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 Matthew Henkes, '18, who is a member of the 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 January 15, 2021

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, 2021

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 2021.

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 helps students navigate the educational, social and personal challenges that are part of the first year in college as they define their leadership philosophy and mission.

Leadership and personal skill development

Students build skills that are important to their success as leaders while exploring career choices and preparing for internships and co-ops. The curriculum encourages students to refine academic, leadership and professional skills—including oral and written communication—to become active participants in student organizations and to prepare to be effective teachers as well as learners.

Professional skill development

Students begin to teach basic leadership development to others while gaining advanced leadership training. Goals include sharing leadership knowledge with others in a structured environment, becoming a leader in a student organization(s) and participating in an internship, co-op or student exchange program.

Preparation for the post-college experience

A capstone experience including a formal oral presentation punctuates the end of the fourth year. Students plan their annual retreat and devise their own community service project.