After over four years of planning and design, Tech has finally instituted the new Leadership Challenge Course (LCC) near the CRC. The LCC has three towers, multiple zip lines, LCD screens and GPS, the LCC accomodates up to 64 students at a time. The course is intended to teach students about leadership, teamwork and communication skills not taught in the classroom. Demand for the course has been very high, with programs booked weeks in advance before the opening.
Prior to running the course, student and faculty groups must undergo several hours of workshops, focusing on leadership behaviors and problem solving tactics. At each tower of the LCC, participants stop to discuss their progress. At the end of the course a full evaluation of leadership and teamwork techniques is conducted, comparing the effective and ineffective methods of getting across the course.
According to Adventure Recreation Coordinator Matt Marcus, a survey of employers indicates that Tech graduates have unbeatable technical skills, but are lacking in communication and leadership abilities. As part of Institute President G.P. “Bud” Peterson’s 25-year plan, the LCC will provide Tech students with a different side to their education.
“The reason this facility is here is because someone said ‘What if?’ We talked about those things that have in the past and will in the future set our students apart,” Peterson said.
“Leadership is not a position; it’s a set of behaviors. And you don’t want to wait until you’re in a position to learn those. Then you’re learning by the seat of your pants!” added Matt Marcus, assistant outdoor recreation coordinator of the CRC.
“The course definitely challenges a group of individuals to work together as a team …true learning occurs when you realize that pulling together or supporting each other makes it much easier for each person to get across,” said JulieAnne Williamson, organizational development project director, who tested the LCC with other members of the Georgia Tech Reasearch Institute (GTRI) in one of the first trial runs.
A unique combination of management and engineering majors also collaborated on a trial run of the LCC. According to Sheena Richards, the Technology and Management Program Coordinator, “staff did an excellent job of reaching [their] goal of honing [their] students’ leadership and teamwork abilities through unique and untraditional methods.”
The LCC is considered very innovative and some Atlanta corporations will be using the program to train their own employees.
“You combine these skills with Tech’s academics, and you’ve got a world class student!” Marcus said of the LCC’s benefits.