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CHS Leadership Class

Take Leadership Development to the next level

​In 2017, PASC Assistant Executive Director Dr. Felix Yerace reached out to the University of Pittsburgh College in High School (CHS) Office about the possibility of starting a CHS course for high school students in leadership. Felix had been offering a leadership course at South Fayette High School for over a decade, and wanted to provide another opportunity for his students, as well as a program other schools could utilize. 


From that initial meeting, a course was developed and began to be offered to interested schools in 2018. Since that time, multiple high schools from across Pennsylvania, from Pittsburgh to Erie to Philadelphia, have begun offering this course to students. Students who are enrolled can earn three (3) college credits from the University of Pittsburgh, which can be transferred to the college of their choice. In May 2022, Pitt CHS earned national accreditation from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) in achieving national standards that protect course integrity and promote course transferability. For students who ultimately decide to enroll at Pitt, the class can be used towards their completion of an undergraduate certificate in leadership. The decision to earn credit through Pitt or just enroll in the course at their high school for no fee rests solely with the student. 

PASC has invited the Pitt CHS office to present at our state conference, and we have also worked with them to host a PAL conference as well. We appreciate the work of Pitt to support student leaders and look forward to continuing to work with them. We hope our member schools will consider providing this opportunity at their school for their students and will offer this class as part of their curriculum. For schools that offer the course, their students get a head start on being able to successfully complete the requirements for the PASC Distinguished Student Leader Award

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What is the CHS Leadership Class?

The CHS Leadership course is the equivalent of Leadership 1100, Theories of Leadership, at the University of Pittsburgh, and is an introductory course in leadership taught at the student's high school by one of their high school teachers. This course is designed to acquaint students with multiple theories and practices associated with effective leadership. In answering the question, "What is leadership?" it examines such theories as situational, participative, transformational, and servant leadership. Consideration is given to issues of followership and the many roles we play in life. The class also addresses those leadership and administrative skills and practices usually associated with effective professional management.

Students in the class have the opportunity to learn about such topics as:

  • Defining Leadership

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Where to start to become a better leader

  • Developing the Leader Within You

  • Value of self-reflection

  • Personal mission statements

  • Historical and Modern Views of Leadership

  • What Separates Leaders from Other People

  • Gender and leadership

  • The Leadership Environment

  • Leading Individuals

  • Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation

  • Leading Groups

  • Critical thinking and decision making

  • Change

  • Vision

  • Inclusive Leadership

  • Practicing Moral Leadership

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How to get started?

Schools that wish to offer the CHS Leadership course must first identify a faculty member who is willing to teach the class. Once this is done, the faculty member must apply to the Pitt CHS office in order to ensure they meet the qualifications necessary to teach the class. Applications are usually due in the spring in order to teach the class the following school year.

Interested teachers should go to to learn more about the class and the Pitt CHS program. Contact information for Pitt's CHS office can be found on their website.

Additionally, PASC Assistant Executive Director Dr. Felix Yerace worked with Pitt to establish this course and served as the pilot faculty member for the class when it was first established. Felix also serves as the Educational and Engagement Coordinator for the National Association for Student Activities and has presented on his curriculum nationally. He welcomes anyone interested in establishing this course at their school to reach out to him for further assistance and guidance. 


Felix Yerace, Ph.D.

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