Course Overview

Many managers need to learn the difference between being in charge of people and leading them.  They learn this later but should have the understanding earlier on what their team needs to be successful.  It’s not winning, it is moving forward.  There are leadership traits that can be identified so that everyone in a responsible position can identify, improve, and utilize them in their careers.  There are ethical considerations for management decisions that should be walked through personally and then with the organization.  We look inside ourselves for our values and incorporate them into our goals.  Healthy leaders understand their actions impact everyone around them.

This course will teach students about ethical decision-making and who is actually a leader as it may not be who they think. They will research leaders and scenarios and work in groups to make good, better, and best decisions based on what they learn.  Legal is not always ethical, so those decisions may be confusing unless guidelines are followed.  They will understand different styles of leadership, and how they handle conflict using that in a positive way.  How to fail first to eventually succeed.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University noncredit transcript.

Learning Objectives

After taking this course, the students will be able to:

  • How to determine between a manager and a leader.
  • What are the ethical decision-making steps when faced with challenges?  
  • What are some of the main leadership traits and how to identify and learn to follow them when in a position of authority?
  • Who are some of your heroes and why?
  • The understanding of your conflict/communication style and how to work with that.
  • Analyze different leaders and their impacts.
  • Being a focused but mindful leader

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: SCN 162

Format: On Campus (at Syracuse University)

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school sophomore, junior, or senior status – or a 2024 high school graduate. 

Credit: Noncredit

Grading: Pass/Fail


  • Residential: $2,195
  • Commuter: $1,726

Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – On Campus: Experience what college is really like: take a college-level course, live in a residence hall, have meals with friends in a dining hall, and participate in activities and events on campus.

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse Dates Class Time (Eastern Time) Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – On Campus 1-Week Session I: Monday, July 8 – Friday, July 12, 2024MTWThF;
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Class times subject to change.

Required Materials

Technology Requirements

The laptop would be helpful in research and possibly write short essays at the end of the week.  No books are needed.  All required print stories or articles will be provided in class.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Day One – the difference between managers and leaders – discussions of leadership traits

Day Two – History of leadership – an interactive story from Harvard Business focusing on a historic leader and their decision-making and traits that allowed for both failure and success.

Day Three / Day Four – Students bring in a short verbal report about their favorite leaders and match it with the ethics and traits already presented. Short videos or documentaries about unethical events, for example, have students take notes for discussion. What could that leader have done differently?

Day Five – A guest visit from a local leader in person or via Zoom, students will begin working on an outline for their short personal leadership papers.

Instructor Bio

Joyce Placito

Joyce Placito holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University conferred in 2006. She has an undergraduate degree in Business Management, with a concentration in economics from Cazenovia College. She also holds certificates in community leadership, and conflict management along with being a certified sustainability practitioner. 

She has been a college instructor for 13 years, at Cazenovia, Keuka, and now at the Whitman School at SU.  She also was a Syracuse School mentor for several years and a substitute teacher.  

Joyce Placito has a strong business and community background.  Her special topics are business law, ethics, sustainability, and marketing.   

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