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Resource Information for Scavenger Hunt


The Student Leadership Challenge


Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a dynamic and effective

national student organization that helps young men and women become strong leaders in

families, careers and communities through Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Education.

FCCLA is one of the largest networks of youth representing more than 219,000 members in over

6,500 chapters active in 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

FCCLA empowers youth to address personal, work and societal issues through individual

and chapter projects. Youth involvement in FCCLA offers members the opportunity to expand

their leadership potential and develop skills for life necessary in the home and workplace. FCCLA

has been influencing potential leaders since its inception in 1945, but it has never had a formal

leadership program available to all members until now.

Recently FCCLA has partnered with Wiley Publishing to bring chapter members and their

advisers The Student Leadership Challenge (SLC) written by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z.

Posner. Kouzes and Posner have dedicated almost 30 years to studying what makes leaders

effective. They began in 1983 by asking hundreds of people of all ages, backgrounds, and

experiences what they did when they were at their “personal best” in leading others. By asking

ordinary people to describe extraordinary experiences, they found patterns in the attributes of

effective leaders.

These patterns shaped the formation of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership:

Model the Way

Inspire a Shared Vision

Challenge the Process

Enable Others to Act

Encourage the Heart


Lesson: FCCLA & the Student Leadership Challenge

The five practices, according to Kouzes and Posner, are not about personality traits but about

behaviors. Behaviors anyone has the potential to develop.

The SLC provides a research-based foundation for students to learn how to grow as

leaders. FCCLA promotes leadership and decision-making processes through FACS classes,

chapter activities and project implementation. As a result, students learn to:

accept responsibility

develop leadership skills

collaborate and build relationships

develop an appreciation for diversity

analyze and solve problems

apply academic and interpersonal skills

adapt to and positively effect change and

establish positive work-related attitudes and habits.

By incorporating the SLC into FCCLA practices, projects, and activities, students have even

greater opportunities to develop their leadership potential.


A series of lesson plans are available to assist FCCLA advisers in teaching the SLC and

the Five Practices to their students and chapter members. Lessons can be taught consecutively

as part of a unit, separately as it applied to course curriculum, or used as part of the curriculum in

a leadership class. They are general enough to apply to any FACS related curriculum but can

easily be adapted to be content specific as well. They can also be incorporated in the FCCLA

national programs and STAR Events (Students Taking Action with Recognition) to guide students

in project development, planning, and execution. It should not be seen as a separate project or

program, but as a means for developing behaviors that will help students grow as leaders and be

empowered to take an action in their chapters, schools, and communities.


Lesson: FCCLA & the Student Leadership Challenge


Teachers/advisers are encouraged to use the SLC as a textbook to support students’

understanding of the concepts imbedded in the lessons. The SLC is written for a college-aged

audience but may be appropriate reading for juniors and seniors. Even if teachers/advisers do

have the students read the book in its entirety, there are sections, anecdotes, and examples

appropriate for all age groups. The end of each lesson plan will reference the chapter that

corresponds with that particular lesson. At the end of each chapter in the SLC, there are

additional exercises that teachers can use to help students build their understanding of each


The SLC also offers an online assessment (Student Leadership Practices Inventory

(SLPI)) for chapter members to get a full assessment of how they rate in each of the Five

Practices. This assessment is unique in that observers, family, friends and colleagues, also

submit information and is part of the assessment. This allows students to analyze how they see

themselves compared to how others see them in terms of their leadership ability and potential. By

engaging in this process students will learn that leadership skills:

are essential in today’s world

make them more competitive for college and the workplace

help students think through their own roles in their own lives

can be applied to any situation, including their roles and experiences in FCCLA.

If teachers/advisers elect to use the SLPI, it is recommended that they begin with the SLPI

Module so that students’ results and planning for growth can be incorporated into each

subsequent lesson. Teachers/advisers may also want to consider having students take a second

inventory after they have completed the lessons and had the opportunity to put these behaviors

into practice. FCCLA members, especially those in elected leadership positions, could take the

inventory each year as a tool to support and encourage continued growth and leadership



Lesson: FCCLA & the Student Leadership Challenge

Whether you are working with your chapter leadership team or helping

members develop projects; the Student Leadership Challenge has something for everyone. “The

Student Leadership Challenge is about how student leaders mobilize others to want to get

extraordinary things done in organizations. It’s about the practices they use to transform values

into actions, visions into realities, obstacles into innovations, separateness into solidarity, and risk

into rewards” (Kouzes & Posner, 2008, p. 1)

The guide and lesson plans were prepared by Brooke Weekes, Carmel High School,


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