Building an In-House Leadership Development Program in Higher Education

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This training will not be available asynchronously.

Building an In-House Leadership Development Program in Higher Education

This event has ended.

Learn flexible and proven approaches to developing leaders on campus. 


Leadership development has emerged as one of the most important priorities for institutions today. The pandemic revealed the strengths or weaknesses of an institution’s leadership—at all levels—while the resulting Great Resignation starkly revealed the depth or shallowness of an institution’s leadership bench. Most institutions are now investing heavily in building leadership programs, but each of those approaches it differently. 

Academic Impressions has helped more institutions to develop in-house leadership programs than any other organization in higher education, and in this unique two-day event, we’ll share what we’ve learned over 15 years of developing leaders and supporting in-house programs. Whether you are simply dipping your toe in the leadership space for the first time, or you’ve run a successful cohort-based program for years, we’ll share a wealth of resources, methods, and approaches that you can implement right away to develop the next generation of leaders at your institution. 

Our Approach  

We have intentionally designed our program to explore multiple ways to develop leaders. Whether this is accomplished via one-off programs, cohort programs, or something in between, we’ll show you how our frameworks, models, and content can be adapted to fit your needs. In addition to sharing proven leadership resources, special attention will also be paid to ensuring that your programs center inclusivity and develop innovative and forward-thinking leaders. 

Program Format  

You’ll receive a comprehensive workbook that can act as a roadmap for making critical decisions—a roadmap built over many years after working with dozens of institutions. Because leadership is learned through practice, we don’t just walk you through how to develop a leader’s self-awareness, interpersonal skillset, or development of high-performing teams; we’ll also allow you to experience tools and activities in each of these areas to help you determine what will be a good fit for your needs.   

To help preserve a practical and interactive environment, attendance for this program is capped at 30 participants. 

Who should attend?

This event has been designed for those who are responsible for developing, managing, or facilitating leadership programs, created to meet leaders where they are. The roles and responsibilities vary dramatically by institution, where the programs live, as well as by the leadership experience and expertise of the individuals running them. We have run this program since 2014 and regularly attract leaders from HR, the Provost’s Office, Faculty Affairs, the President’s Office, and even from divisions who want to build their own programs (Advancement, IT, individual schools and colleges, etc.) Everyone will be able to take something away from this event.

Get Certified to Facilitate the Five Paths to Leadership℠ Self-Assessment

After this event in Denver, stay on for a two-day workshop on June 5-6, 2024, and learn to effectively facilitate the Five Paths to Leadership℠ Self-Assessment with groups on your campus. Register for both, and receive a $300 discount! Spots are limited so register now!


Your registration fee includes full access to all conference sessions and materials, breakfast, lunch, and access to the networking reception on Monday, breakfast and lunch on Tuesday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference. 
DAY ONE: Monday, June 3, 2024
8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. MT (Local time in Denver, CO)
Registration & Breakfast 
8:00 – 8:30 a.m.



Welcome & Introductions 
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



Establishing a Framework
9:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Regardless of whether you are designing a one-off program or multiple cohort-based programs, your approach to developing leadership needs to be rooted in a deep understanding of what leadership is and how it is learned. We’ll share Academic Impressions’ model for leadership development and how you can incorporate it into your work.



9:30 – 9:45 a.m.



Exploring Multiple Models and Approaches to Leadership
9:45 – 11:00 a.m.
There are so many ways to build the capacity of leaders on campus, and your approach will vary depending on whether you’re just starting out or building on an established, cohort-based program. In this session, we’ll walk you through various decision points, including:

  • Who the program is meant to serve (faculty, staff, students, mixed?).
  • The level of the program (for new and aspiring leaders, mid-level, advanced).
  • The outcomes you hope to achieve.
  • Where the program should live on campus.
  • Whose support and sponsorship you need (and how to get it).
  • Various funding approaches.
  • Who should deliver the program (internal vs. external experts).
  • Considerations around project-based learning.
  • The pros and cons of 360s.
  • How to incorporate coaching and mentoring.
  • And more.



Case Study: Cohort-Based Program for Aspiring and Current Academic Leaders 
11:00 – 12:00 p.m.
In our first deep-dive case study, you’ll learn about Marquette’s Faculty Exploring Leadership Opportunities (FELOS) program. The program has served more than 5 cohorts and has multiple measures of success. We’ll explore how the program originated, its goals, its curriculum, and elements of the program you may wish to adopt.



12:00 – 1:00 p.m.



Building a Future Leadership Model
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Higher education is changing dramatically, and the skills required to lead in the future may differ from the skills prized by current leaders. In this session, we’ll engage in a horizon thinking exercise and lead you through a separate exercise to prioritize a set of leadership concepts and skills that should be included in your program. Both exercises are easily replicated on your campus so that large groups of stakeholders can help you to shape your leadership program.



2:00 – 2:15 p.m.



Developing Self-Awareness 
2:15 – 3:30 p.m.
The foundation of effective leadership is self-awareness, so you have to decide how you’ll want to help participants learn about themselves. We’ll explore multiple leadership diagnostics, as well as other critical elements of self-awareness (values identification, intersectionality, helping participants define their own leadership style, etc.)



Reflection and Work on Roadmaps
3:30 – 4:15 p.m.
We’ll use the last part of the day to allow you to synthesize the most important takeaways and update your roadmaps, so that you are able to capture and document your next steps.



Wrap-up & Final Q&A 
4:15 – 4:30 p.m.



Networking Reception (included in registration fee) 
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
This informal reception is your chance to decompress, have some refreshments on us, and expand your network of connections. Our programs are intentionally designed for smaller groups, so this is a great time to catch up with the attendees and speakers with whom you may not have connected yet.



DAY TWO: Tuesday, June 4, 2024
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. MT (Local time in Denver, CO)
8:00 – 8:30 a.m.



Check-in and Reflections from Day 1 
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



Leading Others: Creating More Effective & Inclusive Meetings
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
One of the areas that leaders struggle with most is knowing how to run more effective and inclusive meetings. Too often, agendas are dominated by the loudest voices, derailed by critics, and not everyone gets a chance to participate. We’ll show you an interactive exercise you can include in your programs to help leaders to develop one of the most important, if overlooked, leadership skills.



10:00 – 10:15 a.m.



Using the Five Paths to Leadership℠ Self-Assessment as a Model for Learning Leadership
10:15 – 10:45 a.m.
One of the most powerful lessons from the morning exercise is that we all approach leadership differently; this is not just a powerful reflection for deepening self and other awareness for our participants, but it also has implications for how leadership programs are designed and delivered.



Case Study
10:45 – 11:30 a.m.



Reflection & Roadmap Working Time
11:30 – 12:00 p.m.
The morning is full of tips and models that you can use in your programs, so we’ll take time before lunch to update your roadmaps so that you are able to capture and document your next steps.



12:00 – 1:00 p.m.



Best Practice Sharing
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
One of the most powerful takeaways from this program is the community of practice that we build with practitioners who are doing this work every day. We’ll create dedicated and structured time to share best practices of what you’ve learned—what resources have been the most valuable, strategies for creating engagement and interaction, tools and assessments that have been received well, and more.



Case Study
2:00 – 2:45 p.m.



2:45 – 3:00 p.m.



Roundtable Discussions: How to Make this Work for You 
3:00 – 3:30 p.m.
No two programs are alike, and we’ll have explored myriad factors involved in helping you to design high-impact programs regardless of your goals or constraints. In this interactive session, you’ll have the chance for small-group discussions in order to ask any burning questions that remain and to make sure you have a clear sense of how you want to proceed.



Finalizing Your Plan & Wrap-Up
3:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Following our discussion, you’ll work in pairs or small groups to finalize your next steps for how you want to take the wealth of ideas and information you’ve gained back to campus to put it into practice.

Save on In-Person Conference Registrations

Attend any three in-person conferences for $5,000 for Members ($5,500 for Non-Members) – or $1,667 dollars per registration for Members ($1,833 for Non-Members) – with a Conference 3-Pack. There’s no one way to use your 3-Pack!

  • Send 3 people to the same conference
  • Send 3 individuals to different conferences
  • Experience 3 different conferences yourself

Learn More


The training will be conducted in person at Academic Impressions’ Denver-based office at:
5299 DTC Blvd, Suite 1400, Greenwood Village, CO 80111


Nearby hotel suggestions:


Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center – 3-star hotel
8300 E Crescent Pkwy, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Distance from office: 0.5 miles if driving, 0.3 miles if walking

A room rate of $154/night is available if you book your room using this link.

This reduced rate and room availability are subject to general hotel availability and not guaranteed. So, we recommend booking as soon as possible!


Denver Marriott Tech Center – 4-star hotel
4900 S Syracuse St, Denver, CO 80237
Distance from office: 0.9-1.2 miles, depending on route

A 10% discount is available if you book your room using this link.

This discount is subject to general hotel availability and not guaranteed. So, we recommend booking as soon as possible!


Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center – 4-star hotel
7800 E Tufts Ave, Denver, CO 80237
Distance from office: 1.1 miles