.

Community Building
Development of an inclusive, empowering and healthy environment within teams, groups and organizations.

Critical Engagement
The consistent employment of a critical lens on one's own actions and the collective actions within groups, communities and/or organization both internally and externally (locally and globally).

Applied Ethics
Consistency of, and between, one's moral compass and the group or organization's core values relative to operational contexts.

Professional Excellence
Exemplary depth of knowledge and ongoing learning within one's discipline and in leadership studies, as well as continued professional skills development.


*The “CUNY Star” is based on the work of the City University of New York (CUNY) Leadership Development Council (LDC) Committee on Best Practices and Curriculum Development in cooperation with the CUNY Leadership Academy (later named the Ernesto Malave Leadership Academy) and facilitator Catherine Wong (Boston College).

The model was built upon general concepts of Critical Pedagogy, Multicultural Education, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, and a leadership development model presented by the Higher Education Research Institute (1996), in A Social Change Model of Leadership Development: Guidebook version III. College Park, MD: National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs.

Additional input and feedback was provided by the 2008-09 CUNY Leadership Academy Fellows.  Work continues on assessment and curricular modules.  The Model was unanimously endorsed by the CUNY Leadership Development Council (LDC) on March 20, 2009.

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