Emerging Leaders Program


Active Involvement for the Common Good

The East Lansing Emerging Leaders Program is a year-long course in civic engagement that supports today's emerging leaders.

Participants will hone leadership skills by learning about a variety of topics through a lens of inclusion and public service. Participants will attend one session on the third Thursday of each month from February through December from 5-8 p.m.* and spend additional time on projects, assignments and discussion groups. Courses will be taught by a range of local business, community and government leaders at a variety of locations in East Lansing. 

*Please view the full program calendar to note variances from this outlined schedule

By the end of the year, graduates will:

  • have a broad understanding of the community and municipal government;
  • be able to view issues through a lens of equity and inclusion;
  • become comfortable and skilled neighborhood leaders;
  • serve as a community resource for information;
  • be prepared to serve on a City-sanctioned board or commission;
  • develop a network of neighborhood contacts; and be positioned to become positively engaged in community service.

Many graduates have gone on to serve as members of neighborhood associations, City boards and commissions and even East Lansing City Council. 

All applicants must be East Lansing residents (either homeowner or renter), 18 years or older. Interested residents must complete an application to be reviewed in an evaluation and selection process. Applicants cannot be running for, or currently serving in, an elected office.

Fees and Scholarships

Participants of the program will be required to pay a $55 fee to cover a portion of the cost of materials. Scholarships are available for qualified candidates. Participants will be selected prior to the award of scholarships. Once selected, all participants will receive an invoice and a scholarship request form.

View a letter from Interim City Manager Kim Johnson for more information about scholarships.

2022-2023 Key Dates

  • December 1, 2022 – Applications Open
  • January 13, 2023 – Applications Close
  • January 20, 2023 – Applicants Notified
  • February 10, 2023 – Scholarship Applications Due
  • February 13, 2023 – Program Fees Due ($55)

2023 Program Calendar

Date Time Topic
Thursday, Feb. 16   Welcome Reception
Thursday, Mar. 16   Local Government
Thursday, Apr. 20   Elections Administration; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Saturday, May 20   The Built Environment
Thursday, June 15   Impact of MSU to the Region
Thursday, July 20   Environment, Sustainability and Transportation
Thursday, Aug. 17   Finance and Budgeting
Thursday, Sept. 21   Public Safety - Police and Fire
Thursday, Oct. 19   Economic Development
Thursday, Nov. 16   Parks, Recreation and Arts
Thursday, Dec. 14   Graduation

*Please note: this is a representative list and is subject to change.