Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to the frequently asked questions about the application process, the cost of the program, specific program questions, and Great Lakes Leadership Academy in general. 


Q: How do I apply?

Applications are accepted online on the Emerging Leader Program application page. 

Q: Can I start the application one day and finish it another, or must the application be completed all at once?

The application automatically saves when you complete one page and go to the next page. If you need to pause and complete the application at a later time, you may do so by typing any text into each required box and clicking through to the end. You will then receive an automated confirmation message with a link to retrieve and edit your application.

Q: Will I be able to change, modify, and/or alter my application as needed before I officially submit it?

If you wish to add information or make changes prior to the application deadline you can do so by editing an existing application. Once you submit your application, you will then receive an automated confirmation message with a link to retrieve and edit your application. 

Q: How will I know my application has been received by GLLA?

Once you have completed all the required information and submitted your application, the system will automatically send you a confirmation email.

Q: Is there an application fee?

There is no fee for applying to the program.

Q: What is the application and selection process?

Applications are reviewed and individual interviews are scheduled with invited candidates. Participants are then approved by the GLLA Advisory Council. Due to the limited participant capacity and the need for a diverse composition of participants in any given group, not all qualified candidates are chosen. Individuals are strongly encouraged to re-apply in subsequent years.

Q: What is the application deadline?

The Emerging Leader Program - the application period for the 2025 Emerging Leader Program closes on October 1. For more information contact us at

Leadership Advancement Program - The application period for the 2024 Leadership Advancement Program closes on September 1. Please contact us at, if you have any questions about LAP.  

Q: What questions will I need to answer as part of the application?

The application requires that you provide school and degree/certificate information, employment history, current leadership roles, and contact information for three references. There are also short answer/essay questions related to your leadership experience.  

Q: Who is accepted into the program?

Great Lakes Leadership Academy candidates are required to demonstrate leadership ability and a commitment to lead in their community of interest. Participants will reflect the diversity of the state including geographical, professional, gender and ethnicity, which greatly enrich the growth and development of the group as a whole.



Q: Is there a tuition or cost for participating in the program?

Emerging Leader Program: Tuition is $3,500, which includes materials, meals and lodging.

Leadership Advancement Program: Tuition is $6,000, which includes materials, meals and lodging.

Participants will be required to cover their own transportation to and from the meeting sites.

For many, a sponsoring organization may be willing to assist with all or a portion of this amount. Limited scholarships are also available from the Great Lakes Leadership Academy, based on need and availability of scholarship funds.

Q: Do employers help pay for the cost of the program?

For some participants, their employers do assist with all or a portion of the tuition cost.

Q: What opportunities are there for financial aid?

Participants are encouraged to seek scholarships from pertinent organizations and communities. Scholarships are also available from the Great Lakes Leadership Academy, based on need and availability of scholarship funds.

Q: Who pays the expenses above tuition?

Organizations and individuals contribute financial support toward the operation of the Great Lakes Leadership Academy. Click here for a full list of program sponsors


Program Specifics

Q: What is the difference between the Emerging Leader Program and the Leadership Advancement Program?

The Emerging Leader Program is delivered over a six-month period, focusing on developing individual and organizational leadership skills, and applying those skills in a collaborative fashion to the common issues of diverse communities.

The Leadership Advancement Program consists of 10 sessions, over the course of 1 year – with additional time committed to complete individual application and group assignments. The program is designed for individuals who are interested in leading for the common good. 

Q: How much time do participants need to commit?

Emerging Leader Program consists of three, 3-day sessions. You should plan an additional one - two days per month to complete individual assignments and group projects.

Leadership Advancement Program takes place in 10 sessions. In addition, participants will work on projects and homework outside of the sessions. You should plan an additional one day per month to complete individual assignments and group projects.

Q: How many people are selected each year to be a part of the program?

There are 24 participants in the Emerging Leader Program and up to 24 participants in the Leadership Advancement Program.

Q: What are the requirements to participate in the program?

An applicant must be fully committed to be involved and participate in all of the sessions and must demonstrate the ability to be away from their place of work for the necessary amounts of time. Applicants must demonstrate a willingness to complete all assignments and fully engage in group projects and sessions.

Q: What are the dates for the program?

Refer to the Emerging Leader Program and the Leadership Advancement Program calendars for the specific dates.



Q: What is the purpose of the GLLA Program?

Although a number of leadership development programs exists in the state, the consensus of the planning team was these programs were focused on training leaders to advocate for special interest and had little or no association with sustainability issues important to all sectors. The team concluded there was a critical need for leadership development that would focus on the issues and challenges associated with helping leaders from diverse constituencies transcend self-interest and create workable solutions for the common good.

Q: Who do I contact if I have questions about the programs and/or application?

Contact the Great Lakes Leadership Academy office at 517.432.8685 or email at

Q: What is the return on investment for employers?

Leadership development is often cited as a critical success factor for any organization, especially during demanding times. Equipping people with the skills necessary to tackle today’s evolving challenges will help lead organizations through these difficult times. The Great Lakes Leadership Academy is a powerful Michigan program that equips participants with skills that promote positive change and yield tangible results. 

Employers will see leaders who can deal with stakeholders and clients positively and progressively.  They will have confidence their employee can communicate the mission of the organization, and represent the organization in collaborating circles.  They can expect to see increased confidence and strength in their employee’s leadership abilities.  A greater understanding of Michigan as a whole and the issues related to economic and environmental vitality will be gained as well.

 Q: What is the return on investment for participants?

Participants gain practical experience in:

  • Self awareness and confidence
  • Consensus building among diverse stakeholders and positive relationship building skills
  • Recognizing the need to be inclusive around contentious issues along with tools for engaging others in the decision making process
  • Individual leadership style assessment
  • Understanding and appreciating personal differences and leadership ethics
  • Personal and group reflection on topics such as conflict resolution, systems thinking, authentic dialog and consensus decision-making