At Polk State College, we believe in growing our own leaders.

The College’s ELITE — Exceptional Leaders with Innovative Talents & Excellence Educational Leadership Enhancement Program — (the first class) was established in 2007 to offer professional development and leadership opportunities to full-time professional employees.

ELITE participants attend statewide conferences and networking events, visit the Florida Legislature, engage in public-speaking exercises, and spearhead a project of college-wide impact. Participants are also paired with members of the College’s administration, who serve as mentors during the duration of the program.

Since its inception, more than a dozen ELITE participants have received promotions within the College or moved on to leadership roles at other institutions.

ELITE enrolls a new class of participants each fall. Before applying, please review the eligibility requirements and application process found in the Related Info section.

What is the benefit of participating in the ELITE Leadership Program?

This leadership program will give the participants an opportunity to strengthen their professional preparation for leadership positions, work in a new area, and find new strengths and skills to be successful administrators in higher education. In addition, ELITE alumni will be diplomats for the program and share the benefits of the ELITE Program with future inductees.

What can I expect as an ELITE Leadership Ambassador?

 Participants (called Ambassadors) are required to take part in leadership-building opportunities that will enhance their professional and personal skills:

  • Attend required monthly ELITE professional development sessions
  • Select a mentor for a minimum one-year mentor/mentee ELITE partnership
  • Develop and implement a project that has institutional impact
  • Attend a three-day personal and professional development opportunity during the fall and spring
  • Meet monthly with selected mentor
  • Attend District Board of Trustees (DBOT) monthly meetings
  • Travel to Tallahassee to see the legislative session in action
  • Meet and benefit from the experiences of Polk State ELITE alumni
  • Secure a responsible position on a committee or task force in an area of interest
What happens after the program ends?

At the conclusion of the program, ELITE Ambassadors:

  • Can build on their experiences through participation in the leadership program and continue their partnership with their mentors
  • Can participate in future ELITE leadership opportunities
  • Can receive information pertaining to their career advancement
  • Will commit to the continuation of the ELITE Educational Leadership Enhancement Program by sharing with future ambassadors through teaching, mentoring, and presentations
  • Will complete a program assessment and provide a written synopsis about this leadership experience and how this experience will be used within their careers at Polk State College
What are the qualifications for the program?

ELITE participants must be full-time employees of Polk State College and must already hold professional positions. In addition, they must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree
  • Have at least two years of full-time employment at Polk State College
  • Have at least one year of employment in his/her current professional position
  • Anticipate remaining at the College for a minimum of one year after completion of the ELITE Educational Leadership Enhancement Program
How do I apply for the program?

Complete and submit an application and supporting documentation by the stated deadline. In addition, selected applicants will be interviewed by a committee of past ELITE Ambassadors.

The 2016-2017 application period for ELITE Class X is from July 29 to August 12, 2016. The application and application checklist are available in the Related Info section on this page. The application and all required documents are due to the Office of Equity & Diversity by 4 p.m. on Friday, August 12, 2016.