Presidential Leadership Academy


Welcome to the Presidential Leadership Academy! This weeklong intensive experiential learning Academy is intended to help you in your leadership journey at JMU and beyond. Through participation in the PLA it is our hope that you will have the opportunity to explore and expand your beliefs about leadership and your leadership style and roles.

It is an honor to be invited as organizations are chosen based on the impact of the organization on the campus and in the community.


The Presidential Leadership Academy (PLA) is an intense one-week leadership institute for invited presidents of major, University- wide student organizations. This will take place on campus May 7-12, 2017. The institute will be designed to develop and enhance leadership skills, create and contribute to a sense of community among campus student organization leaders, as well as increase their network of support and their knowledge of the University and the surrounding community.


The purpose of the PLA is to support and grow student leaders, as well as to prepare them to be good stewards in their current and future leadership positions. We will provide experiences to help students understand the impact that leaders can have on the greater campus and community; as well as work to create a stronger culture of growing and mentoring younger members in the organizations to be ready to take on leadership roles.

The Presidential Leadership Academy will not only bring together a network of student leaders, but a network of campus and community resources to work together to strengthen the scope and impact of these students and their organizations.


Each day the institute will be coordinated by a LEAD facilitator. This person will create large group experiential learning opportunities, as well as large and small group and individual reflection. Each day has an overarching theme such as Building Community and Leading With ¬†Integr14182562832_5a56da807a_zity. Lead facilitators will be selected based on their expertise working with students and the daily theme. Participants will also be assigned to a Small Group, which will be facilitated by a pair of faculty/staff/Graduate Students. The Small Group is the formal support and reference group for the participants during the week, and the Facilitators serve as the group’s resource, catalyst, and coach. The Facilitator is not a parent or gatekeeper. Instead, the Facilitator serves as a bridge between the Learning Community and learning application in the Small Group.

Housing and Meals

Housing will be provided off campus at Camp Horizons’ Valley Pike and it is mandatory for all participants to live in the housing for the entire academy. Details will be posted as soon as they are available.

All meals will be provided for you. Each meal during the week will be sponsored and hosted by a different office on campus. The offices will have their staff members present to interact with all of you and to share with you their resources. Additionally, the staff members are hoping to hear from all the participants their thoughts and insights regarding their resources and services. For example, the Alumni Office will host a meal and share Alumni Leadership opportunities with all of you, and hope to hear your feedback about how best to keep you involved as alumni.

Hours and Evening Activities

14191090033_6254a4ac17_m-2Participants will not be able to hold any outside jobs or obligations during the week. The PLA will meet all day, through dinner and also have group events in the evening.

Following dinner each day there will be evening activities for the you to enjoy together. This will be a time for the participants to get to know each other, try new things and to have some fun!

Activities will be mandatory and will run from after dinner (6:30pm) until approximately 10:00pm. Times will vary each evening. (These activities are all free of charge for participants!)


Please read the agreement closely at the end of the registration form that asks you to confirm that you understand that the PLA is substance free week for all participants.

We hope to see you at PLA 2017!




Check out our 2014 PLA video HERE!