Center for Civic Engagement

The Social Change Model of Leadership

Student interacts with a dog at the humane society.

Leadership is a process, not a position. Through the Social Change Model of Leadership (SCM), leadership rests on the values of equity, social justice, self-knowledge, personal empowerment, collaboration, citizenship, and service. The CCE uses the SCM as a lens with which to understand community engagement and change.

The Higher Education Research Institute (1996, p. 16) describes leadership as “All people are potential leaders. Leadership involves collaborative relationships that lead to collective action grounded in the shared values of people who work together to effect positive change.” 

This view on leadership is inclusive and is essential to creating a better world for us all.

To support this view of leadership, the CCE collaborates with a variety of community organizations to offer civic engagement experiences for every WSU students. We seek to provide students an opportunity to learn about themselves through learning about the components of their community.

Our goal through these activities is to create change. 

Student reads document to another student.

“Change… is the ultimate goal of the creative process of leadership to make a better world and a better society for self and others.”  (HERI 1996, p. 21)


Modeling Change

The Social Change Model is understood as consisting of three components ( individual, group, and society) and seven values, known as the seven C’s.

Social change model diagram which is explained below.

In the SCM, an individual can enter the process at any point: as an individual, as part of a group, or as a member of society. Within each component, you will find values that are important to creating change. Change is the hub which the SCM revolves around.

The first component, the individual, includes the values of consciousness of self, congruence, and commitment. The second component, the group, includes the values of collaboration, common purpose, and controversy with civility. The final component, society, includes citizenship as its value.