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The Leadership Academy Mission

Student Involvement & Leadership Development’s (SILD) Leadership Academy provides leadership skill development opportunities focused on learning and self-reflection through a series of workshops, activities, and interactions that will empower students to become leaders at NIU and beyond.

The Leadership Academy Program Goals

The Leadership Academy is committed to enhancing students’ self-awareness, preparing students to have a positive impact at NIU and the greater community, developing students’ leadership skills to enhance their future personal and career success, and fostering connections between students and the University.

Overview of the Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academy is a three-tiered, self-paced leadership program. In the Leadership Academy, students have the opportunity to join organizations, attend workshops, write reflections, present their learnings to others, and much more. The Leadership Academy is open to all NIU undergraduate students. Students can begin the Leadership Academy at any time by completing a Leadership Academy application. Activities for the Leadership Academy are based on the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, which provides opportunities for students to enhance their learning and facilitate positive social change. By participating in the Leadership Academy, students will be able to understand and apply the 7 C’s of leadership: consciousness of self, congruence, commitment, collaboration, common purpose, controversy with civility, and citizenship (Komives & Wagner, 2009). To learn more about the monthly Leadership Academy workshop offerings, visit our Leadership Events webpage.

Tier 1: Personal Leadership

Tier I is an introductory leadership tier that allows students to learn more about their personal leadership style. Through assessments, attending workshops, participating in campus and community life, and working with the Assistant Director for Leadership & Student Organizational Services, students will begin to see how their leadership style has developed and how to most effectively utilize their leadership style in their professional and personal lives.

Additional materials needed for Tier I:

Values and Leadership Activity

Reflection Rubric

Tier II: Campus & Community Leadership

Tier II provides students with the opportunity to develop their individualized leadership styles in the NIU and DeKalb community. Through increasing their participation on campus, attending workshops, creating a resume, and working with the Assistant Director for Leadership & Student Organizational Services, students will begin to incorporate their personal leadership styles/skills to make a difference to the campus and community. At the conclusion of Tier II, students will earn a leadership certificate.

Additional materials needed for Tier II:

Online Portfolio Instructions

Reflection Rubric

Tier III: Leadership Culmination

Tier III allows student leaders to formally summarize and reflect on leadership skills they have gained throughout the Leadership Academy. At the end of Tier III, students will receive the honor of Leadership Academy Distinguished Leader. Students who receive the Distinguished Leader honor will be recognized during SILD’s Kevin D. Knight Leadership Awards Ceremony and will receive a graduation cord to wear during their graduation ceremony (TENTATIVE).

Additional materials needed for Tier III:

Online Portfolio Instructions

Reflection Rubric

For more information on the Leadership Academy, please contact Mary Kate Olofson at or 815-753-6595.

Contact Us

Student Involvement & Leadership Development
Campus Life Building 150
DeKalb, IL 60115



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