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Presidential Leadership Program

The Presidential Leadership Program is a unique mentored cohort program that provides opportunities for outstanding Ripon College students to pursue personal achievement, professional development, and academic excellence. The program has the following goals:

  • To challenge intellectually talented students to excel academically,
  • To develop students’ leadership potential,
  • To encourage students to develop wide-ranging interests,
  • To promote students’ facility with the critical exchange of ideas,
  • To enable students to become more attractive candidates for national scholarships, graduate school, and professional employment,
  • To prepare students for exceptional and lasting contributions to their community and profession.

Students apply for the Presidential Leadership Program in the spring semester of their first year at Ripon College. Successful applicants participate in a 1-credit course during both semesters of their sophomore year. Cohort activities continue throughout a student’s remaining two years at Ripon.

Catalyst for Change

During both semesters of the sophomore year, students will participate in a 1-credit course entitled “Catalyst for Change.” Building upon the skills developed in the Catalyst Curriculum and in other courses at Ripon, this course will focus on developing the leadership skills needed to be an effective change-agent in the community. Students will employ a social change model of leadership to design and implement community engagement projects, with the goal of having a marked impact on the local region.

Special Events

Students in the program will also be invited to attend special events as they occur throughout the year. This will include “Book Club” discussions with President Messitte, VIP dinners and receptions, and opportunities to interact with faculty, invited speakers, special guests, and members of the College’s Board of Trustees. To support their professional and scholarly development throughout their time at Ripon College, program participants will have regular individual advisory meetings with the President and program coordinator, as well as opportunities to engage with previous program cohorts. Finally, participants will be encouraged to take advantage of programming by the Center for Career and Professional Development and the National Scholarship Advisors.

Selection Criteria

Applications to the Ripon College Presidential Leadership Program will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Strength and breadth of fall academic performance (minimum GPA of 3.5 required)
  • Good standing within the campus community
  • Quality of application statement
  • Breadth and depth of non-academic experience
  • Strength of faculty reference
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