Overview of Program


To cultivate a spirit of multidimensional leadership development that inspires students to act with passion and lead with integrity as a means of transforming our communities.

Learn…Lead…Leave a Legacy

The Emerging Leader Program (ELP) is built on the understanding and expectation that leadership can truly be learned, practiced, and utilized by all individuals. In fact, the program defines and is committed to the perspective that “leadership is a dynamic process of self-discovery that fosters a passionate vision, collaborative relationships, and congruency between values and actions directed at empowering positive change in our communities.” The ELP is a structured program designed to strengthen your leadership knowledge and skills. In completing the program, you will experience opportunities that foster your self-discovery, promote collaborative relationships, and emphasize empowering communities.

Benefits of Participation in the Emerging Leader Program

Students will be expected to participate by regular attendance, completion of reporting forms, participation in group discussions, and activities. Come to sessions prepared to participate in group discussions and activities with questions and comments. Students who are a part of this program will be evaluated based upon the quality and satisfactory completion of all program requirements.

Structure: The ELP provides you with structured requirements that guarantee the growth and development of comprehensive leadership skills over the course of one academic year.  After completing the program, you will receive recognition and awards at the annual YSU Awards Banquet.
Support: As an Emerging Leader, you will be matched with an Emerging Leader Graduate Assistant, Becca Wolke, who will assist you on your leadership journey. In addition, you will have an opportunity to develop a leadership network with other students participating in the program.
Skills: The ELP will provide you with an opportunity to build the skills that are in demand by prospective employers and community organizations. Your leadership development experience will help you build knowledge and skills that will contribute to your success in your career, in your relationships, and in your community.

As a result of completing the ELP, you will receive a notation on your academic transcript; an official leadership transcript; an ELP medal and certificate at the annual awards banquet; and the ELP service pin. Perhaps more importantly, you will have further developed the qualities and skills that are needed to be successful, to create a better community, to empower others, and to leave a positive legacy.

Emerging Leader Program Requirements

All students enrolled in the ELP seeking the Leadership Certification must complete the curriculum established. It is designed to enhance leadership knowledge and skills. Students must complete the Core Competencies (8 Workshops), Saturday Explorations (8 Sessions), University Traditions (6 events), Service (40 hours), and Organizational Involvement.

Leadership Core Competency Experiences (8 Workshops)

This consists of a series of 8 experiences that focus on important development related to leadership. The programs are delivered in a very engaging and experiential manner.
Following the workshop, members will complete a reflection to add to their binder. The reflections will allow members to develop their own understanding of how the workshop has affected their growth in their leadership skills.
These workshops are scheduled once a month on a Wednesday (4:00 pm-5:00 pm) throughout the academic year.


  • Leadership Journey                                                                                            
  • Visionary Leadership                                                                                                          
  • Ethical Leadership: A Key Characteristic                                       
  • Inclusive Leadership          
  • Managing Stress as a Leader
  • Communicative Leadership
  • Conflict Resolution                                                                            
  • Interpersonal & Group Dynamics                                                                                    
  • Portfolio Presentation                                                                       


Saturday Exploration (8 Sessions Required)

Students seeking certification must attend one Saturday Exploration Workshop per month. You will find the program scheduled to be engaging, interactive, and involving by design.
One of these Saturday Workshops will be a LEAD Exploration.  This program is an exciting and interactive way to challenge participants while working in a team environment.  The event is structured to stimulate leadership development through adventure-challenge activities.  During this experience participants will have an opportunity to collaborate with other student leaders in engaging activities committed to enhancing teamwork, group problem-solving skills, communication, and individual and group development.
Other experiences may be service related to assist in meeting your community service hour requirements or additional leadership training workshops.

University Tradition/Community Engagement Activities (6 Events Required)

All ELP participants must complete an additional 6 University Tradition/Community Engagement Activities. These are campus events that are intended to further enhance leadership development.  As part of the ELP, a variety of programs that serve as electives are scheduled throughout the academic year.  A variety of options will be determined by the Graduate Associate and program participants will be expected to complete a minimum of three per semester.

Service & Support (40 Hours)

Leadership involves service to others.  As a result, all students enrolled in the ELP must engage in at least 40 hours of community service.  The Office of Student Activities can assist you in finding appropriate service opportunities and offers several opportunities (e.g., food drive, Giving Tree, etc.) throughout the academic year.  In addition, you may request approval for service projects in which you are currently involved or service that you are completing as part of another organization or academic course.

Organizational Involvement

Leadership involves action and the direct application of knowledge and skills to improve our communities.  All students enrolled in the ELP must actively participate in one or more involvement opportunities (e.g., registered student organization, intercollegiate athletics, theater production, Student Government, community organization, etc.)


Leadership Journey Portfolio Presentation (1 Workshop)

As a part of completing the program all participants must develop and complete a portfolio on your Leadership Journey.  A Wednesday session in April will be devoted to a portfolio presentation for the campus community to learn what you have accomplished during your time in the Emerging Leader Program.

For all other questions, email Caleb Queen, Coordinator of Student Involvement in Student Activities Office at mcqueen@ysu.edu.