living leadership group photo

Living Leadership Program

The Office of Student Life is committed to the development of student leaders at College of DuPage. The Living Leadership Program is designed for students interested in building their leadership skills and confidence while actively participating in our vibrant campus community.

What is the Living Leadership Program?

The Living Leadership Program is a free non-transcript certificate program at College of DuPage focused on developing students into active leaders and positive change-makers. Students may begin the program at any time and completion of the requirements is self-paced. The program is divided into two phases to meet the diverse needs of College of DuPage students:

  1. Introduces you to leadership and focuses on leading of self and others through practical skill development workshops and involvement in campus life. Students who complete phase one are honored at the Annual Student Life Celebration and Awards Ceremony in the spring semester. After completing the portfolio students are also eligible to move on to Phase 2.
  2. Builds on your leadership experience by guiding you through expanded topics in leadership including servant leadership, ethical leadership, articulating a vision, and developing a personal leadership philosophy. Students are required to complete additional skills workshops, volunteer hours, and the Leadership Development class (Humanities 2210, 3 credits). Students who add the Living Leadership components to their leadership portfolio and capstone project receive a Living Leadership Certificate, a Living Leadership medal to wear at graduation, and will be honored at the Annual Student Life Celebration and Awards Ceremony in the spring semester.

Our philosophy is simple. We believe everyone has the potential to be a leader, and everyone can make a positive impact in their community. The program is guided by the Three Tenets of Leadership Philosophy:

3 Tenets of Leadership

Using these three tenets to make a positive impact on your community is living leadership.

Through participating in the Living Leadership Program you will:

  • Make a difference on campus, in the local community, and beyond
  • Discover your top talents and learn how to develop them into strengths
  • Develop a personal leadership philosophy and skills to be a successful leader
  • Gather experiences to enrich your future applications and interviews
  • Create a leadership portfolio of your unique experience in the program
  • Join like-minded students with an interest in leadership

 The Living Leadership Program focuses on developing 6 leadership competencies:

  • Confidence
  • Self-Understanding
  • Decision Making
  • Social Responsibility
  • Other Perspectives
  • Verbal Communication

Program members will have the opportunity to engage in activities that develop these competencies in a variety of ways including:

  • In-Person Workshops
  • Virtual Activities
  • Self-Guided Leadership Development Activities (Available 24/7 on-demand)

To participate in the Living Leadership Program you must:

  • Be currently enrolled in at least one credit hour
  • Be in good standing with the college (GPA minimum of 2.0)

Students who meet these requirements can:

  1. View the Informational Video 
  2. Sign up to begin the program: Online Sign Up
  3. Start your leadership journey!

Effective immediately, the Living Leadership Program will be located in ChapLife. Once you sign up to begin the program, you will be added to the program and have full access to the program steps.

The program is divided into 2 phases. You may begin at any time and completion of the requirements is self-paced. Students planning on completing both phases of the program may take the Leadership Development class at any time.

Once you begin the Living Leadership Program, you will receive a Program Guide that outlines the entire program and has all the information and resources you need to successfully complete the portfolios and the final capstone project.

To complete Phase 1 you must:

  • Participate in a club, organization, team, Peer Mentors, or Student Ambassadors group on campus and submit a reflection form
  • Attend 3 leadership development experiences (in-person or virtual)
  • Complete the "Introduction to Clifton Strengths" experience and reflection form
  • Complete any 1 self-guided leadership development opportunity
  • Submit a capstone reflection form about your Phase 1 experience

To complete Phase 2 you must:

  • Continue involvement in a campus group
  • Attend an additional 3 leadership development experiences (in-person or virtual)
  • Successfully complete the Leadership Development class (Humanities 2210, 3 credit hours) that includes a Service-Learning experience.
  • Complete the Pathways to "Public Service and Civic Engagement" experience and reflection form
  • Submit a capstone reflection form about your Phase 2 experience

To complete the Capstone Project you must:

  • Submit a Capstone Project (guide provided)
  • Give a brief presentation about your program experience and leadership journey

All students who complete certificates will be honored at the Annual Student Life Celebration and Awards Ceremony in the spring semester.

Program Activities and Schedule

To meet the needs and interests of students, the following leadership development opportunities. Students may choose which experiences they would like to do to meet program requirements. All requirements are outlined in ChapLife.

Summer Leadership Retreat

The Living Leadership Retreat is an annual leadership development retreat hosted by the Living Leadership Program at College of DuPage. The retreat is a FREE one-day experience that includes teambuilding games and choose-your-challenge activities. Choose-your-challenge will encourage students to step outside their comfort zones in a safe and supported environment.

The retreat is open to new and returning students who enrolled for the fall semester of 2024. Students must be enrolled in at least 1 credit hour for fall at the time they register for the retreat. The deadline to register is Friday, July 5, 2024. Late registrations may be accepted depending on space availability. T-shirt size cannot be guaranteed after July 5.

Leadership Workshops

  • Leadership workshops take place in-person and virtually and explore a variety of topics that explore leadership, build leadership skills, and ways students can live their leadership every day.
  • Topics include Constitution Day panel discussion, National Voter Registration Day forum, Regional Student Leadership Conference, Introduction to Clifton Strengths, Mindful Leadership, and Reflective Goal-Setting, Leadership and Social Justice, Communication Skills, Ethical Leadership, Global Leadership, Transitioning Leadership, Personal Values, and more.
  • Program members can check the Living Leadership Program ChapLife for most up-to-date event information with new events added regularly

Self-Guided Leadership Development (On-Demand)

  • Self-guided Leadership Development opportunities are select topics that have been transformed into self-paced learning experiences.
  • Topics include personal values and skills assessments, goal-setting, listening to leadership podcasts, reading leadership focused books, and viewing leadership themed documentaries and feature films.
  • They are available 24/7 on ChapLife under the "Self-Directed Leadership Development" experiences area.

Leadership Development Class Registration Information

  • Leadership Development (Humanities 2210) is designed to help students understand the nature of leadership, develop their personal leadership philosophy and prepare them to become leaders at home, on campus, in their community, and in their professions.
  • This class meets the Living Leadership Certificate requirement and transfers as an elective course. Contact an academic advisor for additional transfer information.
  • Interested in viewing the syllabus? Email Dr. Stephanie Quirk to request a copy or ask questions.


COD Stories

Hisham Elswefi

"Every time I think of the word ‘leadership,’ I view trust, boldness, compassion and creativity as fundamental elements." - Hisham Elseweifi

Hisham's COD Story

COD Stories

Stephanie Torres

"The Living Leadership Program retreat was probably the single most important moment for me. It was out of character because I believed I was too shy and could not do something like that. However, I realized I was capable of more than I thought." - Stephanie Torres

Stephanie's COD Story

COD Stories

Veronica Williams Hall

"Being at COD has been a life-changing experience because at a community college, school really becomes about you.” - Veronica Williams Hall

Veronica's COD Story

COD Stories

Matt Brousil

"I honestly had no idea how great a resource College of DuPage was going to be for me.” - Matt Brousil

Matt's COD Story

COD Stories

Dianne Hlinsky

"At COD, I felt connected to a campus for the first time. I made more of a contribution to student life and the campus community than I ever did at either of my previous schools.” - Dianne Hlinsky

Dianne's COD Story

Contact Information

Office of Student Life
Student Services Center (SSC), Room 1200
(630) 942-2243