SC State University Successfully Launches the Student Leadership Academy

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Approximately 125 students gathered in the Belcher Hall Auditorium for the kick-off of SC State University’s Student Leadership Academy.  Danielle Murphy is a member of the University’s Honors Program, and she is ecstatic about the opportunity to acquire skills that will help her thrive in a global society upon graduation. “I’m excited to hear from all of the different people in the business and industry cluster,” stated Murphy.  “I’m sure they will help us get the information that we need, information that can set us apart from other applicants.”

That’s what SC State University’s Student Leadership Academy is all about, preparing students by teaching them the soft skills needed in order to ensure a smooth transition into the corporate environment. “Today represents the beginning of what I hope will become a model center of excellence for student leadership and professional development,” noted Dr. Jackie Epps, program director for the leadership academy. According to Epps, workshops led by business and industry cluster members will provide students with the skill sets needed to navigate the career development process and enable them to achieve success on the job.

SC State University’s Student Leadership Academy will provide student workshops focusing on skill sets such as leadership, communication, business etiquette, corporate culture, resume writing, interviewing and other interpersonal skills. Initially, the Student Leadership Academy will be offered to members of the Honors Program and students within campus organizations serving in leadership roles.  After demonstrated success, the program will be available to the entire student body.  

Students like Murphy offered praise for the inaugural session of the Student Leadership Academy with statements such as:  the presenters were great, informative workshops and innovative ideas.  President Cooper wants students to emulate Murphy and become engaged in the process. “We are interested in your success,” stated Cooper during the kick-off session. “We thought that if we could build this model, then we could encourage the business and industry cluster to come to SC State when they are looking for students to hire.”

The concept of the Student Leadership Academy began approximately one year ago. Conversations ensued with business and industry cluster members on how the skills of students at SC State could be sharpened.  A core group of 10 faculty and staff members from student affairs developed a one page concept that was shared with the business and industry cluster members.  The result was the fruition of the Student Leadership Academy.  Each month, there will be a two hour workshop focused on one particular skill set.

For additional information on the Student Leadership Academy and to receive the dates for the next session, contact Jackie Epps at (803) 516-4831. You may also reach him via e-mail at