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KU Leadership Education Programs

The mission of KU LEAD is to engage all students in developing their own personal philosophy of leadership, which includes understanding themselves, their peers, their community and ultimately the world around them. At its core, KU LEAD programs challenges students to explore leadership through the lens of their own character, passions, relationships, knowledge, intuition, biases, and every day experiences. Whether your commitment is a semester long program or a onetime session, KU LEAD aims to promote continued development of student leadership through innovative, experiential, and reflective leadership experiences. 

Freshman Leadership Connection


The Freshman Leadership Connection (FLC) is a unique opportunity for first year KU undergraduate students to get involved on campus and learn the basics of leadership in an exciting and innovative way. Over 10 weeks in the spring semester, FLC participants will have the opportunity to discover the culture of leadership at KU up close and personal, by networking and sharing personal dialog with campus leaders and executives during leadership excursions.

2018 Confirmed Leadership Excursions: Spencer Art Museum, KU Football Complex, Allen Field House/DeBruce Center, Lied Center, KU Architecture & Design Studios. Participants will also engage in a series of leadership workshops that revolve around small and large group discussions, team building activities, and campus/community engagement. Topics covered include group dynamics, diversity, leadership theory and practice, ethics and values, conflict management, and the development of your leadership identity.

Participant Qualifications: Membership is limited to first year KU undergraduate students.  Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.00 to participate.

Time Commitment: FLC is a 10- week cohort-based program, beginning Monday, February 12, 2018 and culminating Thursday, April 19, 2018. There are eight required Leadership Connection Workshops and a number of elective sessions. Participation at all required sessions and a number of optional workshops, with a total time commitment of approximately 1-2.5 hours each week.

  • Required sessions occur every Wednesday, (February 14 - April 18). In order to encourage matriculation in the program, an action plan will be developed at the Welcome Session for participants to map out the sessions they are planning to attend.
  • In addition to the Leadership Connection Workshops, the welcome and closing sessions are mandatory and are scheduled on Monday, February 12, 2018 (Welcome Session) and Wednesday, April 18, 2018 (Closing Session) from 3:30-5:00 pm.

Attendance Requirements: Freshman Leadership Connection participants must attend all required sessions. There are seven required session, excluding the closing session, and ten optional sessions.

Completion Requirements: FLC participants must earn a minimum of 150 points during the program semester in order to successfully complete the program. The program culminates in a closing session, in which students can create a scrapbook of reflections from the program.

Important Dates:

  • FLC Informational Session – Thursday, January 18, 2018, 4:00-5:00pm (Malott Rooms Kansas Union)
  • FLC Application Deadline - Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Application Link:   https://rockchalkcentral.ku.edu/submitter/form/start/156817

SophoMORE Leadership Challenge

Learn MoreLead More. DoMore. Be More

The SophoMORE Leadership Challenge (SLC) is an eight-week leadership program designed to address the unique issues and challenges sophomores may face and provides innovative leadership experiences to assist students in exploring and understanding their personal leadership style and strengths. Participants gain concrete leadership experience as they participate in innovative workshops, campus excursions, networking opportunities, and team building activities. Throughout the program, students will also have a unique opportunity to reflect on their passions and experiences, as well as create a leadership portfolio in order to prepare for future leadership experience at KU and beyond.

The SophoMORE Leadership Challenge curriculum is grounded in the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership:  

  • Modeling the Way
  • Inspiring a Shared Vision
  • Challenging the Process
  • Enabling Others to Act
  • Encouraging the Heart

Participant Qualifications
Membership is limited to second year KU undergraduate students.  Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.50 to participate.

Attendance Requirements and Time Commitment

Sophomore Leadership Challenge participants must attend all required sessions. There are eight required session, including the closing session, and five elective sessions. Required sessions occur every Wednesday 3:30-5:00pm, (October 4 - November 29). In order to encourage matriculation in the program, an action plan will be developed at the Welcome Session for participants to map out the sessions they are planning to attend.

Completion Requirements

SLC participants must earn a minimum of 100 points during the program semester in order to successfully complete the program. The program culminates in a closing session, in which students can showcase their leadership portfolio and reflections from the program.

Applications Deadline
September 15, 2017 by 5:00 pm
Application status will be communicated via emails by 5pm on Tuesday, September 26, 2017.

Application Link: https://rockchalkcentral.ku.edu/submitter/form/start/71618


KU Quest (QUeer Empowerment SummiT)

KU Quest is a biannual leadership summit designed to empower LGBTQIA students as both individuals and leaders on their campuses, in their communities, and in the world. Each semester KU LEAD partners with the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity for a day long (fall semester) and overnight (spring semester) student leadership summit. Through a variety of workshops, recreational and team-building activities, participants have the unique opportunity to network, learn, and share their knowledge and experiences.  Each retreat uses a comprehensive curriculum which focuses on community building and engagement in critical dialogues that explore and challenge how we think and lead in today’s society.

Some of the objectives of the retreat include:

  • Empowering LGBTQIA students as both individuals and community leaders
  • Providing a safe space to build community and share experiences
  • Educating ourselves and raising awareness about issues within the LGBTQA community
  • Developing strategies and enhancing skills for consciousness-raising within the various communities we belong to by exploring our intersecting identities


Leadership Over Lunch


Leadership Over Lunch (LOL) is a mini-workshop series presented by KU LEAD. Through short 40 minute sessions/workshops, participants can learn various aspects of leadership, as well as engage in conversation about current leadership topics and events. Each session is held over the lunch hour (12:05pm – 12:45pm) three times a semester. All KU students, staff, and faculty are welcome to join for free lunch and leadership talk. Space and food is limited. Early arrival is recommended.

Dates and Locations: TBA


Leadership topics include:

Non-Positional Leadership--Leading from the Middle

Recognizing leadership from the margins

Emotional Intelligence

The Leaders Tool-kit: Integrity, Empathy, Genuineness & Humility

Creating Star Power

Leadership Effectiveness: It Takes More than a Title

Engaging in Productive Self-Reflection

Communication and Teambuilding

For more information, contact kulead@ku.edu.

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