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Leadership Academy

Register for the 2018 Sophomore Leadership Retreat!

Sophomore Leadership Retreat Video #1     Sophomore Leadership Retreat Video #2

Video Testimonial #1     Video Testimonial #2     Video Testimonial #3     Video Testimonial #4

>>Pictures from the 2017 October Retreat<<

>>Pictures from the 2017 September Retreat<<

>>Pictures from the 2017 August Retreat<<

The Sophomore Leadership Retreat aims to build leadership skills through the following activities:

  • High Ropes course
  • Low Ropescourse
  • Kayaking/Canoeing
  • Team Games
  • Team-building challenges

Transportation, accommodations, meals, and activities are provided. The weekend is completely free to participants, although a $20 deposit is required when registering.  


Join us for the Leadership Academy Seminars!

The 2017-18 Seminar Series has concluded.  Please check back over the summer to register for the 2018-19 Seminars, which will begin in October.

Open to any student at Illinois Tech, the Leadership Academy Seminars aim to provide attendees with an opportunity to learn about specific leadership topics in a fun and engaging way.

Each Seminar focuses on a particular topic in leadership and is lead by a presenter that has expertise in that area.  The goals for each Seminar are:

  • To teach attendees about the topic utilizing a non-lecture style through active learning, discussion, critical thinking, and group collaboration
  • To prepare attendees to utilize the knowledge, skills, and tools learned in the Seminar in the classroom, workplace, or everyday life.

Each leadership Seminar lasts 4 hours (10:00 am - 2:00 pm) and will take place in the MTCC Ballroom.  Lunch will also be provided to all participants.  

2017-18 Leadership Academy Seminar Recap - click on Seminar title for more information:

  1. Saturday, September 30th, 2017: Bridging Leadership
  2. Saturday, November 4th, 2017: Uncovering your Leadership Potential
  3. Saturday, February 3rd, 2018: Creativity and Leadership
  4. Saturday, March 3rd, 2018: Leveraging Diversity and Inclusion
  5. Saturday April 14th, 2018: Leading Through Divisive Times

About the Academy

Founded in 2000, the M. A. and Lila Self Leadership Academy at Illinois Tech is an undergraduate education initiative that trains students to be capable leaders and empowers them to inspire the same in others. Sponsored through generous gifts from M. A. (Al) and Lila Self, and John Mitchell, the academy works to:

  • Create and implement an effective leadership-development program for all undergraduate students at Illinois Tech
  • Promote a culture of leadership and innovation across the Illinois Tech community
  • Identify, develop, and support students with exceptional leadership potential
  • Evaluate leadership development outcomes at the individual and program levels

Joining the Leadership Academy

Please note: the 2018 Leadership Academy scholarship application process has officially closed.  The Leadership Academy will search for new applicants begin again during the first week of January, 2019.

If you submitted your scholarship application before the deadline but still need a Faculty/Staff member to complete your nomination form, please use this link:

faculty/staff nomination form

To apply for membership in the Leadership Academy, candidates must complete a comprehensive electronic application. An interdisciplinary team of faculty and staff evaluates each application using a standardized scoring rubric. Promising candidates are invited to a half-day simulation designed to assess their current leadership abililities and potential; professionally trianed assessors from Illinois Tech's Department of Psychology observe, record, and score the simulation exercises. 


Programming and Participant Benefits


Significant multi-year tuition scholarships for undergraduate students.  Click here for application information

View the current and alumni Scholars


Assignment to mentors and leadership apprenticeship programs


Individual coaching and mentoring from the executive director and program manager


Five leadership development seminars per academic year. Check them out here


Senior capstone project where students in their final year of the Academy design, develop, and deliver a four-hour, campus-wide leadership workshop


Sophomore Leadership Retreat—a 2-½ day retreat in the woods of Michigan focused on building leadership and team skills. Sign up for the Retreats here!


Attending Chicago civic group meetings, meeting with individual members of the Illinois Tech Board of Trustees, and attending an annual luncheon with alumni of the academy