SLiCE Leadership Programs:
President's Leadership Program

Established in 1989 as a one-year program, CSU’s President’s Leadership Program (PLP) has grown to a three year, fourteen credit leadership development experience for undergraduate students. In addition to traditional classroom learning, students participate in retreats, service projects, and internships that allow them to apply their knowledge and training. Each year of the President’s Leadership Program is an independent learning experience and students may choose to participate in one or more years of the program.


Everything You Need to Know About the President's Leadership Program

Leadership Minor

The Interdisciplinary Minor in Leadership Studies builds on the foundational course work in the President’s Leadership Program.


Participants in PLP will learn and practice leadership in A Call to Lead, Leadership Styles and Effective Leadership.


PLP Scholars are a small group of students who participate in a four-year leadership development experience.


The President’s Leadership Program is pleased to announce several scholarship opportunities now available.

Colorado Leadership Alliance

The CLA supports the development of the next generation of Colorado’s leaders.

President's Leadership Program Presents: This I Believe

In a global society where problems and solutions cross disciplines and borders, there is a critical need for effective leaders. The President’s Leadership Program develops tomorrow’s leaders through a series of academic courses and experiential learning activities that equip them with the knowledge, skills, and commitment to make positive change.

It is our belief that all students have the potential to lead, and it is our intent to prepare leaders who are capable of navigating an increasingly diverse, global, and technological world. Applications for the President’s Leadership Program are available in November and can be found by clicking here. Applications are due March of the spring semester.


President's Leadership Program FAQ

When are applications due?

  • The application deadline for the 2018-2019 President’s Leadership Program is dependent on your class standing.  Applications for incoming first-year students are due March 1, 2018.  Applications for current CSU and transfer students are due March 28, 2018.

Is PLP a class or a program?

It’s both! Students receive elective credit for participating in the President’s Leadership Program; 4-6 credit hours per academic year (please reference Question 13 for information on the credits). PLP is a program because there is an application and selection process, much like Honors or Key (other credit-based programs at CSU), and students are part of a larger community of learners.

When are the classes?

  • A Call to Lead and Leadership as Life classes take place on Tuesday evenings from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. (2 credits per semester).
  • Leadership Capstone takes place on Tuesday nights from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. (3 credits per semester).

What is the class size?

Each PLP class is comprised of 20-30 students.

What "type" of student are you looking for?

It is our belief that ALL students have the potential to lead, and it is our intent to prepare leaders who are capable of navigating an increasingly diverse, global, and technological world. That said, we do not look for a specific “type” of student. We want students who want to learn about leadership, service, and themselves!

Do I have to participate in all three years of PLP?

Students only apply and are admitted to one year of PLP at a time. As such, students must reapply for every subsequent year of PLP.

If I'm in PLP but do not get into the next year, am I out of the program?

We encourage students who are not readmitted to PLP to apply again the following year. In many instances, having the extra year of experience makes students very competitive the following year.

What is the time commitment?

Classes meet weekly on Tuesdays for either 2 or 3 hours. In addition to class, students are required to attend program-wide functions such as the Fall Welcome, Fall Retreat, and Spring Banquet. In the spring semester, each class has an experiential-learning activity designed to complement course content. A Call to Lead students participate in a service weekend trip in the spring semester, Leadership as Life students volunteer as interns 6-8 hours per week in the spring semester, and Leadership Capstone students participate in a day-long retreat in February.

What is the workload?

PLP homework is similar to other classes (e.g., research papers, presentations, readings, group projects) but the focus is more introspective, reflecting on what the student has been doing and learning in class. We have found that the workload is generally less than traditional academic classes because so much of the learning takes place inside the classroom. Our students have reported that the work completed through PLP develops their understanding of leadership theory, styles and practices; clarifies their personal values and ethics; and provides a conceptual framework for organizational behavior, global and cultural diversity, and service.

Are there scholarship opportunities?

PLP students who have been involved with the program for at least one semester are eligible for scholarships each year. There are no scholarships available to incoming first-year/freshmen students.

How competitive is it to get into PLP?

The program seeks students who have a desire to learn, grow in their leadership, and better themselves and the communities around them. We look for potential as much as experience (please refer to Question 5 for more information about our students). We receive approximately 250-300 applications per year of which we accept 125 students (40%-50% of those who apply).

Is the President's Leadership Program part of the President's Office?

PLP is housed within the SLiCE office. President Frank is very supportive of PLP, visiting with students in the Leadership Capstone class and attending many of our special events.

What are the similarities between other leadership programs at other universities?

Often, similar values and objectives are found within each of the leadership programs that fall under the CLA umbrella, but the content of the courses and culture of the programs may differ. We encourage you to research the different programs to find the right fit for you.

What does "credit-based" mean?

You receive academic, elective credit for participating in PLP! For A Call to Lead and Leadership as Life, a student receives 2 credits per semester (4 credits per year). For Leadership Capstone, a student receives 3 credits per semester (6 credits per year). Completion of the entire 3 years equates to 14 elective credits.

What kind of credits do you receive?

Credits for PLP contribute to fulfilling the “general elective” requirements necessary for graduation. They do not fulfill AUCC or major requirements.

What are the service weekends? Are they required?

For students participating in Year 1 of the program, A Call to Lead, there is a required service-learning weekend that takes place in the spring. Concepts such as diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice are applied during preparation for and implementation of the service experience. Travel costs and accommodations are covered by the program.

When is the internship? What is the time requirement?

Internships for PLP take place in the spring semester of Leadership as Life. Students participate in an unpaid internship with either a non-profit or for-profit business in the surrounding Fort Collins community. Students are required to work 6-8 hours per week at their internships. Students often associate their internship experiences with their academic majors or career interests. For example, a business major may intern at an accounting firm or an engineering major may intern at a research laboratory.

When will we find out if we have been accepted?

Incoming first year students will be notified Mid-April. Current CSU and incoming transfer students will be notified by the end of April. 

Does CSU offer a Leadership Minor?

Yes – visit the Leadership Minor page for requirements.

Can you study abroad?

PLP is a three-year program that allows students to take a year off to study abroad. Upon return, students are encouraged to reapply for PLP and continue with the program.

What other opportunities does PLP offer?

  • PLP is a member of the Colorado Leadership Alliance (CLA) which offers our students beneficial development experiences such as networking events, luncheons, and seminars. These events take place in conjunction with the other 10 universities that are members of the CLA.
  • By being in PLP, students are constantly exposed to opportunities within the campus community and outside of it, including leadership receptions, prominent speakers, and service experiences.

What is the Colorado Leadership Alliance (CLA)?

CLA supports the development of the next generation of Colorado’s leaders at the collegiate level through collaboration between academic programs and the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The Colorado Leadership Alliance is the only alliance of its kind in the United States. At eleven public and private institutions across Colorado, CLA leadership programs are preparing top students to become capable leaders of Colorado’s future through academic coursework, internship, externship and service learning experiences.

Is there PLP-specific housing?

Housing for one select section of the first year of PLP, A Call To Lead, is available in Durward hall. To seek this opportunity, one must select their interest in living with the Leadership Development Community on their PLP application.

What is the Leadership Development Community (LDC)?

The Leadership Development Community (LDC) is one of CSU’s Residential Learning Communities comprised of a diverse group of students who live together on the 12th floor in Durward hall.  Students in this community are able to explore social justice issues and express their solutions throughout this year commitment.

What is "SLiCE"?

  • SLiCE stands for “Student Leadership, Involvement, & Community Engagement.” With a variety of leadership and community engagement programs, the SLiCE office at Colorado State University provides an important link between students, involvement opportunities on campus, and their surrounding communities.
  • The President’s Leadership Program is one of the many opportunities available through SLiCE.

Can engineering students at CSU earn PLI credits for completing PLP classes?

Yes – click here or visit the PLI Page under course information.