Course Feature: Study Great Military Leaders

“I would definitely recommend this course to others. Military personnel and civilians can learn a lot about leadership from this course…”

This is one student’s comment after taking the eight-week course MIL 301 Great Military Leaders. In this course, students examine the qualities of military leaders throughout history and analyze specific traits that contributed to their excellence in leadership. By so doing, students isolate leadership traits and qualities that make a great leader and then apply them to new situations. Brenda Roth, faculty program director in the School of Public Service, explains that examples of the leaders studied are from ancient history, like Sun Tzu; from more recent history, like Rommel and Montgomery; and include U.S. military leaders like Washington and Patton.

Many Excelsior students are in the military and so they would especially benefit from the course topics. Roth explains students are encouraged to write essays based a series of posed questions and to hone their research skills through a final paper on a contemporary leader of their choice.

The course is required in the Military Leadership major, but can also be considered a social science elective for “any student interested in history or military history as part of their program of study,” says Roth. “The course focuses largely on comparing past leaders to contemporary ones, and students define for themselves which leadership traits stand out over time.”

So far, students have had high praise for the course saying, “Hands down one of the best classes I have taken at Excelsior,” “I cannot think of a single thing to make this course better. It was honestly a really great experience that has forever changed my thoughts about online classes favorably,” and “I found this course to be both challenging and interesting.”

Roth reports that “this is the favorite course out of the military leadership courses for faculty to teach.” In fact, she never has any challenges finding volunteers to teach the course. “Faculty have told me that they love the students and wouldn’t want to teach anywhere else. I have faculty who are retired or still active duty and can identify with the students,” says Roth.

So, what are you waiting for? Speak with your academic advisor and sign up for MIL 301 Great Military Leaders for next term!