ELITE at a Glance

Polk State College believes in growing its own leaders.

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

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

Since its inception, more than thirty ELITE participants have moved into leadership positions within Polk State or at other institutions. In addition, more than thirty ELITE projects have been implemented at the College. The program enrolls a new class of participants each fall. Before applying, individuals should review the eligibility requirements and application process.

Benefits of Participation in the ELITE  Program
This program provides an opportunity for participants to strengthen their professional preparation for leadership positions, work in a new area, and develop skill sets necessary to be successful administrators in higher education. In addition, ELITE alumni act as ambassadors and share the benefits of the ELITE Program with future inductees.

Expectations of an ELITE Leadership Ambassador
Each participant (called an ambassador) takes part in leadership-building opportunities that enhance professional and personal skills. The following commitments are required for program participation:

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

Responsibilities after the Program’s Conclusion
At the conclusion of the program, the ELITE Ambassador continues to:

  • Build on his or her experiences through further participation in the ELITE leadership program, various leadership opportunities, and the mentoring partnership.
  • Receive information pertaining to career advancement.
  • Share program experiences and assistance with future ambassadors through teaching, mentoring, and presentation events.
  • Assist with the program’s development by completing a program assessment and providing a written synopsis of how the ELITE program has influenced and inspired his or her career trajectory.

Qualifications for Participants
An ELITE participant must be a full-time employee in a professional position at Polk State College. In addition, he or she must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Be employed at Polk State full time for at least two years in a professional position.
  • Accrue at least one year of employment in the current professional position.
  • Anticipate remaining at the College for a minimum of one year after completion of the ELITE Educational Leadership Enhancement Program.

Application for the Program
With a supervisor’s approval, an individual can complete and submit an application with the required supporting documentation by the stated deadline. In addition, selected applicants are interviewed and recommended by a committee of past ELITE Ambassadors.

The ELITE application is available at the  ELITE at a Glance page under Leadership Opportunities in PIE. The ELITE application and all required documents must be submitted together in one file in electronic format (PDF) and are due to the Office of Equity and Diversity by the stated deadline.

Note: The Leadership Opportunities link is located on the PIE homepage below Innovation.