The Program

The Ross Leaders Academy (RLA) is the Sanger Leadership Center’s premier leadership development community for select students across campus. During the year-long program, you’ll make leadership development a primary focus of your Michigan experience. You’ll learn from a diverse set of peers, receive team executive coaching, and engage with 30+ years of powerful research advanced by the University of Michigan’s innovative faculty. You’ll emerge RLA more confident, more insightful, and with a vision to fuel your emerging career.

RLA kicks off in the fall with an exciting event and wraps up in the spring with a closing celebration in Deloitte’s 37th floor D-Club in Detroit’s Renaissance Center.

RLA is made possible with generous support from the Deloitte Foundation, which is committed to enabling transformational learning experiences like RLA.

Get Involved

You can complete an RLA application, which is available at the beginning of the academic year. We select approximately 50 students competitively from across U-M each year. To learn more about our selection process, attend an info session that we will host in September 2018.

RLA Class of 2018

RLA Class of 2018

“Being a part of the Ross Leaders Academy was perhaps one of the most enriching and impactful experiences of my time as a graduate student. With ample opportunities for both self-reflection and team collaboration, there was a great balance between personal development and relationship building.”

Stephanie Dooper, MA ’17
Interest Form

Program Type

Learning Community

Key Dates

Authentic Leadership Sessions – Fall 2017
Looking inside and developing your self-awareness

  • October 5, Kickoff
  • October 13
  • October 27
  • November 10
  • December 1
  • December 8

Adaptive Leadership Sessions – Winter 2018
Looking outside and evolving to meet the needs of the moment

  • January 26
  • February 9
  • February 16
  • March 9
  • March 16
  • Early April, Closing

Time Commitment

RLA meets 12 times over the course of the academic year. Sessions are generally 2.5 hours long and may require reflection in between each, for a total of about 8 hours per month.

Executive coaching will be scheduled separately based on your availability.

Participant Requirements

  • Deep interest in leadership development, personal growth, and lifelong learning
  • Any U-M Student (Junior, Seniors, and Graduate students)
    We are aware that Ross full-time MBA1s will be unable to participate due to their MAP schedules. We welcome full-time MBA2s to apply.
  • Ability to attend all sessions
    Participation in all sessions is integral to gaining the full benefit of the program. Students who miss more than two sessions will not receive the program completion certificate. We ask that participants bring conflicting dates to our attention during the kickoff event.

Skills You’ll Learn

Enhancing Self-Awareness
You will deepen understanding of the purpose, values, motivators, roles, and activities that bring out the best in you. Along the way, you’ll form habits of reflection that will power your lifelong pursuit of greater self-knowledge.

Working with Diverse Individuals
The academy includes graduate and undergraduate students drawn from all of the university’s schools and colleges. You’ll collaborate with this diverse group of students to advance your own learning, while supporting, coaching, and developing others.

Advancing Self-Development
You will also be challenged to stretch beyond your current self, try new things, develop new capabilities, and proactively lead your own learning journey. We’ll provide tools, resources, and encouragement to leave your comfort zone behind.

Building Strong Networks
Your career advancement, influence, and impact will depend to a large degree on the quality of your network. The academy will enable you to build strong, trusting relationships across sectors, industries, and disciplines.



Recent Posts / View All Posts

Look Out! Two Must Reads in the New Year

| Books, Ross Leaders Academy | No Comments

“Know thyself” is one of the world’s original leadership tips and a tidal wave of books has reinforced the message in recent years. If you hope to become a more...