COBI Events and Programs

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Advanced Leadership Academy (ALA)

Developing Leaders Who Can Rise to Any Challenge.

Leadership is critical to the long-term success and viability of every 21st-century organization. The University of Toledo Advanced Leadership Academy is in the business of developing leaders who can rise to this challenge.

The Advanced Leadership Academy's Mission

To expand and further develop our best John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation and UToledo graduate students’ leadership thinking, talents and acumen. Selection into The Advanced Leadership Academy is competitive and selections are made by each College’s graduate programs based on the graduate student’s academic performance, campus and community engagement track record and leadership potential.

The ALA gives these top students a competitive edge in the marketplace by honing leadership skills, opening up networks and offering an enhanced worldview. We prepare students for increased career success and the ability to improve the human condition across all disciplines.

Background and Structure

In 2005, the College of Business and Innovation launched the Advanced Leadership Academy to provide business graduate students an opportunity for professional development and career preparation. In 2013, ALA expanded to include students from every graduate program across The University of Toledo campus.

Today, ALA is a high-profile interdisciplinary and leadership development program with more than 1,300 graduate student participants. Its reach has been wide, influencing future doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, scientists, social workers and business leaders.

The Academy Format

A series of dynamic and interactive leadership development sessions will be conducted during the Spring semester with a mixture of formal instruction, networking, exercises, self-assessments and high-profile guest speakers. One of the sessions will include a global community service project with the organization Feed My Starting Children. The final session will be conducted at the Toledo Museum of Art as a celebratory dining etiquette dinner for ALA participants. Students attending all sessions will receive The ALA Certificate of Advanced Leadership Development and The Advanced Leadership Academy Medallion.

Advanced Leadership Academy Learning Outcomes

Annual assessments of ALA graduate participants provide strong insights into the impact and quality of this leadership development initiative on their personal and professional lives. Our most recent assessment indicated:


of participants stated that ALA had an exceptional impact on their Understanding of Leadership


of participants believed that ALA had an exceptional impact on their Leadership Thinking


of participants believed that ALA had an exceptional impact on their Development as a Leader in their Discipline


of participants believed that ALA had an exceptional impact on their Confidence as a Leader


of participants stated that ALA had an exceptional impact on their Leadership Skill Set

Key Cross-Functional 21st Century Leadership Development Competencies

A national review of graduate programs revealed that only a small fraction of graduate students receive leadership development training during their graduate experience.

  • Core Discipline Know-How: Possessing the appropriate and requisite skills and talents in one's discipline or chosen field of endeavor.
  • Ethical Character and Decision-Making: Possessing a highly developed, principled and moral “core value system” that impacts the way you think and behave.
  • Creating Purpose, Vision, and Direction: The ability to visualize and articulate a future state of desired outcomes and translate that into specific actions necessary for success.
  • Planning and Organizing: Possessing the discipline and thought processes necessary to properly prepare for future activity and develop the appropriate organizational skills and processes to increase the likelihood of effectiveness, efficiency and success.
  • Focus Management: Having the ability to effectively couple your time resources with your most important activities to create meaningful focus on a daily basis.
  • Emotional Intelligence and Relationship Management: Having a real and strong understanding of your strengths and weaknesses in interacting with others and building and maintaining effective relationships.
  • Communication Talent and Practices: Knowing how and when to communicate with people in a fashion so as to understand and be understood.
  • Teaming and Team-Building: Knowing how to effectively work in teams and foster teamwork and cooperation among the people you work with.
  • Career Development and Continuous Personal Improvement: Practicing ongoing learning and targeted professional development activities to maintain and improve one’s personal and professional skill set.
Last Updated: 11/18/22