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The Impact of the
Yates Leadership Challenge: Ropes Course and LRC
to Develop Leaders in the Corps of Cadets
at New Mexico Military Institute

DRAFT


TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 

Gears

The Yates Leadership Challenge
 

Introduction

Since its inception in 2005 the Yates Leadership Challenge (YLC): Ropes Course and Leadership Reaction Course (LRC) have delivered over 67,000 contact hours of leadership development programming to both cadets and external participants. Thousands of cadets, in a period of six plus years, have been positively impacted by the program. The YLC strongly aligns to NMMI’s Institutional Mission and supports our 2020 Strategic Goals, positioning NMMI to create tomorrow’s leaders (see the YLC Impact Diagram). The YLC is one of several opportunities at NMMI that encourages cadets to become citizens of character and sound ethical leadership. The twofold mission of the YLC is to provide a leadership laboratory for the Corps of Cadets (Reference 1) and to increase awareness of NMMI’s opportunities through strategic exposure to potential recruits (Reference 2). Furthermore the course adheres to the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) Standards of the current edition for installation, inspection, operations, and certification.

The mission of the YLC is to “To provide challenging and adventurous experiential learning programs for individuals to learn leadership, accomplish personal and team goals, and promote character development.” Our motto of “teaching to lead from the ground up” is put into action every day. Through the use of experiential learning, trained and certified facilitators engage people in meaningful and challenging activities and provide opportunities for participants to acquire knowledge, skills and competencies for individual and team leadership development. The underlying psychological and educational philosophy behind the YLC is that if a person is supported to move out of his/her comfort zone, and has a successful experience, then powerful conditions exist for positive change.

 
What is a Ropes Course / LRC

Ropes courses are referred to using several different names, including Challenge Courses, Ropes Challenge Courses, Teams Course, Low Ropes, and High Ropes. A ropes course is a challenging outdoor personal development and team building activity which usually consists of high and/or low elements. Low elements take place on the ground or only a few feet above the ground. High elements are usually constructed in trees or made of utility poles and require a belay for safety.

Talk more about Experiential Education Add link

 

REASONS WHY LEADERSHIP EDUCATION THROUGH EXPERIENTIAL ADVENTURE PROGRAMMING IS EFFECTIVE 1

Equality - Provides a unique set of projects and situations requires people to draw upon genuine team process skills.

Disequilibrium - A state of disequilibrium or disorder allows emphasis to be placed upon both task and process related themes as the group has to organize itself around the challenge.

Personal Projection / Meta Learning - The group projects their problem-solving skills, project management ability, and leadership style onto the experience. The learning arising from this is profound and revealing.

Kinesthetic Imprint - Kinesthetic imprint or whole body learning of cognitive principles because the learning is graphic as it involves physical, mental and behavioral dimensions.

Diversity of Strengths - Input from all team members will be required to produce outcomes from projects specifically designed not to suit just one team role style or behavior. One person cannot possibly succeed alone and so the interdependence of the team is highlighted along with the importance of diversity within the team.

Fun - The environment provides a highly enjoyable way to learn and develop team and management process skills. Fun is a powerful aspect of effective learning with participants becoming more open to the experience and creative whilst participating in it.

1 Reference: Luckner, J. & Nadler, R. (1997). Processing the experience: Strategies to enhance and generalize learning. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

     

At the Low Ropes Course teams, no bigger than 12 members, must first develop trust, collaboration, communication, leadership, and coaching skills. These challenges call upon every member of the team to participate as they are presented opportunities for self-discovery and teach growth.

Teams are further strengthened at the High Ropes Course whose challenges allow participants to expand their comfort zones—sometimes dramatically—and recognize fears that may block personal achievement. Each moment is rich with discoveries, whether a person is climbing, supporting "on belay," or finding an effective way to encourage a teammate.

Outcomes include but are not limited to:

  • Building interdependence and risk taking skills.
  • Inspiring new ways of thinking.
  • Developing and enhances confidence and trust levels.
  • Developing and/or improves individual and team multi-dimensional communication skills.
  • Opening up multiple ways of communicating, delegating, and assessing goals, tasks, timelines, and achievement.
  • Developing or increasing group cohesion and "can do" morale.

Low Ropes
Low Ropes

High Ropes
Ropes

   
Leadership Reaction Course
LRC

The Leadership Reaction Course is an outdoor adventure-based learning facility. Nine structured "leadership challenges" encourage participants to think, react, work as a team, and solve problems in a determined period of time. Leaders receive a mission, brainstorm, execute, and readjust to compete it under a time restraint. The obstacles themselves present a fun, challenging, and unique learning environment, with mental and physical obstacles that can only be overcome with effective leadership and teamwork.

Outcomes include but are not limited to:

  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities.
  • Learning task, time, material, and personal management
  • Employing and master multiple ways of communicating, delegating, and assessing goals, tasks, timelines, and achievement
  • Developing or enhance skills in planning, problems solving, conflict resolution and abilities to inspire greater camaraderie.
  • Developing or increasing group cohesion and "can do" morale.
 
 
Three Key Components to developing leaders at the Yates Leadership Challenge

Specific to the YLC there are three key components in the development of leaders:

1. Practitioner Certification for the Ropes Course and LRC,

2. the execution of leadership programs at the YLC,

and

3. the impact on the Corps of Cadets.

See the diagram "The 3 Key Components” where each gear turns in relation to the other ultimately impacting the central leadership piece at NMMI – the Corps of Cadets. Further discussion on how the three pieces interact is below.

 

Gears

The 3 Key Components

 
 

Reference

(1) Strategic Outcome D. Cultivate leadership and character development

(2) Strategic Outcome A. Increase awareness of NMMI

 
 
 
 

PROGRAM IMPACT MAP: Leadership Education

at the

Yates Leadership Challenge

 
The following gives a overview of the three impact areas and is discussed in detail in the proceeding sections.
 
Practitioner Training and Certification


SELF-LEADERSHIP


What it is

  • Cadets learn technical skills and facilitation skills as part of a "leadership laboratory" so in order to teach leadership to other cadets.
  • Training is incremental staring with the initial 40.0 hour "Level I" training.
  • "Level II" training further devlepes the repertoire of skills and competencies for more effective facilitation.

Outcomes

  • Prospective facilitators learn how to deliver effective leadership programing through modeling, participation in various skills and teaching others those skills. The instructor demonstrates various skills gradually through lessons, then moves to guided practive which evolves into independant practice until proficiency is reached.
  • Sympathized knowledge is aquired through observation, imitation and practice of skills and evaluated through Skill Evaluation Tools (S.E.T.).
  • Conceptualized knowledge is explored through discussions metaphors analogies. Proficiency is measured with the Facilitation Competency S.E.T.
  • Operational knowledge is gained through experience, learning by doing and is measured through the General / Core Knowledge S.E.T.
  • Systemic Knowledge is gained as bodies of knowledge are combined as each facilitator conducts leadership programs at the course.
  • All S.E.T.s evaluate the facilitators' cognitive fluency, attitudes, and behaviors at the YLC.
Leadership Education Programs

1
Diagram: Programmatic Levels -
Click to Enlarge
(PDF)


TEACHING LEADERSHIP


What it is

Outcomes

  • Leadership skills are infused into cadets as a direct result of training recieved at the YLC.
  • External groups build unity and teams are strengthened. Exposure of NMMI to prospective recruits impacts the quality of students applying.
Impact on NMMI and the Corps of Cadets

3

Diagram: Impact on NMMI and the Corps of Cadets - Click to Enlarge (PDF)


LEADING OTHERS


What it is

  • Cadets Practitioners develop others through various leadership programs at the YLC. The combined inertia of the Practitioner Training gear and the Leadership Education Program gear results in improved leadership within the Corps of Cadets and within each cadet's sphere of influence.
  • As cadet facilitators gain more knowledge and skills, the participants engage in a more meaningful experience which positively impacts the quality of facilitation. These experiential concepts can be subsequently applied.

    (Please note that continual education, training, and upkeep of skills is essential to effective risk management)

Outcomes

  • The assimilation of newly acquired knowledge is incorporated as they interact within in the Corps of Cadets, including but not limited to setting the standard, prosocial behavior, increased confidence & inter & intra-personal competencies, etc. Internalized skills and competencis are generalized by the cadet and can be applied to other areas of life.
  • External groups have postive high impact experiences and exposes each to the "NMMI Experience."
 
 
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Leadership Education Programs for Cadets
at the
Yates Leadership Challenge

NMMI Strategic Goals 2020, Alignment to:

D. Cultivate leadership and character development

Strategic Direction: Provide diverse learning opportunities that encourage cadets to become successful citizens of character capable of providing sound ethical leadership in challenging global environments.

Objective D.5: Provide a leadership laboratory within the Corps of Cadets structured to emphasize the fundamental attributes of professional leadership.

OVERVIEW: Cadet Leadership Education Programs

Certification - July Training, January Training, June Training

Tier I -

Tier II -

Tier III -

 

 
 

FOUNDATION: Challenge Course Practitioner (Facilitator) Certification

Central to the operational core of the YLC is the training and certification of “Challenge Course Practitioners” (synonymous with “Facilitators”). Since 2005 over 112 cadets have been trained and hired (Reference X). These cadet facilitators are trained to facilitate outcomes for learning leadership skills and character outcomes according to the US Army Cadet Command “Be Know Do” model and various topics including, but not limited to, goal setting, planning, teamwork, brainstorming, critical analysis, innovation, communication and problem solving. Upon certification cadets are teaching leadership to their peers, but first they must master basic skills and competencies.

Skills are defined as manifestations of well-defined congnitive capacities, operations, and applicaitons.

 

What it is

  • Cadets learn technical skills and facilitation skills as part of a "leadership laboratory" so in order to teach leadership to other cadets.
  • Training is incremental staring with the initial 40.0 hour "Level I" training.
  • "Level II" training further devlepes the repertoire of skills and competencies for more effective facilitation.

Outcomes

  • Prospective facilitators learn how to deliver effective leadership programing through modeling, participation in various skills and teaching others those skills. The instructor demonstrates various skills gradually through lessons, then moves to guided practive which evolves into independant practice until proficiency is reached.
  • Sympathized knowledge is aquired through observation, imitation and practice of skills and evaluated through Skill Evaluation Tools (S.E.T.).
  • Conceptualized knowledge is explored through discussions metaphors analogies. Proficiency is measured with the Facilitation Competency S.E.T.
  • Operational knowledge is gained through experience, learning by doing and is measured through the General / Core Knowledge S.E.T.
  • Systemic Knowledge is gained as bodies of knowledge are combined as each facilitator conducts leadership programs at the course.
  • All S.E.T.s evaluate the facilitators' cognitive fluency, attitudes, and behaviors at the YLC.

 

 

Diagram: Challenge Course Practitioner Levels (PDF)

1

 

Levels Discussion

SETS

Meets

“Fully Meets ACCT certification standards”, defined as “currently a Level I facilitator and with increased facilitation knowledge with which they can apply solving most non-routine situations and provide leadership to less experienced and knowledgeable facilitators.”

All training is aligned to the Association for Challenge Course Technology Certification Standards of the current edition.

 
Challenge Course Practitioner Training - Level I (through LEAD 2813 or 40.0 Hour Intensive)

Initial Level I certification training is a 40.0 hour course that provide the basic knowledge and psychomotor skills required for the basic, routine facilitation at the high and low ropes course. Candidates develop personal leadership skills while being introduced to safe attitudes and practice for basic facilitation, equipment maintenance, technical skills, group debriefing skills, site inspection, rescue basics, operations management, and ethical behaviors. The outcome is facilitators who can apply routine programming in leadership.

Alignment to BSL and Commandant Objectives and to US Army Leadership Framwork

Fall Training

This training typically occurs before Cadre Week in August.

Winter Training

This training typically occurs during Cadre Training/Mid-Year RAT Training in January.

Summer Training                        

This training typically occurs during the first week in June.

   

Challenge Course Practitioner Training - Level II

Continual learning of new techniques and competencies, and upkeep of skills are encouraged as the certified facilitator participates in over 40.0 additional hours of Level II training scheduled through the year (this is also key to effective risk management). Its purpose is to increase knowledge and skills learned from initial the training and to prepare each to mentor and train other facilitators. The training refines and develops general competencies, technical skill, risk management competencies, and facilitation skills as related to safe operations of a challenge course and focuses on team and organizational leadership. The Facilitator needs to show marked improvement (From Meets to Fully Meets) in Level I skills and proficiency in more advanced skills and be exposed to a variety of facilitation techniques, and programming and change theories.

 

 

The training is rooted in experience as way of active learning. Educational research has shown that people have different learning styles and that they learn most effectively when learning has an experiential component , as opposed to knowledge acquired through cognitive methods, such as learning vocabulary or multiplication tables . Active learning enables students to construct meaning and deep understanding rather than simply recording knowledge.

To this end experience can be broken down into four knowledge domains .

  • Sympathized knowledge, or knowledge that is acquired through understanding the social and/or cultural norms, is acquired through observation, imitation and practice of skills. 

    Supporting this are thirteen Skill Evaluation Tools (or S.E.T.s) that were developed in alignment to the ACCT Standards. Though many skills and competencies learned in training have similarities they are used to train and assess facilitator capabilities. Each has been further demarcated as “Level I”, initial foundational skills, and “Level II” advanced skills and competencies.

  • Operational knowledge is gained through experience, learning by doing and helped with training manuals and documents.

    Correspondingly, in order to support the training processes the Ropes Course Facilitator Training Manual – Level 1 was written. First used in training in 2005 it has been continually revised and updated according to best practices. The operational knowledge base is evaluated through the through the General / Core Knowledge S.E.T.

  • Conceptualized knowledge, or knowledge that is gained through metaphors analogies concepts and models,  is explored

  • Systemic Knowledge is gained as bodies of knowledge are combined as each facilitator conducts leadership programs at the course.

Zull

Rogers, C.R. & Freiberg, H.J. (1994). Freedom to Learn (3rd Ed). Columbus, OH: Merrill/Macmillan

Nonaka, Ikujiro, and Hirotaka Takeuchi. 1995. The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation. Oxford University Press.

Reference

(X) Number does not include cadet who completed the LEAD 3.0 hours college class

 


 

Cadet Leadership Education Programs

 

What it is

Outcomes

  • Leadership skills are infused into cadets as a direct result of training recieved at the YLC.
  • External groups build unity and teams are strengthened. Exposure of NMMI to prospective recruits impacts the quality of students applying.

 

Kolb

Tier I

R.A.T. Week Training – R.A.T.s from each troop are broken into their respective squads where they participate in teambuilding initiatives. This is also an opportunity for RATs to ask questions about the NMMI experience. The anticipated outcome of this is for RATs to begin the process of getting to know each other, find commonalities and encourage each other to embrace the challenge and "stay the course".

After-School Leadership Training – Two troops (not including athletes, Preps, or ROTC) participate in leadership education activities at the Ropes Course and LRC every week. Cadet Facilitators guide the participants through various challenges and evaluates the accomplishment of the groups building upon their success. Lessons learned are applied to everyday life and in the Corps of Cadets

Tier II

LEAD Club – Occurring twice per week enrolls cadets who are certified facilitators as well as cadets interested in becoming facilitators. The curriculum is primarily designed to develop current facilitators. Cadets interested in becoming a facilitator gain skills being taught from currently certified facilitators.

ROTC MS 3/4 – Twice each semester the LRC is scheduled and provides training to prepare MS 3s for the US Army Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC).

Tier III

LEAD 2813 Ropes Course Facilitation and Leadership, 3.0 college credit, 2 sections – Teaches minimum proficiency. Several cadets have become certified facilitators and hired as a result of completing the class. A few ROTC cadets with fears of heights have taken the class and have a better internal locus of control and are lead more confidently.

First Year Experience – complement the leadership instruction found in the First Year Experience Program.

JROTC LET 4s to LRC – Once per year the 3rd classmen attend leadership instruction at the LRC. The course supports the leadership training of this nationally accredited curriculum.


ASSESSMENT MATRIX: Cadet Leadership Education Programs
 
 
 
 
a
Leaderhip Skills Infused into the
Corps of Cadets
l
 
 
b
 
INITIATIVE
PROGRAM ASSESSMENT
PARTICIPANT LEADERSHIP ASSESSMENT
Foundation - Challenge Course Practitioner Certification
  • Level I Practitioner Training and Certification
Feedback from cadets who completed training Matrix of facilitators completing S.E.T.s
Tier I Introduction to the course and leadership
  • R.A.T. Week Training
None needed/required
  • After-School Leadership Training
See Feedback from cadets participating in the after-school program
Tier II Leadership Laboratory for Cadets via Non-Traditional Instruction
  • L.E.A.D. Club
See Matrix of Skills Learned
See Matrix: Completion of Skill S.E.T.s
  • ROTC MS 3/4
Feedback from Participants enrolled in ROTC
Evaluated through the ROTC program
Tier IIILeadership in Action in a Classroom Setting
  • LEAD 2813 Ropes Course Facilitation and Leadership, 3.0 college credit, 2 sections
See Feedback from Cadets going through training & certification
See Matrix: Completion of Skill S.E.T.s
  • First Year Experience
  • JROTC LET 4s to LRC
Evaluated through the JROTC program
Evaluated through the JROTC program

 

 

 

 

 

     

 
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Leadership Education Programs for External / Community Groups
- Recruitment/Outreach Events
at the
Yates Leadership Challenge

NMMI Strategic Goals 2020, Alignment to:

A. Increase awareness of NMMI

Strategic Direction:Establish and maintain the best available systems for internal and external communications to enhance awareness of NMMI, its values, educational opportunities, and graduates.

Objective A.2: Promote and improve awareness of what NMMI offers as a learning institution through the use of current and future technologies.
Objective A.4: Establish and enhance processes and procedures for aggressively recruiting, retaining, and reenrolling a broad range of qualified cadets each academic year.


OVERVIEW: Leadership Education Programs for External Groups
- Recruitment/Outreach Events

Text Here

   

 
MATRIX: Leadership Education Programs for External Groups - Recruitment/Outreach Events
 
 
 
 
a
Exposure of NMMI though recruitment efforts inpacts the quality of students applying.
l
b
 
   
   
   
b
   
   
   
   
   
a
   

Since 2005

INITIATIVE
PROGRAM ASSESSMENT
PARTICIPANT LEADERSHIP ASSESSMENT

Summer Camp Groups participating in leadership events

  • Junior Leadership Camp
  • US ARMY ROTC Mini-Camp
  • Character Counts Camp
  • Gear Up Camp
  • New Recruit Camp
  • Candidate Camp
  • JROTC, El Paso, TX
  • JROTC, Albuquerque, NM
  • Homeland Security Camp

 

See Participant Experience Evaluation - Instructor / Program Evaluation

 

See Participant Experience Evaluation - Outcomes

 

9th - 12th Graders who have attended a one day leadership event:

  • Navy JROTC – Lubbock High School, Lubbock TX
  • MESA Group – Math Engineering and Science Achievement, from all over NM
  • Goddard High School Girls Cheerleading Team, Roswell NM

 

See Participant Experience Evaluation - Instructor / Program Evaluation

 

See Participant Experience Evaluation - Outcomes

 

6th - 8th Graders who have attended a one day leadership event:

  • Sierra Middle School, Las Cruces, NM
  • BSA Troop 65 – Roswell, NM
  • Mountain View Middle School Students & Leadership Training for their Teachers, Roswell NM
  • Berrendo Middle School Students, Rowell NM
  • MESA Group – Math Engineering and Science Achievement, from all over NM

 

See Participant Experience Evaluation - Instructor / Program Evaluation

 

See Participant Experience Evaluation - Outcomes

 

Groups who have attended a multi-day events/leadership seminar or summer camp:

  • Leadership Roswell
  • includes Leadership Workshop for Sierra MS, Las Cruces, NM
  • Leadership Roswell – includes Leadership Workshop for Sierra MS, Las Cruces, NM

 

See Participant Experience Evaluation - Instructor / Program Evaluation

 

See Participant Experience Evaluation - Outcomes

 

Non-Profit / Community Groups:

  • NM Youth Challenge
  • On-site Leadership Training for teachers at Victory Christian Academy, Roswell NM
  • Roswell Job Corps
  • NM National Guard
  • US Marine Corps, Albuquerque and Lubbock Pre-OCS selection office
  • The LRC renders services to military police from all over the world enrolled at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). Participating counties include Azerbaijan, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Moldova, and thirty six others.
  • Air Conditioning Contractors of America – M.I.X. Group

 

See Participant Experience Evaluation - Instructor / Program Evaluation

 

See Participant Experience Evaluation - Outcomes

 

 

 
 
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Assessment and Evaluation Documentation

Facilitator Training (LEAD 2813 or 40.0 Hour Intensive)
 

What it is - Training to become a facilitator can be through and intentisive multi-day training or through the 3.0 hour college class LEAD 2813. Cadets are subsequently hired to work the course/s. The cadet facilitators primary job is to teach/instruct their peers in leadership which has a profound effect on them as involvement encourages them to grow personally.

Outcomes - See Challenge Course Practitioner Level I Training Alignment

  • The intensive training is a leadership immersion experience that provides basic knowledge and psychomotor skills to meet requirements for the routine facilitation of a ropes course and LRC in order to facilitate leadership education. The Ropes Course Training Manual (Level I), developed in 2005, sets the basic minimal criteria for certification. Each cadet must be competent in a variety of skills and be knowledgeable in and be able to apply an assortment of leadership proficiencies. The training meets or exceeds industry standards as set by the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT). Training of facilitators to meet basic proficiencies can be done in two ways. The first is through a 5-day (40.0 hour) intensive occurring three times during the year.

  • LEAD 2813 Teaches minimum proficiency to certify as a Level 1 Facilitator. Several cadets have become certified facilitators and hired as a result of completing the class. A few ROTC cadets with fears of heights have taken the class and have a better internal locus of control and are lead more confidently.

    FolderASSESSMENT: Feedback from Cadets going through Facilitators Training (PDF)

FolderASSESSMENT: Matrix of the the number of facilitators and Level II S.E.T.s completed

 
Number of Facilitators Certified as Level I
Level II S.E.T.s
Teach Trainees Spotting Teach Belay Teach Rappel Zip Line Rescue
04-05 AY 23 0 0 0 13 5
05-06 AY 20 0 0 0 9 6
06-07 AY 28 13 17 18 10 10
07-08 AY 27 12 8 10 8 9
08-09 AY 26 13 12 10 6 4
09-10 AY 34 22 18 10 9 6
10-11 AY 27 15 15 8 6 5
11-12 AY 23 12 12 12 8 6
   
LEAD 2813 Miscellaneous Documentation
 

Assignment

The class engages in extensive actitivities and discussions related to various aspects of leadership. Cadets were tasked to write a paper about their leadership philosophy and how they plan on utilizing various experiences to positively impact their leadership in the future. Many of them outlined their principle values and beliefs which aligned strongly to the US Army "Be-Know-Do" leadership model as found in in FM 6-22. These personal attributes they desire to model included embodying integrity and honor, being confident, and having tact. Common themes in the assignments included the development of trust between subordinate and leader, and the negative impact of micro-management. Several stated the importance of developing others, setting goals, and accomplishing the mission. A few mentioned role-models from sports or other extra-curricular activities that had a tremendous impact on their development.

FolderASSESSMENT: Spring 2011 - Personal Leadership Philosophy Statements (PDF)

   
   
   

RAT Week Training

What it is - R.A.T.s (Recruits at Training) come to the course for 1.5 hours during R.A.T. Week. One to two troops (up to 120 cadets) are broken into their respective squads where Cadet Facilitators execute teambuilding initiatives. This is also an opportunity for RATs to ask questions about the NMMI experience. Broken into their squads, this provides the opportunity for cadets to get to know each other, to find commonalities, and to encourage each other to maintain their determination to complete the challenge. The scope of leadership education is limited to only an introduction and creates awareness of the course. The anticipated outcome of this is for RATs to begin the process of getting to know each other, find commonalities and encourage each other to embrace the challenge and “stay the course”.

“[The] staff is extremely well trained and had an incredibly positive attitude throughout the whole experience. The person who helped my particular group was Cadet X. He was an excellent facilitator and did not try to step in and run things. Instead he gave us only the necessary information, and let us work together as a group to try and solve the problem…” Cadet HSG

 

After-School Leadership Training
 

What it is - Two troops (non-athletes, Preps, or ROTC) participate in leadership education activities at the Ropes Course and LRC every week. Cadet Facilitators guide the participants through various challenges and evaluates the accomplishment of the groups building upon their success. Lessons learned are applied to everyday life and in the Corps of Cadets. scheduled as a recovery week during after-school PT Cadet Facilitators guide participants through a few LRC events and a limited number of Ropes Course activities. Though limited in time it has a significant impact on cadet life.

FolderASSESSMENT: Feedback from Cadets Participanting in the After-School Leadership Program (PDF)

 

LEAD Club  
 

What it is - The Leadership Education and Development Club was designed to complement and support the curriculum and programming of the course. The club is used to prepare interested cadets in becoming certified facilitators, and prepares current facilitators to gain advanced knowledge and skills essential to risk management. Occurring twice per week enrolls cadets who are certified facilitators as well as cadets interested in becoming facilitators. The curriculum is primarily designed to develop the skills of current facilitators. Cadets interested in becoming a facilitator gain skills being mentored from currently certified facilitators.

FolderASSESSMENT: Matrix of the number of cadets who completed various advanced Skill S.E.T.s.

 
Level II Skills
Teach Trainees Spotting Teach Belay Teach Rappel Zip Line Rescue General / Core Competencies Technical Competencies Facilitation Competencies
09-10 AY
               
10-11 AY
               
11-12 AY
               
     

   
ROTC MS 3/4  
 

What it is - Twice each semester the LRC is scheduled and provides training to prepare MS 3s for the US Army Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC). Additionally those MS 3s attending LDAC who are hesitant when working at height participate in the LEAD 2813 class to help them over come fears and anxieties.

Participants are evaluated through the ROTC Program.

  • In 2010 several ROTC contractees that had fear of heights and subsequently did not pass LDAC. In response they went through the LEAD 2813 class. Two unsolicited responses indicated a positive impact the course made on their success at LDAC:
    • 26 Aug 10 – “Hey Sir hope things are going well at the Institute! Both Dunn and I finished LDAC just fine and I can't speak for Dunn but the Ropes Course actually did help a lot!” ~ Cadet JCG, ROTC 2LT Commissionee
    • 8 Sept 10 – “Just wanted to see what was up. Dobbs and I wanted let you know that we passed LDAC. The ropes course helped a lot! That work portfolio helped me to get a job as a customer service manager at Wal-Mart. So thanks for helping me with that! …” ~ Cadet JCG, ROTC 2LT Commissionee

     

  • Several ROTC cadets have attended practitioner training and/or gone throught he LEAD 2813 class. These ROTC cadets have provided feedback in various forms over the years. Several cadets over the years have given credit to help prepare them for various activities in LDAC and the US Army Mountain Warfare Course/s and the Airborne Course.

    FolderASSESSMENT: Feedback from Cadet Participants Enrolled in ROTC (PDF)
 
 

First Year Experience Assignments
 

What it is - The students enrolled in First Year Experience 2.0 hour college class participate in leadership exercises at the LRC and what is learned complements the leadership instruction taught.


Outcomes - (from course syllabus) Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • set immediate, short, and long-term goals that will determine success
  • successfully apply the principles of time management
  • act in many life situations with extreme self confidence
  • use critical and creative thinking in both academic and non academic tasks
  • break a multiple level task into manageable pieces
  • improve on leadership skills

 

 

Assignment

FolderASSESSMENT: Spring 2011 - Journal excerpts taken from cadets enrolled in First Year Experience (PDF)

FolderASSESSMENT: Fall 2009 - Instructor After Action Report regarding cadets enrolled in First Year Experience (PDF)

   
   
 

External / Community Group Leadership Education Programs

What it is

  • Since inception over 100 external groups, bringing more than 4,800 participants, have engaged in leadership training at the courses. These range from 4.0 hour programs to multi-day events aligned to the desired outcomes of the group.
  • The groups range from school classes, and their respective clubs and sports teams, to non-profit organizations. Sizes of groups participating have ranged to exceed 140 but are typically around 40 to 60 in number. Some groups utilize the course to develop the skills of their members to facilitate peak performance that will continue throughout the year, while others utilize the course to enhance current curriculum and instruction.
  • The events exposure potential recruits to the campus get them to interact with cadets, staff and faculty. In fact schools are approaching NMMI requesting to visit the campus and participate in various events.
  • Groups are benefitted as the participants develop leadership skills including but not limited to communication, role-models, self-control/discipline.

Benefits to NMMI and the Cadets

  • Cadets who are trained throughout the year can be hired to support the various summer camps. The cadet facilitators wholly involved in the program design and take on the responsibility of ensuring group physical and emotional safety. The camps have a reciprocal leadership effect on the Corps of Cadets. Not only are cadets developing their own leadership curriculum on the courses, but are applying lessons learned to their daily lives. of the leadership workshops utilizing the Ropes Course and LRC.
  •  

    “Growing up I was lucky enough to be able to attend multiple ropes courses, and I absolutely loved doing them. The concept of setting personal goals to conquer was intriguing to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. No matter what the course offered, I overcame easily, and had a blast doing it. When I came to NMMI, the ropes course immediately captured my attention. The summer after my RAT year I signed up to work it, but I had no idea what I was actually signing up for. I thought it would be fun, getting to get back up on the ropes; but little did I know that in store for me was a challenge that would test me in ways I never expected. First was the training, which immediately presented a new objective. There were ten of us, and only a few that I knew; but immediately we were required to come together into a single unit. I have always been good with people and easy to get along with, but I shocked myself at how quickly we bonded and became not only extremely good friends, but also how well we worked together as a team. After five days of training, it was almost as if we had all been best friends for years.And I have no doubt that these friends I will have for the rest of my life. Next came the real challenge; wave after wave of summer camp programs that came out to the course. I was thrust into a situation where I was forced to bring out my true colors. As I was trying to help these kids grow and develop as people, through counseling, instructing, helping, mentoring, and flat out just getting to know these kids, I was growing and developing as a person myself. When the summer was done, I could definitely tell a difference in myself. I was better with people, my communication skills were enhanced, I could resolve problems faster, I was able to be more open, and I had an all around stronger personality. Everyone I knew noticed as well, that I was a stronger person coming out of the summer than I was going in. I strongly accredit a part of who I am today to the development I underwent that summer. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world, and I know that the friends I made will be behind me until the day I die. We grew like a family. When I started that next semester, I could definitely tell a difference in my leadership skills. As a squad leader, I used leadership techniques I learned out on the course and transferred them to the Corps. I can almost link more about what I know about leadership to my experiences at the ropes course than I can anything else, and I know I was a more developed leader out in the Corps than I would have been otherwise…” ~ Cadet 4th classmen – c/SSG

 

FolderASSESSMENT: Number of external groups participating since inception of program

 
Academic Year
Number of External Groups
04-05 AY  
05-06 AY  
06-07 AY  
07-08 AY  
08-09 AY  
09-10 AY  
10-11 AY  
11-12 AY  


FolderASSESSMENT: External Group Participant Experience Evaluations - Data Current as of 28 June 11

Evaluations are typically given to the adults teachers, mentors, advisor, or sponsor of participantsfor feedback on improvements. Twenty-four questions are presented in a Likert scale as shown.

 
External Group Participant Experience Evaluation

1= Strongly Disagree

2= Disagree

3=Neither Disagree or Agree

4 =Agree

5 = Strongly Agree

 
INSTRUCTOR EVALUATION
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Academic Year N Overall the course facilitated connections between actions and behaviors occurring on the course applying them in a practical way (personally or professionally, or otherwise)  I developed new interpersonal or technical skills relevant to life (personally or professionally, or otherwise)  Overall the course material was well organized and conducted with goals made clear at outset. Overall the course content level was appropriate. The overall environment was conducive to an effective exchange of information and ideas.  Facilitator/s actively engaged all participants and had a positive and professional working relationship. Facilitator was enthusiastic The material and/or activities were present in a clear, concise manner. Participants were comfortable with the risks taken by the group. Discussions and/or presentations were applicable to the goals/objectives The training was worth the time involved to do it.
04-05                        
05-06                        
06-07                        
07-08                        
08-09                        
09-10                        
10-11                        

OUTCOMES - My participation in the Ropes Course/LRC Training has helped me to…
  12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Academ.
Year
…Re-assess and / or improve my motivation to have a strong personal work ethic when accomplishing tasks. …Teach me to be adaptable and flexible in leadership situations, learning how to delegate and cooperate with a team and supporting its members. …Enhance my verbal and non-verbal commun-ication effectiveness with other people. …Understand that I can change my thinking or opinions easily if
there is a better idea and be open to new ideas and suggestions from various sources.
…Motivate and guide others toward their goals. B-Influence …Stay calm and overcome anxiety in new or changing situations and increase my bearing, self control, composure or determination when under stress. …Understand the importance of goal setting, making and executing plans. …Realize the importance of encouraging my colleagues and giving supportive / helpful suggestions. …Realize the importance of respecting one another. …Realize the importance of personal sacrifice. …Be more considerate of people around me. …Understand the importance
of seeing the “big picture” when dealing with problems or situations.
…Realize the importance of, or has improved my attention to detail when working on projects or tasks.
04-05                          
05-06                          
06-07                          
07-08                          
08-09                          
09-10                          
10-11                          
   
  External Group Evaluation Open-ended comments include:
 
  • “Our team is closer, we seem to feel more comfortable with each other, we also trust each other. We have another "bond" in our team.”
  • “In our three years of participating at the ropes course, it keeps getting better and runs smoother.”
  • “Taking the ropes course has taught me to not to give up, because I can succeed if I try.”
  • “Professionally, I think it will help me in my work as an EMT basic.”
  • “It made me realize what my true values were and how I will apply them in the future.”
  • “Loved it, Facilitator was enthusiastic and then some! I've taken courses like this before - I wish we had a manual w printed instructions to REMEMBER all of these great activities!”
 
 

Miscellaneous Documentation (i.e. Personal Development of Staff / Faculty / Other)
 

A father observed his son facilitate at the course who later informed me about the profound impact the course had on his son’s behavior attitude and vocational goals. The graduated cadet is currently in graduate school perusing an outdoor education degree. Additionally several staff/faculty have participated in training with very positive results both personally and professionally.

FolderASSESSMENT: Miscellaneous Feedback (PDF)

 

 
SUMMARY: Impact of the YLC on the Corps of Cadets
     
 

What it is

  • Cadets Practitioners develop others through various leadership programs at the YLC. The combined inertia of the Practitioner Training gear and the Leadership Education Program gear results in improved leadership within the Corps of Cadets and within each cadet's sphere of influence.
  • As cadet facilitators gain more knowledge and skills, the participants engage in a more meaningful experience which positively impacts the quality of facilitation. These experiential concepts can be subsequently applied. (Please note that continual education, training, and upkeep of skills is essential to effective risk management)
     

Outcomes

  • The assimilation of newly acquired knowledge is incorporated as they interact within in the Corps of Cadets, including but not limited to setting the standard, prosocial behavior, increased confidence & inter & intra-personal competencies, etc. Internalized skills and competencis are generalized by the cadet and can be applied to other areas of life.
  • External groups have postive high impact experiences and exposes each to the "NMMI Experience."
     
     
     
     
Closing the Assessment Loop
ROPES COURSE
       
YEAR
ITEM
  Rationale
--
  • Participated in and passed Annual Inspections (Fall 2005, Fall 2006, Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, 2010)
   

Fall 2005 - current
   

Feb 2012
  • Incorporated Facebook icons and links into YLC Webpage
   

Feb 2012
  • Modified Evaluation Form to include questions for ease of use of export to social media
   

10 Feb 12
  • Presented finding of Research Study at 22nd Annual Internation Challenge Course Symposium & Expo in Boston, MA
   

Fall 2012
  • Created YLC Facebook Page
   

Fall 2011
  • Conducted Leadership Research and Program Evaluation of after school program
   

Summer 2011
  • Built ground practice static course
   

Summer 2011
  • Aligned LEAD 2813 and 40.0 hour training to NMMI Learning Outcomes for Behavioral Science and Leadership, Commandant, and HPER.
   

Spring 2011
  • Created Manager Check list
   

Spring 2011
  • Added a second section of LEAD 2813
   

Jan 2011
  • Introduced January Facilitator Certification Training
   

2010
   

Fall 2010
  • Introduced Level II Training
   

Fall 2009
  • Updated the YLC Emergency Action Plan
   

Summer 2008
  • Added Orange flagging to mark cables
   

2008
  • Aligned Training (double checked) to ACCT Practitioner Certification Standards
   

2008
  • Developed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for parent/guardian/participant regarding the nature of various activities at the YLC
   

2008
  • Developed form letter of acceptance for external group acceptance & confirmation of program time, dates, and required information
   

2007
  • YLC Website updated to have electronic registration form
   

July 2007
   

2007
  • Created the Facilitator Plan and Evaluation Sheet
   

2007
   

2007
  • Developed the Facilitator Skills Self-Assessmeent
   

2007
  • Developed Skill S.E.T.s
   

2007
  • Created the Participant Experience Evaluation
   

Fall 2006
  • Developed Brchures for the course
   

Fall 2006
  • Reviewed the number of rescues for last AY. Evaluated contributing factors and set a goal for maximum number of resuces for AY.
   

Fall 2006
  • Updated The YLC Mission Statement
   

2006
  • Aligned LEAD 2813 curriculum to NMMI mission statement
   

2006
  • Created the Group Information Sheet
   

2006
  • Developed methodology to keep documents on facilitators regarding their portfolios
   

2006
  • Developed three SOPs for the Course
   

2006
  • Local Operating Proceedures
   

2006
  • Created the Facilitator Plan and Evaluation Sheet
   

2006
  • Incorportated Strengths Quest into 3.0 hour LEAD Class training
   

2006
  • YLC Website created
   

2005
  • Updated the Facilitator Work and Learning Log
   

2005
  • Made Manager SOP for the course
   

Fall 2005
  • Updated Rope Log form
   

Fall 2005
  • Developed the Medical/Liability Form
   

Fall 2005
  • Created the Group Information Sheet
   

Fall 2005
  • Created the Incident Report Form
   

Fall 2005
   

Fall 2005
   

Fall 2005
  • Develpoed the Mission Statement for the course
   

Fall 2005
  • Inception of LEAD 2813
   

Fall 2005
  • Developed YLC Emergency Action Plan
   

Spring 2005
  • Created Facilitator Work and Learning Log
   

Spring 2005
  • Placed bleachers and tables on the course
   

       
       
  • Incorporated portfolio development into LEAD 2813 (as per Strategic Plan & Assessment Committee)
   
  • Developed check list outline for large group orientation
   
 
  • Developed check list outline for facilitators
   
  • Incorporated the use of Professional Development Plan (PDP) for LEAD 2813
   
 
  • Incorporated the use of Officer Evaluation Forms in place of the PDP for cadets interested in the service for cadets enrolled in LEAD 2813
   
 
  • Updated Manager SOP for the course
   
 
  • Organized the Ropes Course Equipment Room for better accountability of gear
   
 
  • Developed the Participant Experience Evauation
   
 
  • Developed Facilitator Skills Self-Evaluation
   
  • Implemented a refresher training every semester for cadets utilizing the Skills Self-Evaluation Form
   
 
  • Developed Skill Evauation Tools (S.E.T.)
   
 
  • Demarkated Level I and Level II S.E.T.s
   
 
  • Aligned SETs to ACCT Practitioner Competencies
   
       
LEADERSHIP REACTION COURSE
YEAR
ITEM
   
     
 
  • Oranized the LRC Equipment Room for better accountability of gear
   
 
  • Aligned the LRC training manual to USAF guidlines
   
 
  • Modified the leadership section to include Full Spectrum Operations found in Army FM 7-0
   
       

Currently in Development

 
  • Ropes Course Advanced Facilitation and Programming Training Manual (Level II)
  • Summer Supplement to the Ropes Course Training Manual

 

     
 
  • Utilized the Gallup Organization’s StrengthsQuest™ to analyze fit of leadership positions in relation to personal and team strengths and how those strengths will assist them life.
  • Developed ropes course curriculum that focused on leadership development and assessment of group dynamics in relation to performance
 
     
     
     
     
   
References
     
   
Additional Resources
on
Positive Outcomes Associated with Experiential Education and Challenge Courses
 
Stevens, P.W. (1992) Changing Schools Through Experiential Education. ERIC Digest
 
Gillis H. L., Speelman E. (2008) Effectiveness of Ropes Courses. Journal of Experiential Education, Vol 31, No 2 (PDF)
     
Aram Attarian PhD. (2005) The Research & Literature on Challenge Courses. North Carolina State University, Vol 2, 88p
 
 
Cason, D., & Gillis, H. L. (1994).  A meta-analysis of outdoor adventure programming with adolescents. Journal of Experiential Education, 17, 40-47.