You can experience leadership in action to compliment your robust academic content taught in the Leadership courses. You can choose to engage in experiences that connect you to community leaders, varying leadership models, and differing organizational contexts and systems. Participating in our leadership co-curricular programs allows you to have hands-on leadership experiences and learn lessons in leadership taught by the experts. You will  connect classroom lessons to real world situations as you explore the importance of a strong leadership presence in response to a community crisis. During your co-curricular experiences within the Leadership Institute you will discuss issues affecting young leaders with other leaders on campus and in the community.

Student Leadership Council

The Student Leadership Council is the student organization branch of the Leadership Institute and is led by the three Leadership Institute Fellows. With a governing council of approximately 20 students, the Leadership Institute is student-led in all major events and activities. At the monthly All-Institute Nights you will find out how to become involved in the many events coordinated by the SLC.

Under the direction of the Campus Engagement Student Director, you can get involved with the Campus Engagement team and be involved in the planning of campus activities such as Homecoming competitions, and the Spring Celebration. All banquets and socials are planned by students on the Campus Engagement team as well as the LI Fall Orientation and Scholarship Interview Day.

The Community Outreach Student Director mentors the Community Outreach team. If you want to be involved in your community then this team is for you. You can provide leadership for volunteer opportunities, help plan the Spring Community Kick-off, or keep others informed through the newsletter.

You can choose to be involved with promoting the Leadership Institute through enhancing the LI social media, promoting the LI at outreach events, create invitations or other marketing materials for LI events or provide photographic or technology skills. All of these activities are completed by students within the Leadership Institute working with the Student Leadership Council.

Leadership Challenge Event™

Each year, the Leadership Institute hosts an annual leadership competition for high school and college students called the Leadership Challenge Event™. This event is the only one of its kind, challenging participating teams to demonstrate leadership as individuals and within teams to in order to complete challenges and overcome obstacles placed before them throughout the interactive simulation. This event is created and executed by Leadership Institute students for high school and college students across the country while also involving over 150 local community volunteers. Learn more about how to get involved by clicking the link below!


High School Leadership Academy

The High School Leadership Academy is a week-long leadership camp for Shawnee County high school students entering their junior year of high school. This immersion experience utilizes the adaptive leadership framework to explore how high school students can create positive change in their communities by learning to effectively diagnose a situation, manage self, energize others, and intervene skillfully. The week features Topeka leaders from a variety of sectors throughout the community to help students understand how it takes leadership at all levels to help a community thrive. Click the link below to learn more!


Leadership Experiences

The Leadership Institute offers various leadership experiences for you as you become involved with the Institute. Students can do this through networking with community business leaders, attending national or international conferences with peers, or experiencing leadership within organizations. Interested in some of the opportunities below or want to learn more? Complete a student information form and make plans to attend the next All-Institute Meeting!

PALS in the Community

Once you have completed LE300 or have been on the Student Leadership Council you may choose to participate in this program. Students are matched with leaders in the greater Topeka community who are alumni of the Leadership Greater Topeka program. If selected, you can take advantage of this community connection by scheduling formal shadowing or informal discussions that fit within your schedule. Matches are made based on certain criteria, including major, career field, and hobbies or interests.

Leadership Conferences

The Leadership Institute provides opportunities for involved students to attend regional, national and international student leadership conferences. These conferences provide students the opportunity to learn from recognized speakers and leadership facilitators alongside student leaders from other institutions. Students can connect and network with these peers who have similar interests and future aspirations.

Leadership Labs

The Leadership Lab program, created by the Leadership Institute, is designed to provide students with the opportunity to see leadership in action in a wide variety of organizations and environments. Each Leadership Lab takes you into a new environment where you are introduced to unique organizational and operating processes that require a specific leadership style in order to be successful. You observe this leadership, learn why the particular style is used in the given situation, and discuss its appropriateness and effectiveness. Each Leadership Lab includes an introduction of the student to the group or organization, travel to the site, a tour of the facilities, an overview of the leadership model employed as presented by the leaders of the lab site, and a debrief session analyzing what they observed and experienced. Some of the most popular Leadership Labs have been the Blackhawk Helicopter unit, Hutchinson Correctional Facility, Pine Ridge Prep, and a Capitol Dome tour.

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