Frequently Asked Questions

The LAP is an all-inclusive experience. The $6,000 tuition covers comprehensive educational materials designed and delivered by experts as well as the cost of all meals, lodging, and international travel and airfare.
GLLA hosted two informational webinars for the 2024 Leadership Advancement Program. Prospective applicants as well as employers of current or potential applicants were invited to join us to learn more about the 2024 LAP. During the webinar, we shared a brief overview of the program, applicants heard reflections from an esteemed panel of LAP alumni, and we concluded with a Q&A.

Click Here to watch the recording from the July 14th LAP Informational Webinar

Click Here to watch the recording from the August 14th LAP Informational Webinar

Leadership Advancement Program

Q: When should applications be submitted?

We are accepting applications until midnight on September 1, 2023. We review applications once they are fully submitted.

Q: What is the overall time commitment to participate in LAP?

Participation in the LAP requires a considerable time commitment. It is important to have the personal and professional support for participation in this program. We strongly encourage each applicant to have conversations with their spouse/partner/family and their employer and clearly disclose the amount of time and commitment necessary to complete the program.  Outside of scheduled sessions, there will also be two group projects and expected readings totaling about 20 hours of additional work across approximately nine months (March – December 2024). The LAP 2024 calendar can be found here:

Q: Are there anticipated costs outside of the tuition?

Tuition covers all the lodging, food, and travel once you are on-site for the program. Airfare to South Africa is included. You are responsible for travel to and from venues in Michigan for the regional learning experiences.

Q: Any financial assistance available?

Yes, we offer a limited number of scholarships to offset the LAP tuition costs. Award amounts vary based on the number of scholarship requests we receive and funds available. Installment payments can also be arranged upon request. We also encourage scholarship applicants to seek financial support from local/state entities in addition to applying for internal/GLLA scholarship funding. 

Q: Are there any specific prerequisites for LAP?

No. The Emerging Leader Program is not a prerequisite to participate in the Leadership Advancement Program. In some cases, individuals have chosen to participate in both programs across their leadership journey. 

Q: How often is LAP offered?

The LAP is typically offered every other year. The next LAP cohort will kick off in 2026.

Q: How many applications do you typically receive?

Our GLLA programs are highly competitive which is why we have such a robust application process. We anticipate receiving at least two applications for each spot available in the cohort.  

Q: Is GLLA LAP open to applicants outside of Michigan? 

Yes. All participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Michigan meeting locations.

Q: Where will the classroom intensives be held?

Mt. Pleasant, Michigan at the Comfort Inn and Suites Conference Center.

Q: What can we expect from the international capstone trip?

The LAP capstone travel experience is a tremendous opportunity to explore and learn about leadership, community development, food systems and agriculture, and natural resources and conservation from a global lens. The cohort will fly from Michigan to Hoedspruit, South Africa. Our final destination is the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) which sits on the border of Kruger National Park. The College is registered as an accredited Higher Education and Training institution specializing in training conservationists and building a skilled conservation sector for Africa. The SAWC campus has accommodation and catering facilities on site and is enclosed by a perimeter fence so that individuals can walk safely inside, while wild animals are seen and heard on the other side of the fence. We will be staying onsite at the College in double, ensuite dorm-style rooms. As a cohort, we will also embark on several immersive experiences (aka field trips) within a couple hour drive from the College. The College has a large bus that we’ll use to travel to/from the immersion sites. Michigan State University has a strong partnership with the SAWC.

Q: Any tips for completing my application?

Using our system, you may choose to begin your application and return to finish it later. We recommend putting a placeholder such as an “x” in every question and submitting. This will send you an email confirmation with includes a link for you to click on and edit your responses.

Q: If I am unable to make the commitment for LAP, what other opportunities are there?

We offer one-day Leadership Intensives in various locations across the state. Contact to be added to the newsletter and interest list for this program and others.


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, lodging and international travel and airfare.

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. Individuals in ELP engage in interactive learning in order to develop greater self and group awareness, improve interpersonal communication, and analyze systems and situations more effectively.

The Leadership Advancement Program is an action-packed, year-long program that includes: 2 classroom intensives, 3 community-based regional experiences, 2 virtual cohort projects, and 1 international adventure. The LAP is designed for leaders who are committed to strengthening their leadership skills and empowering their communities and organizations to lead for the common good. This transformational leadership experience offers a mixed approach to learning designed around meaningful reflection and application.

Q: How much time do participants need to commit?

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

Leadership Advancement Program consists of seven in-person sessions and three virtual sessions over 12 months. In addition, participants will work on group projects outside of the sessions.

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 20 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