Curriculum could soon be required for all Sponsors, RAs
Daren Mooko, Pomona’s Associate Dean of Student Affairs, has looked forward to implementing the 4-7 Program for three years. It has taken that long to research and organize his new leadership development program, which began as a pilot course this semester.
“It’s taken a little bit longer than we thought it would, but we wanted to make sure we were doing it right,” he said. “I’m just so glad we’re finally there.”
The program will be open to all Pomona students who want to learn leadership skills, regardless of previous experience. However, it may be a requirement for some student leaders on campus. Mooko said the program could be required for all applicants to Pomona’s Sponsor and Resident Advisor programs as soon as next year. By consolidating their training, Mooko hopes to reduce repetition of content and strengthen the overall instruction experience for each participant.
Inspiration for the 4-7 Program comes from the unique, non-traditional Social Change model put forward by UCLA’s Aston Group.
“What [the Aston Group] model is saying is that leadership is about a process, not just fitting into a pre-existing position,” Mooko said. “It’s about a whole group of people, and unless the goal is social change then really what you’re about is just self-promotion. I thought that was something the college could really get behind.”
In addition to Pomona’s infamous “47,” the program’s name comes from the four years of a student’s college career in which Mooko hopes they will come to understand the program’s seven “C” principles. These are Collaboration, Consciousness of Self, Commitment, Congruence, Common Purpose, Controversy with Civility, and Citizenship. Put together, Mooko believes these skills are crucial for an effective leader who wishes to promote change.
Students will explore the seven C’s in workshops that faculty and community leaders will teach within their area of expertise. In last week’s first pilot meeting, students explored Controversy and Civility. The workshop, led by certified conflict-mediator Sefa Aina, Director of the Asian American Resource Center, focused on conflict awareness and communication in working environments.
“It’s something that you don’t always think of when you see leadership development, like public speaking and how to organize a meeting—which are important—but we thought, ‘let’s get to the things we think are very critical,’” Mooko said.
This semester’s pilot program will cover four of the C’s, but Mooko aims to include all seven when the yearlong program begins in the fall.
Mooko said the 4-7 program will be amenable to the needs of individual participants from the beginning and will strive to maintain a low-key attitude.
“What’s most important to me is that this program attracts students who otherwise wouldn’t be involved,” Mooko said. “Maybe they didn’t want to be a sponsor or run for student government, but they want to learn about these skills. It’s not a position, it’s a process, and I want students to see the new program as a resource for them.”