Skip to main content
The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Summer Leadership Development Academy

This one-week course will guide high school students in developing core skills and knowledge for effective leadership. Leadership begins with being grounded in one’s own vision, values, strengths and growth areas. The course begins with helping you to develop a deeper understanding of yourself, and then examines how you can apply your learning to lead others and influence the world around you.

No prior leadership experience is required. This course meets you where you are and helps you to design a path for your own development as a leader. The program will include live lectures, discussions, small groups, games, and applied learning modules. It is designed to be highly interactive. Questions we will explore: Who am I? What do I value and why? What are my strengths? What is leadership? In what ways do I want to impact the world?

During the course, you will:

  • Develop your own personal leadership plan
  • Gain an increased self-awareness of your unique talents
  • Develop strategies to turn your natural talents into strengths to enhance your ability to achieve your goals
  • Utilize a powerful self-assessment tool to assess your own personal leadership style, values, and beliefs
  • Practice and strengthen your facilitative leadership skills
  • Make new connections with other students

Students of all backgrounds, beliefs, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, national origins, religious affiliations, sexual orientations, ability – and other visible and nonvisible differences are welcome in this course.

Schedule: Online Live Sessions Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 1:00pm - 4:00pm (EDT) via Zoom, plus asynchronous, independent work outside of class meeting times.

Instructor: Karen Miller

Karen Miller brings over 20 years of experience as leadership educator, administrator, and trainer. She has created and directed effective leadership programs for both high school and college students. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Stonehill College, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration and an Ed.S. in Higher Education Policy and Leadership from UMass Amherst. Karen currently teaches a career and professional development course for undergraduates in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.