Leadership program cuts back, increases member participation

The Chancellor’s Leadership Program, which has undergone several changes recently, will accept about 20 new freshmen this spring, and applications are being taken now for the leadership building program, said the CLP adviser.”CLP is a four-year program that focuses on leadership development and helping students to become the best leaders that they can be and to make positive changes within TCU, within the community and within the world,” said CLP adviser Laura Thomas.

This year the application includes something new – an essay in which the student must write about a passion they have, Thomas said.

“We want the students to truly learn from the program and do something with it,” Thomas said. “So we added that essay question just to get that element out of the students.”

Every year the program admits about 60 freshmen who exhibit leadership skills and a desire to facilitate change in the community, said Lance Kearns, CLP steering committee member.

“We’re not big on numbers,” said Kearns, a senior history major. “We don’t place a huge emphasis on GPA or volume of activities – we want someone committed, someone who gets involved with something and sticks with it.”

CLP was created in 2003 and has since been through several small changes in an effort to make it a more beneficial program for those involved. One of those changes was decreasing the number of students admitted into the program each year, Thomas said.

“The first year CLP was created, they took about 100 students,” Thomas said. “What they found was that 100 was way too many students to keep track of. Two years ago we decided to only take 60.”

Thomas said they only admit freshmen so the selected students can get more out of the program by being involved for all four years.

“Leadership development is something that happens in many different steps and many different areas of life,” Thomas said. “If we were to have students join in their junior year there’s a lot of stuff they’d be missing.”

Another change made in the program was to make it more group-oriented.

“Students told us the thing they gained the most from the program is getting to know other leaders,” Thomas said.

Kearns said this year they have also been focusing on getting the chancellor more involved in the program.

“In past, he wasn’t really involved,” Kearns said. “His name was attached but as far as getting him actively involved, that wasn’t the case.”

This year Chancellor Victor Boschini has visited the CLP leadership class, attended the fall retreat and funded the CLP T-shirts, said Jenighi Powell, a member of the steering committee and a sophomore international communications major.

CLP members have also taken more responsibility for the annual State of the Leadership Conference, which started in 2003 and will take place Nov. 9, Kearns said.

The conference, which CLP members planned and organized this year, focuses on making changes in the community, in the state and in the world, and will be attended by students from TCU and several other Texas schools, Kearns said.

The conference will feature speakers Norman Drummond, a Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen in Scotland, and Mack McCarter, a TCU alumnus who founded the Shreveport Bossier Community Renewal organization, Kearns said.