College of Liberal Arts

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College of Liberal Arts

Dean Stevens and the AY 22-23 cohort. 



The Staff Leadership Academy is open to all full-time staff members who have a minimum of 6 months of continuous service at COLA at the time of application. Staff do not need to have prior managerial or formal leadership experience, rather a desire to learn and a commitment to build their leadership skills, enhance their careers, and grow as humans and professionals.


There is no fee to apply nor to attend. Instead, we ask for the commitment of staff time and supervisor support.

Info Sessions

To learn more about the program and hear from current SLA cohort members, please attend one of the following info sessions:

Thursday, April 18th: 12pm-12:45pm

Meeting ID: 960 4570 6771


Wednesday, May 15th: 12pm-12:45pm

Meeting ID: 945 0330 4348

Required Materials

Up to 20 COLA staff will be selected to participate in the program for the 2024-2025 academic year. The application will open May 1, 2024 with a submission deadline of June 14, 2024. 

Applications include:

  • One-page personal statement of interest describing the ways in which you most want to grow as a leader, and what you hope to get out of the COLA Staff Leadership Academy.
  • Résumé or CV
  • Two reference statements speaking to your leadership strengths and areas for potential growth in the program:
    • One from a current or former supervisor
    • One from a current or former colleague
  • Supervisor approval form

Selection for the program will be based on an applicant’s expressed desire for and commitment to personal and professional development. The college will strive to admit a cohort that is representative of varying levels of leadership experience and roles.



College of Liberal Arts

Photo taken by Lauren MacKnight.

“In thinking about applying to this program, I was definitely in a similar boat to most of us thinking that our time, energy, and department resources are limited. How on earth could I make the time to actively participate in this program and experience professional development in ways that were actually beneficial in my day to day job? I can confidently say that this leadership academy is truly transformative and worth every minute that you invest in yourself while participating. I found the time, even when it seemed near impossible. I am a working mom of twin toddlers and I've been able to figure out a way to make the time commitments of the program work for me. I had such a great relationship with my Staff Leadership Academy group, we were able to work with each other in being flexible with our meeting dates and times so that all of us could participate in the weekly meetings. I am at a point in my career where I've experienced some great professional development, but this was nothing like what I've experienced before. Staff Leadership Academy provides an immersive, relevant, and meaningful leadership education, in a way that is relatable to you as an individual no matter where you work and what you do for the university. I've gained so much insight and knowledge that will stay with me far beyond this program and I highly recommend that if you're feeling like you're stuck in a rut with your current role and don't know how to move forward, this is the program for you. I've figured out ways to actually transform my day-to-day work in ways that work much better for me as a whole. I look forward to continuing to utilize the concepts and apply them in my personal and professional life. My advice is take the time to invest in yourself, it is truly worth every minute.”

-Karintha Fenley, 22-23 Cohort