College of Liberal Arts

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Leadership Project



A core component of the COLA Staff Leadership Academy is the development of an individual leadership project over the course of the 9-month program. The purpose of a leadership project is to empower you to exercise your leadership skills and expand your reach and impact. Developing a leadership project within the container of a collaborative learning community provides support, sponsorship and amplification to catalyze and launch your great work into the world.


You are responsible for selecting and designing your leadership project, with support from the planning team as needed. There is no set blueprint for leadership projects; they can range from designing a proposal to the full implementation of a new program or service. The topic and scope are yours to determine and, in general, should be related to your current role or to your career trajectory.


You will develop your leadership project over the course of the 9-month Staff Leadership Academy. Some participants may have a clear understanding of their projects at the beginning of the program and others may take a few months before their ideas begin to crystalize. The program planning team will lead you through leadership project workshops throughout the program in order to help you envision, structure and share your project.



College of Liberal Arts

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All participants will conduct short presentations of their leadership projects during the final program session in May. If you are someone who has chills run down your spine at the mention of public speaking, please don’t turn away from participating in the Staff Leadership Academy for this reason. As a member of the Staff Leadership Academy, you will be part of a supportive, collaborative, connected community that will support and champion you every step of the way—from the development through the presentation of your project. If you are nervous about this aspect, we would be happy to put you in touch with an alumnus of the program who can share their leadership project experience.