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Department of Leadership & Strategic Studies

The Department of Leadership and Strategic Studies as a part of the John Tarleton Leadership Academy (JTLA) promotes continuity and efficiency in the delivery of leadership and character development curricula. JTLA offers a variety of academic and experiential learning programs intended to foster individual potential and prepare students for leadership roles, as graduates of Tarleton State University. Students explore and apply leadership skills such as critical thinking, communication, problem-solving, time management and teamwork.

Leadership Certificate Program

The certificate program is a 12-hour certificate in Leadership Studies (LDRS) and is an option for both graduate and undergraduate students, desiring a recognized leadership education credential. Nine of the 12 require hours are to be selected from recommended LDRS courses. Three hours may come from your major field of study or from recommended courses from various majors approved by the Department of Leadership and Strategic Studies.

View the Leadership and Strategic Studies courses.

Programs & Opportunities

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John Tarleton Leadership Academy

JTLA is a leadership and character development initiative at Tarleton State University, designed to prepare individuals with marketable leadership skills valued by business, government, and the military. The vision of JTLA is to transform generations through the development of capable leaders who are prepared to succeed in a dynamic, innovation-based work environment.

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Minor in Leadership Studies

The 18-hour curriculum is open to all majors and prepares Cadets to be effective industry, community, organization, and military leaders. Students explore leadership roles in their future contexts, develop an awareness of personal leadership styles, and apply leadership characteristics and models to future professional experiences. Membership and participation in the Corps of Cadets is required.

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Attend Seminars

Attend student-focused seminars designed to challenge you to become a critical thinker, communicator and problem solver. The goal of these programs is to introduce highly effective, successful leaders and to inspire a life-long pursuit of service and excellence. The Distinguished Lecture Series features well-known leaders, including Tarleton alumni, and the Texan Leaders of Today brings alumni back to campus to address current leadership topics and tell their story of success.

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Students pursuing the Certificate Leadership Program or Minor in Leadership Studies have access to internship opportunities coordinated through the John Tarleton Leadership Academy and Career Service. The internship program will provide you an opportunity to gain professional experience and obtain marketable skills that you will be able to apply throughout your career. Learn more about these opportunities.

Meet the Director

Dr. Richard Cummins

Dr. Richard Cummins

Richard (Dick) Cummins has a lifelong interest in leadership and leadership development. An entrepreneur for over 20 years, Dick observed firsthand how some groups of people were more successful than others and recognized a key predictor of success is the quality of leadership within groups. After selling a furniture manufacturing business in 1993, Dick and his wife Judy relocated to Bryan, Texas and embarked on an educational journey concentrating on leadership education and leadership development. Dick was a faculty member at Texas A&M in the department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication, as well as in the Bush School of Government and Public Service In 2002 he was honored for his teaching and service to the Bush School with the Silver Star Award, an honor designated by the Bush School. In 2002, Dick became the Founding Director of the Hollingsworth Leadership Excellence Program for the Corps of Cadets at A&M, a program that offers leadership courses for 650 students each semester. On September 1, 2016, Dick assumed the appointment as head of the Department of Leadership and Strategic Studies in the School of Criminal Justice at Tarleton State University. He works closely with the Texan Corps of Cadets in the cadets’ leadership development. Dick regularly consults with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporations on executive development and leadership initiatives. After completing undergraduate studies at West Texas State University in 1972 and a master’s degree from Texas A&M in 1973, Dick owned and operated businesses until 1993 when he returned to Texas A&M to pursue a Ph.D. that was conferred in 1995.