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. The mission for PLP is to develop active, informed civic leaders who practice ethical, inclusive leadership and embody positive humanitarian characteristics, such as optimism, service to others, passion, mindfulness, and fairness.
If students decide to participate in all three years of PLP, they are eligible to earn the Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies Minor.
Leadership MinorThe Interdisciplinary Minor in Leadership Studies builds on the foundational course work in the President’s Leadership Program.
CoursesParticipants in PLP will learn and practice leadership in A Call to Lead, Leadership Styles and Effective Leadership.
ApplicationLearn more about how to apply for the President's Leadership Program.
Opportunities OfferedView the other opportunities the President's Leadership Program offers!
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 accepted on a rolling basis. We look forward to your application.
Are the 2021-2022 applications open?
Yes! Our application is currently open.
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. A Call to Lead (IU 170/171) and Leadership Styles (IU270/271) are both 2 credits each semester, while Effective Leadership (IU 470/471) is 3 credits each semester.
- 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.
- We strive to create a community of students who get to know each other and learn from each other both inside and outside of the classroom.
When are the classes?
- A Call to Lead and Leadership Styles classes take place on Tuesday evenings from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. (2 credits per semester).
- Effective Leadership takes place on Tuesday nights from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. (3 credits per semester).
What is the class size?
- Each PLP class is comprised of 15-30 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?
Simply, no. Students only apply and are admitted to one year of PLP at a time. If you hope to continue in the program to earn the Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies Minor, then you must complete all years 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 and Effective Leadership students participate in a service weekend trip in the spring semester, Leadership Styles students spend 4-5 hours a week with a for-profit or non-profit organization where they examine and reflect on leadership within that organization.
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. 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. The CSU President is very supportive of PLP, visiting with students in the Effective Leadership 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 Colorado Leadership Alliance 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 Styles, a student receives 2 credits per semester (4 credits per year). For Effective Leadership, a student receives 3 credits per semester (6 credits per year). Completion of the entire 3 years equates to 14 elective credits. In order to receive the Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies Minor, a student needs to take an addition 2 credits per semester (4 credits per year) of a Research or Practicum component that is approved by the ILSM advisor.
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.
What is a leadership field experience? What is the time requirement?
The leadership field experience (LFE) provides an opportunity for students to observe and reflect on organizational leadership, behavior, and change. It allows for students to put theory into practice. The LFE takes place in the spring semester of Leadership Styles. Students are required to volunteer 4-5 hours per week in addition to their class time.
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.
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.