Leaders Engaging in Advanced Discovery

LEAD students sitting at a roundtable discussion

VCU LEAD participants will individualize their out of classroom leadership experience, based on academic major, personal interests and career goals. Each student must achieve specified levels of engagement and numbers of hours in actual service, but where those interactions occur will be designed by the students with advisement from the faculty advisors in VCU LEAD. Because each semester has a theme, students will be encouraged to mirror their activity to the appropriate theme.


Each semester the curricular and co-curricular elements of the VCU LEAD focus on a theme. These themes build on each other throughout the two years of the program.

Semester 1 – Individual Exploration

During the first semester, students in the VCU LEAD will study the individual nature of leadership and experience activities which aid the student’s exploration of his/her individual leadership perspective, skills and abilities. 
Primary Learning Outcomes: Interpersonal Competence; Intrapersonal Development

Semester 2 – Organizational Understanding

The second semester begins the in-depth study of leadership theory and the nature of organizational leadership. Students will study leadership theory in the classroom through an interactive program combining numerous methods. Out of the classroom, students will begin meeting with community leaders as they develop plans for their internships the next fall. 
Primary Learning Outcomes: Knowledge Acquisition, Integration, Construction and Application

Summer Intersession - Reflection

Although there are no formal courses or specified programs during the summer, VCU LEAD students are encouraged to continue to develop their Leadership Portfolios; journal about experiences in summer work, courses and travel; and, join in online chats about assigned VCU LEAD reading. In this way, summer is not a hiatus from the rigor of the program but self-paced program of personal exploration and reflection. 
Primary Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Complexity; Knowledge Acquisition, Integration, Construction and Application

Semester 3 – Active Engagement

The start of the second year in the program students will be engaged in an internship, practicum or shadowing program at a local business, non-profit or educational institution. The students will be expected to actively participate in a leadership context and explore learning through journaling, presentations and formal written papers. 
Primary Learning Outcomes: Humanitarianism and Civic Engagement; Practical Competence

Semester 4 – Synthesis and Transition

The final semester is a time to synthesize experiences and demonstrate knowledge gained. Students will be required to submit evidence of their research into leadership through a poster presentation, scholarly journal submission or presentation at a professional/educational conference. 
Primary Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Complexity; Knowledge Acquisition, Integration, Construction and Application


Co-Curricular Activities

  • Participants will complete at least 20 hours of University service and 20 hours of service in the community each year.
  • Students will attend at least five VCU LEAD events each academic year
  • Students will be encouraged to participate in student organizations and other leadership activities at VCU


Three students' definitions of leadership


VCU LEAD is now accepting applications for the next class of LEADers starting in the Fall of 2018! Please click the "Apply" button to submit your application. If you have any questions, please email leadllp@vcu.edu.