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By Mark Allen Poisel
March 3, 2022

Image of three lead scholar students

U-LEAD is a program in the LEAD Scholars Academy that is designed for upper-division and transfer students. The program consists of service-learning courses created to enhance the leadership development of the students. Students apply to U-LEAD each term and select their program and course for the semester. As a service-learning course, students have the opportunity to attend seminars, learn applicable leadership skills, and apply it to active service in the community.

Beyond the leadership skills developed, U-LEAD has other benefits for students as well. All U-LEAD students have access to the LEAD Lounge where they can study and network with other students. Additionally, there is a $200 fellowship associated with every semester a student remains in good standing with the program, and students have access to apply for LEAD Scholars Academy scholarships. Lastly, students have priority registration for classes, and are recognized as LEAD Scholars Academy graduates at commencement if they complete at least 4 semesters within U-LEAD.

At the program level there is a zero or one credit hour course (LDR 2262 or LDR 3905) designed to fit the students’ varied interests. The LDR 2262 courses are all online and require 20 hours of service in the semester. The LDR 3905 courses may be both online or in-person and require 15 hours of service. Students in most sections of LDR 3905 also conduct a research project and participate in a Social Change Poster Showcase where their posters are judged, and scholarships are awarded.

U-LEAD is a great opportunity for students that need an additional credit hour in a specific term or want to participate in leadership development courses each term. Students can repeat the LDR 3905 course multiple times in the different programs, but the LDR 2262 course is not repeatable.

The specific leadership programs include:

  • Civic Engagement: increases knowledge of civic roles and community involvement
  • Global Leadership: enhances students’ interest in international and global issues
  • Inspire: discusses topics pertaining to the enhancement and empowerment of women
  • Lead Out Loud: focuses on multicultural leadership topics and research
  • Latinx: explores identity, history, and current issues within the Latinx community
  • LEAD with Pride: focuses on leadership topics relevant to the LGBTQ+ community
  • Leadership Laboratory: develops broad understanding and knowledge of leadership

Students are able to apply to U-LEAD and select any course regardless of their identity affiliations. The purpose of these programs is to expand the knowledge of students and develop them as well-rounded leaders.  Applications open each term prior to regular registration and remain open through the first week of classes. Program descriptions and applications are available at

More information is available on the U-LEAD website at If you have additional questions about U-LEAD, feel free to reach out to Dr. Mark Allen Poisel at or by calling 407-823-2223.