Sookmyung Leadership is based on the premise of ‘Servant Leadership’ which aims to influence the world through service and sacrifice. In choosing its motto, ‘Gentle Power to Change the World,’ Sookmyung Women’s University (SMU) seeks to foster global women leaders to guide the 21st century toward a path of peace and coexistence. (From homepage of Sookmyung Institute for Global Leadership)
The Sookmyung Leadership course has been a mandatory course to take in order to graduate since 2005. Along with Sookmyung’s vision to foster 10 percent leaders in 2020, Sookmyung Leadership course is playing a role of educating Sookmyungians on Leadership. However, some students raised problems on the effect of grading students by A, B, and C in Sookmyung Leadership course. In fact, Special Studies in Leadership, also a part of leadership course was changed into a Pass/Fail system from 2008. Still, Sookmyung Leadership kept its original grading system.
Park (21), a student from Division of Humanities said, “Both of the leadership courses were very useful for me. My attitude toward the life and the sense of challenge has been changed after I took the courses. However, I’m against the grading method of Sookmyung Leadership. Most of all, it is hard to classify each student’s potential leadership by A, B, and C. This also conflicts with what SMU has emphasized on leadership. Also, students are taught the importance of practicing leadership. However, Sookmyung Leadership mainly deals with the theory and examples of leadership. In my opinion, Sookmyung Leadership is a long store of knowledge SMU has accumulated. Still, in order to advance the leadership in daily life, I hope students get opportunities to experience leadership firsthand. Also, the existing leadership course should be changed into a blend of theory and practice along with Pass/Fail course.”
In spite of some student’s negative opinions, the grading system of Sookmyung Leadership rarely seems to change. Kim Soo-dong, a professor of Sookmyung Institute for Global Leadership said, “Sookmyung Leadership course is aimed at letting students foster 4S – Spirit, Skill, Service and Strength. Special Studies in Leadership, which was changed into a Pass/Fail course, had some difficulties in evaluating students. Students had to hear five to six speeches of celebrities and take an exam based on the lecture. There were some problems raised on the vagueness of grading. However, it is not the same as Sookmyung Leadership. Because it has a systematic tool of knowledge such as its textbook, it is possible to classify the relative scores into A, B, and C. In my opinion, people who were taught ‘Leadership’ are different from those who were not. By writing and giving a shape to a plan, students learn to organizing time, managing and empowering. That is why I assert that students take Leadership courses.”