Certified Student Leader Program at the National Conference on Student Leadership

I’ll be heading to Disney in Orlando early November to help kick off the Certified Student Leader Program at the NCSL conference! This past year I’ve been helping the National Center for Student Leadership redevelop this program that has already served thousands of students in the past. The new program will be group based, highly interactive and action oriented! I’m excited! Here is the description:

About the Program:

The Certified Student Leader (CSL) Program at the NCSL conference strengthens your student leadership foundation by developing your skills in three areas – self, group, and campus leadership. The program facilitates deeper processing of the conference material and helps you create an action plan based on your learning at the conference. You’ll take away resources, plans, ideas, and strategies that you can immediately put into practice to move your group and campus ahead!

As a participant, you will complete a series of interactive activities with students from other campuses to help you apply the conference material to yourself, your student group, and your campus community. You’ll dig deeper and reach broader using the CSL Program as a bridge to network and collaborate with students from other schools in a deeper way, forging powerful cross-campus partnerships.


The CSL Program takes place within the conference schedule with over four hours of experiences outside the regular conference activities.

Day 1: You will experience facilitated networking activities designed to encourage rapid connections with participants from other schools. You will learn the group development process by rapidly forming a group with other students. You’ll work with this group throughout the conference, completing activities together and sharing in collaborative leadership.

Day 2: You will select workshops and keynotes that are especially relevant to you and make meaning of the presentations through specific CSL activities. You will process the activities you experienced and close the day with your CSL group.

Day 3: The CSL retreat at the conclusion of day 3 includes interactive activities and lessons on creating strategic plans for your own campus group, project, event, or new idea that you want to launch to your campus community. With the help of program facilitators and a detailed workbook guide, you will develop an idea and create an action plan to implement on your campus. This plan will be assessed to evaluate your learning and motivation from the conference. Upon successful assessment of your plan, you will earn the Certified Student Leader® designation.

Day 4: Conference attendees will recognize your achievement during the awards ceremony to honor the new group of Certified Student Leaders. You’ll leave the conference with your portfolio and tangible tools to be a more autonomous, active leader on your campus.

Learning Outcomes:

Self Leadership

1. Manage time, activity, and achieve greater balance, autonomy, and self motivation.
2. Engage your leadership skills throughout life by responding to difference, change, and making meaningful connections.
3. Develop productive relationships through networking and building partnerships with a diversity of individuals and groups.

Group Leadership

1. Create a strategic vision, goals, and action plans for your student group.
2. Develop you group through collaboratively sharing leadership by recruiting, retaining, engaging, motivating, and delegating.
3. Get others involved at deeper levels through better communication, more confident public speaking, and creative group facilitation.

Campus Leadership

1. Innovate on campus through sharing best practices, implementing new ideas, and using a process to move project creation into action.
2. Use project management tools to recognize resources that can aid in key activities such as communicating to the campus community.
3. Pass the leadership and development on to others through formally sharing your learning with their campus and others students.

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