President's Leadership Academy

Integrity, Service, Credibility and Learning

The Sidney A. Ribeau President's Leadership Academy (PLA) is a four-year leadership development program that engages scholars in classes, workshops, experiential learning, and community service activities.  The curriculum focuses on specific outcomes, with each year's experience building on those of the previous year.

About the PLA

Video created by Early Bird Films, a production company founded and owned by PLA Alumni, Matt Henkes (2014 Cohort)

The Scholarship

Individuals selected to participate in PLA will receive a scholarship up to the cost of in-state instructional and general fees, for each year of eligibility. All monies must be applied directly to University charges. No refunds will be dispersed from PLA.

The Scholarship is renewable for a maximum of eight semesters of full-time enrollment (12-18 hours/semester). The Scholarship is only applied during fall and spring semesters.

Admission Requirements

Be accepted as a Bowling Green State University student prior to the PLA application deadline

Completed application to the Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy by stipulated deadline of December 7th, 2022

Complete two essays on selected leadership topics

Demonstrate leadership in high school and/or the community

Demonstrate community engagement and/or service

Complete free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by January 15, 2023

Selected candidates must complete an on-campus interview

Successfully complete the Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy Summer Program

Only current high school seniors are eligible to apply. Applicants must graduate from high school by June 2023.

The Summer Program

Transition to college

Newly accepted students begin their leadership academy experience in July with an intensive four-week summer program that allows them to experience college life firsthand.

Students take college-level courses, read selected leadership texts, participate in seminars and community service events, and take part in various cultural, educational, and experiential learning excursions on the weekends.


Prepare students to lead with integrity at BGSU and beyond

Provide an environment with both academic and co-curricular components challenging students to think critically and reason insightfully

Encourage passionate and talented servant leadership

Provide access to BGSU faculty and staff

Create network of people from diverse corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations to promote leadership education


Four-year scholarship up to cost of in-state tuition

Directed leadership development

Academic, social, and service experiences outside of the classroom

Increased interaction with BGSU students, faculty, and staff

Understanding and appreciation for diversity

Self-Exploration and Personal Leadership Development

The first-year curriculum is an extension of the Summer Program's learning objectives and is designed to help students navigate the educational, social, and personal challenges inherent in a first-year college experience. Scholars will engage in intentional self-exploration to achievethe following learning objectives:

  • Articulate the importance of values and purpose in leadership development;
  • Identify personal strengths and opportunities for growth in leadership development; and
  • Identify and discuss their own social identities, while also identifying how social identities inform interactions with others.

Leadership and Personal Skill Development

The second-year curriculum is focused on building skills that are important to the scholars' leadership development, career exploration, and internship/co-op preparation. The curriculum encourages scholars to refine their academic, leadership, and professional skills-icluding both oral and written communication-to become active participants in- and out- of the classroom. Scholars will engage in skills development activities to achieve the following learning objectives:

  • Demonstrate ability to link the theoretical and practical aspects of leadership development;
  • Apply leadership theory and conceptal frameworks in small and large group settings; and
  • Apply leadership theory and conceptual frameworks beyond the PLA within on-campus organizations.

Professional Skills Development

The third-year curriculum is devoted to service to others and expands beyond basic skills development towards a professional context. Scholars will begin to teach basic leadership development to others, while undergoing advanced leadership development training. The scholars will engage in the PLA Retreat planning process to achieve the following learning objectives:

  • Demonstrate the ability to fundraise for the PLA Retreat;
  •  Demonstrate the ability to lead or facilitate a group to achieve its goals; and
  • Use theoretical and conceptual frameworks to ground learning outcomes for education sessions during the PLA Retreat.

Preparation for Post-College Experience

The fourth-year curriculum is dedicated to preparing scholars for post-college experiences and assuming greater responsibilities for their learning as it relates to the PLA. Scholars will be responsible for effectively and efficiently hosting the PLA Retreat, the Community Service Project, and the Senior Colloquium, while receiving minimal guidance from the PLA Staff. The scholars will engage in the execution of nermous evens to achieve the following learning objectives:

  • Demonstate the ability to analyze and collect information;
  • Demonstrate effective use of multimedia/life experiences; and
  • Self-assess gains in written and oral communication.

Updated: 03/17/2023 08:56AM