By Ben Popalardo
Director of Student Activites Adrienne Conley has worked with the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) to establish a chapter this semester for students to apply to the society.
Unlike an honor society, NSLS members benefit from their membership throughout their entire lives. Other than being a resume builder, benefits of membership include a number of leadership building workshops, job pools and contacts within the society to point members in the right direction for employment.
The society has been brought to the campus at the request of Dean of Students Robert Baer, who came to Conley requesting that she look into a program that could assist students in mentoring and leadership training.
“The Dean of Students asked me to look into a program that could probably help with student mentoring,” said Conley. “So I suggested maybe the NSLS could be a good option, based on what I knew everything that was involved to become an inducted member of the society.”
Students like Taylorj Forman join the society not just for a resume builder, but to assist in building their leadership skills for their future.
“I think it will help me become a leader. I think right now I’m more of a follower, and I’m glad people saw the potential for me to become a leader,” said Forman.
Baer stressed the importance of offering a society focusing on leadership skills at the school, as many of these skills are not specifically taught in the classroom.
“I truly believe that leadership is not something that just happens to you. It’s really a skill based and experience based thing that you can really learn as a process. And I think that an organization like this that can really focus in on helping students really realize those kind of skills and realize their potential, really has a benefit,” said Baer.
The only real criteria for being offered membership is that a student have a 2.8 grade point average or higher and is not graduating this semester. Letters written by Conley were sent out to roughly 1000 students who met this goal, offering them a spot in the society.
“We weren’t so focused on the grade point average as we were on leadership skills. I don’t think that leadership is necessarily tied into a grade point average. So for us, we needed the GPA to be of a student who is in good academic standing, and is showing motivation to finish college,” said Conley.
The organization is for profit, and so an 85 dollar membership fee is needed. However, according to Baer, no one is being turned down if they are unable to pay. The NCC foundation is offering scholarships to any student wishing to join the society that meets the requirements.
“Any student that can’t afford to join, we’re funding it for them,” said Baer.
The induction process does not happen instantly within the society. According to Conley, a series of steps must be taken beyond simply registering. A number of meetings must be attended in order to be fully inducted into the society.
“We host an orientation where we go over what the society is. We then host three leadership speaker series where we download them and watch them together. They all are famous leaders, famous politicians, famous CEOs. People who have exhibited extreme leadership skills in whatever environment they’re in,” said Conley.
Conley, the final two steps include a leadership training workshop that is hosted on campus, as well as three success networking teams, where a group of students get together to accomplish a short term goal.
As of this writing, roughly 260 students have registered by either paying the initial fee or having it paid by the NCC foundation. The registration deadline was Thursday, March 28 but Conley has left the registration open so as to make sure students do not miss the opportunity.
According to Conley, there are over 350 chapters open across both community colleges and four year institutions across the country, with our school being the second Connecticut community college to open a chapter.