The Chancellor's Leadership Class is a four-year undergraduate leadership development program at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) which began in 1997 as an initiative of Chancellor Linda Bunnell Shade. In 2001, the program became more structured, received more staff support, and was able to offer students substantial scholarships as a result of an initial grant from El Pomar Foundation and participation In the Colorado Leadership Alliance.
The mission of CLC is to amplify the potential of CLC Scholars through opportunities for personal growth, leadership development, and community involvement through exposure to unique curricular and co-curricular experiences. Our purpose is to prepare and develop CLC Scholars to be advocates for their personal passion and purpose in life.
Our goal is to help CLC Scholars realize their potential and become confident in their approach to life and commitment to community. The program focuses on accelerated development in the following areas:
1) Leadership studies
2) Applied leadership experience
3) Community involvement
4) Personal and professional development
Scholars take three courses in Leadership Studies to learn more about leadership theory, study the leadership styles of past and present leaders, and develop a clearer understanding of their own leadership traits. The third class in the series is a capstone experience where scholars apply their leadership skills to a special project in a nonprofit organization or business in the community.
Along with their coursework, scholars participate in individual and group service learning projects which provide them with an opportunity to explore the communities in which they live, learn about the needs of individuals and organizations, and make a difference in the lives of others. Scholars are encouraged to identify and select projects in which they can make unique and meaningful contributions and then share and reflect upon these experiences in their classes. During their first year in the program, scholars are required to complete 70 hours of service each semester during their first year in the program. Despite the fact that many of our students work part-time and manage heavy course loads.
Most students exceed the required number of service hours. As scholars progress through the program, the amount of hours may decrease as the level of engagement with service projects increases.
All scholars in CLC meet every Wednesday evening both fall and spring semesters to interact with leaders in the community, discuss current events and leadership ethics, and practice leadership skills. Scholars develop their leadership skills by exploring the following domains of development: effective communication, appreciating diversity, social responsibility, intellectual growth, satisfying and productive lifestyles, collaboration, and realistic self-appraisal. This spring, for example. Scholars will participate in etiquette training, learn more about their personal health and wellness, practice professionalism and public speaking, and gain knowledge about critical issues facing our nation and the world. Scholars learn about the importance of role-modeling through serving as a mentor to their fellow classmates. Upperclassmen are paired with new CLC Scholars and work together throughout the year to provide additional academic and personal support. Community leaders also serve as mentors to CLC Scholars, giving them academic and career advice and, at times, personal guidance.
The overall program requires a substantial time commitment- community service, weekly seminars, and additional program activities. The student body at UCCS is unique in that over 80% of our students are employed either on campus or in the local community. Many of the students in CLC have significant financial need and have more than one job. Providing CLC students with a $4000 annual scholarship enables them to spend more time focusing on their leadership development and volunteering in the community.