Office of Student Leadership Development

Leadership Lehigh

Leadership Lehigh is currently being "remodeled and updated for Fall 2013"!  All new information should be available on our website by Friday, September 6, 2013.  Until then, information about the program can be found at the following locations:
Applications to apply for the Fall 2013 Cohort of Leadership Lehigh will be available on The Hub beginning on Friday, August 23, 2012.  Interested students can also contact the OSLD, specifically Angie Matos, by emailing the office at

What Is Leadership Lehigh?

Visit The Social Change Model

Leadership Lehigh is a three-year co-curricular leadership program grounded in the Social Change Model of Leadership Development.  In this program students get the opportunity to;
  • Creatively explore and develop their individual leadership skills and styles,
  • Actively apply their leadership learhing through engaging in diverse group projects aimed at enhancing the various communities surrounding them,
  • Intentionally enrich their personal growth and development through guided reflection, which connects their leadership to personal and academic spheres and beyond.

The program consists of three phases, of intensive individual skill development, practical group application of skills learned, experiential group projects and self-reflection.

Why should I get involved with Leadership Lehigh?

Leadership development will be an integral part of your Lehigh experience, and the skills you obtain will be one of the most important and marketable sets of skills you will have when you leave Lehigh and enter the workforce. Additionally, companies, industries, non-profit agencies, and educational institutions have recently made it clear that leadership, communication, and other personal skills are among the most important qualities they look for in new employees. Put yourself at the top of their list by participating in Leadership Lehigh!

Getting Involved with Leadership Lehigh

The earlier you get involved with Leadership Lehigh the more you can learn land gain from the program; this also gives you more time to apply what you have learned to other involvements, coursework and internships, etc.  To comoplete Leadership Lehigh a student needs to have three consecutive years remaining at Lehigh, and ideally most students will apply for and be in the program during the fall semester of the first or second year at Lehigh.

If a student is considering studying abroad or participating in a traditional fall/spring semester co-op experience please read this important note to find out how Leadership Lehigh is designed to wirk with these experiences so a student can fully participate in both!

Involvement in Leadership Lehigh means being Fully Committed

The cohort, or phase, nature of Leadership Lehigh requires a dedication to participation and scheduling on the part of the student.  The nature in which students spend their time will change throughout the phases depending largely on the project that is being completed and the group dynamics of the various teams.

In general, the time commitment for the program is rather standard at 20-25 hours per semester for all phases of Leadership Lehigh.  The attendance policy is taken seriously by the staff in order to ensure that all participants are getting the developmental benefit of the program and can be seen as reliable and valued contributors to the group learning process.  Each student is allowed a total of 2 excused absences each semester, for acceptable academic, varsity athletic obligations and extenuating personal circumstances, rare exceptions are made to this policy.

Leadership Lehigh Activities

The learning in Leadership Lehigh is designed to meet the needs of diverse learners and to engage all students in experiential and hands on activities.  These activities are not another lecture at the end of the day, but truly a way to help students explore the topics and skills that make up leadership.  It is also an amazing way to interact with peers who have the same interest of advancing themselves as leaders for the future, but students might not know from classes or other involvements!
Click on the below activities to learn more about them!

In order to complete the program, students considering studying abroad or participating in a co-op semester long experience must apply during their first year; as those students will be required to take the full year off while they are abroad or off campus at the co-op location, even though they may only be away from Lehigh (abroad or co-op) for one academic semester.

Fall Retreats

A retreat experience serves largely to build excitement and community within a specific phase of students in the program. Annually, retreats are used to welcome participants back to Lehigh, reconnect students with their peers, and jumpstart momentum for the projects they will be working on over the course of the year. These energetic, highly fun focused experiences are designed to build community and connection to the program and other participants.

Concept Workshops

These short content based sessions are designed to introduce students to fundamental leadership concepts and skills in a highly interactive way that allows them to gain new information about themselves, group processes, the larger community and leadership theories. These building blocks are developmentally sequenced to align with a students' personal and academic development at Lehigh and to be a beneficial knowledge base for the group projects they are simultaneously executing.

Group Projects

Three distinct group projects are key learning laboratories where students are given the support they need to work with a team of their peers, rising to the unique challenges that the design and deliverable of each project presents. These projects include;

  • A service learning project during phase one of the program, allowing students to serve and interact with a community agency to ultimately deliver a tangible product that the agency would not be able to execute without their assistance.
  • A short film documentary, challenging students to research and connect to a large societal issue understanding how it impacts the local community. The team will collaborate to creatively portray that issue in an educational and inspiring way for the Lehigh and local community to learn from and be moved to take action around.
  • Altitude Student Leadership Conference, a day long leadership learning conference type opportunity coordinated by a large group of students in the program open to all Lehigh students and those from surrounding colleges and universities. This experience offers the opportunity for the practice of large scale organizational leadership tactics while giving back educationally to other college-aged students.

Collaboration outside of phase cohorts is one of the most enriching parts of the program and is achieved by allowing students the choice of which year to participate in the documentary teams or the Altitude team. This provides maximum flexibility with students schedules and allows them to proactively choose the project that best aligns with their time and interests for a particular year.

Reflection Teams

Integrating leadership knowledge, personal experience, and meaningful action is done in small team reflection times. This team time provides a setting where students can consistently process ideas, questions and learning that is happening in the program and how that connects to their experiences and involvements beyond just Leadership Lehigh. Teams correspond with phase cohorts and because group projects are not done with the same set of students who make up a reflection team, students are able to gain insight into the topics and group process of the other group projects and learn from those experiences as well as their own.

Speakers of Interest

Engagement and support of the academic mission of the university is a simple way to stand out as a leader on campus and one that the Leadership Lehigh program values as important to ensure a well-rounded student leader experience. By attending a variety of intellectually stimulating offerings across campus, (ie. visiting lecturers, theatrical or musical performances, dialogs sponsored by offices and academic departments etc. ) students will be exposed to diversity in thought, which will enhance their ability to critically think about their role as a leader and what effective leadership can look like in action across many disciplines.

Spring Recognition Celebration

Motivating and recognizing the effort and dedication of individual students, project groups and reflection teams is a vitally important and fun celebratory component in Leadership Lehigh. Every spring the entire Leadership Lehigh program gathers to celebrate the close of the semester with fun, food, music and games to relax and reward all participants for successfully completing the year and personally growing as leaders. This event is the only time that all of Leadership Lehigh gathers as a large group and the informal setting allows students to connect with their peers over the common leadership learning experience they have all shared.

The Benefits of Committing to Leadership Lehigh

Enhanced Professional Marketability

Many companies, industries, non-profit agencies, and educational institutions have made it clear that the skills that they most often seek out in new employees are not necessarily discipline or job specific, they are leadership skills.  Understanding oneself and the interconnectedness between individuals, groups, the surrounding communities, and the global world are some of the most critical core competencies needed by students leaving Lehigh.

  • The Leadership Lehigh program provides students a safe and non-threatening opportunity to enhance their self-awareness, build and practice leadership skills, and gain valuable experience working in diverse teams to execute shared goals.
  • Participating in Leadership Lehigh will elevate any Lehigh student to the top of the candidate list by giving them tangible, real world experiences that demonstrate how they are able to interact successfully with others in any setting.

The Opportunity to Personally Grow and Contribute to Others

Teamwork and the ability to execute an individual role productively and effectively in a team atmosphere is a powerful skill set and what truly sets mature college students apart from their peers.

  • Leadership Lehigh presents students with multiple ways to practice, evaluate and improve how they collaborate toward a common purpose in a way that empowers individuals and multiplies the group's overall effectiveness to reach a vision that may not be accomplished by one individual alone.
  • By dedicating time to Leadership Lehigh, students will be able to connect closely with peers and upper class student mentors centered on the execution of meaningful projects that directly serve the local community and that enhance the education and growth of the Lehigh student community.

Relationships that Span Colleges, Organizations and Living Environments

Even in relatively small environments it can often be challenging to connect beyond those that are seen every day in classes or living areas.  Leadership Lehigh draws students from all three undergraduate colleges, and actively recruits students from all backgrounds.  The presence of diversity, in all forms, is foundational to the development of leadership that aims to make the world and society a better place for others.

  • Students in the program will have the opportunity to work in three different project teams, that both stay within their phase cohort and that span into other phase cohorts.  Additionally, each year students have different small teams that serve as home base groups to guide meaning making and reflection.
  • Leadership Lehigh aims to cultivate students who will choose to engage in understanding, connecting, and advocating for others.  Along with that it provides a safe space for genuine dialog where students seek to gain understanding of various perspectives with the motivation to then lead their peers in understanding as well.