The VCU Emerging Leaders Program can best be described as a community!

A community that will support and guide you through your transition to college!


First-year students (mentees) in ELP get a jumpstart to their time at VCU. With the support of their mentor and pod, our first-year students get to know the VCU and Richmond community quickly through a variety of social, leadership, and service activities. Pods meet formally and informally throughout the semester to support one another, share goals, study, and have fun! While the pods are a formal grouping of students through the program, they end up becoming a close-knit group of friends that will be there day one of your time at VCU! There are dedicated professional staff who see ELP students regularly in and out of class. ELP students are paired with a staff guide who will meet individually with them once a semester as a check in and an additional resource.


Interested in growing your leadership skills? As a leadership-focused program, our students get to develop and hone their skills as leaders through coursework and hands-on activities that help them know their behavioral style and leadership strengths. ELP students also are expected to integrate their learning in their VCU and Richmond communities through engaging in 10 hours of leadership and 10 hours of community service each semester. Leadership is learned through lectures, trips, and programs designed specifically for ELP. Our students get to meet community leaders, including the VCU President and Provost, at private events just for us! Finally, all ELP students work on a project-based learning experience throughout the year based on the needs of VCU students, which is presented at the VCU Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute every spring.


VCU ELP is a community. Staff, faculty, and interns meet bi-weekly with all students involved in the program. This is a time to reconnect, realign ourselves with the program, experience personal and professional development experiences, and enjoy time together. We believe that students who have a greater sense of belonging and a support system will be the most successful during their time at VCU. Our program strives to provide that and with over 600 ELP Alumni, we know that our program makes a difference.


How will you emerge as a leader at VCU?

Join the Emerging Leaders Program and find out!