Leadership Lafayette

 Program Logos_v3_Leadership_Horizontal LT

Applications are Open!

Program applications are due on Monday, November 30, 2020. Access the application here. 

What Is It?

Leadership Lafayette is the flagship program of the Leadership Institute of Acadiana and boasts many of the region’s most distinguished leaders as program graduates. The intensive experience is designed to inform, educate, and connect the emerging and experienced leaders of the Lafayette region to some of our community’s biggest assets, most daunting challenges, and most interesting people.

Leadership Lafayette was started by the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and has graduated over 740 leaders in the past 30 years. The Leadership Institute has since become an independent organization but continues to develop community leaders in partnership with One Acadiana.

Program Outcomes

  1. Civic Understanding: Participants will learn the history, critical challenges, and the current assets of our community and consider implications for the future. Participants will develop the ability to look critically at the root causes of social issues, how regional issues are interconnected, and what obstacles impede our ability to create a healthy community for all.
  2. Relationship and Community Building: Participants will engage in opportunities to connect across the continuum of leaders and peers and to develop intercultural competence. Participants will feel inspired and empowered to act by belonging to an enduring community of regional leaders.
  3. Personal Leadership: Participants will enhance their skills, knowledge, and tools to effect positive change in one’s chosen area in the community, including an ability to work with others to address systemic challenges and build a more resilient and equitable region.
  4. Civic Activation: Participants will foster personal attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors that spark informed and sustained action in public life, addressing public problems, and serving the community. Participants will be exposed to various perspectives, engage in dialogue, analyze the effectiveness of policies, and develop informed perspectives on vital public issues.

Tell Me More

The program begins with an opening orientation and an engaging 2-day retreat. The class then meets once-per-month, for nine months, while engaging in a hands-on learning curriculum that includes in-depth discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the Lafayette community.

Subject matter areas for past programs have included:

  • State and Local Government
  • Education
  • Economic Drivers
  • Arts and Culture
  • Social Services and Philanthropy

Experiential learning components include a guided bus tour of Lafayette; a trip to the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge; a visit to local schools in Lafayette Parish; and a simulated society exercise. In addition, the program includes an opening retreat and a closing wrap-up session.

Who Is It For?

Leaders within the community who seek to expand and further develop their leadership skills, explore different experiences and points of view, and build relationships with others equally committed to improving the Lafayette community.

In addition, applicants must be willing and able to commit to the mandatory retreat and the time necessary to complete the program.

What Do Graduates and Their Organizations Get Out of the Program?

Graduates leave the program as part of an alumni network of over 800 leaders who are better informed of community history and present-day realities. They also emerge better connected to the people, organizations, and service opportunities that can together, make positive and meaningful changes in the parish.

When graduates activate the knowledge and connections gained through Leadership Lafayette, the community and businesses benefit from improved understanding, services, and relationships. Organizations supportive of their staff member’s participation gain additional visibility and recognition as being committed to the improvement of the Lafayette community.

When Does It Take Place?

The annual Leadership Lafayette program runs from January through November. The program orientation occurs in January; the 2-day retreat occurs in February; and the monthly-sessions occur in March through November. The program concludes with an evening graduation in November.

Applications are typically available beginning in August and the deadline for submission is in November.

What Are the Selection Requirements?

The Selection Committee places a premium on identifying those most likely to utilize the Leadership Lafayette experience for the long-term benefit of the community. The Selection Committee is made up of a diverse group of Leadership Lafayette graduates who remain anonymous during the process.  When the committee selects each group of 30+ participants, it is with an eye towards diversity to ensure broad representation from a variety of occupational, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, as well as geographic areas and community interests.

Confidential applications allow the Selection Committee to gauge applicants’ prior involvement in the community. Letters of reference are welcome but not mandatory and should be limited to no more than three.

What Does It Cost?

Tuition for Leadership Lafayette is currently $2,000. Tuition is set on an annual basis and is subject to change.

Tuition includes:

  • Overnight stay (double occupancy) and lodging accommodations for the opening retreat
  • Meals, snacks, and beverages during program days
  • Program materials

I’m not sure I can afford tuition. Should I still apply?

Yes! Selection to Leadership Lafayette is made without regard to an applicant’s financial circumstances. If employed, we encourage you to check with your employer to see if they will cover the $2,000 tuition, either in part or full, as an investment in your professional development.

To ensure qualified and diverse representation in the Leadership Lafayette program, financial assistance is also available for those with demonstrated financial need. At this time, LIA only offers financial assistance for up to 50% of the tuition cost. Financial assistance requests are to be submitted at the time of application.