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Presidential Student Leadership Academy

The Presidential Student Leadership Academy (PSLA) is a program designed to help students develop their leadership skills and appreciate our nation’s cultures and history.

Through a series of activities, you will engage in personal and professional leadership development to help prepare you for future higher education and career endeavors.

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Presidential Student Leadership Academy logo.

Mark T. Brainard, PresidentWelcome to the Presidential Student Leadership Academy webpage. I am very pleased that you are here, very proud of this program, and hope that you will seriously consider applying for this unique opportunity to experience and learn about leadership in this ever-changing and demanding world. As you might have heard me say over these past few years, “Leadership matters!” Whether you are a member of a student-led club or honor society, an athletic team, a classroom, a volunteer organization, or a college community, leadership determines the quality and values that drive the mission and accomplishments of that group. When you graduate from Delaware Tech, leadership will determine the quality and values of your work experience, the quality of life that you live, and the type of world we leave for the future. The goal of this program is to help you prepare for those opportunities.

Through a series of activities over the next few months – readings, discussion groups, writing reflections, a one-day trip to Washington, D.C., and a capstone dinner meeting – we will explore themes such as self-awareness, empathy, servant leadership, compassion, critical thinking and the role of history in our present-day decision making. To lead these activities and provide participants with a meaningful, high quality leadership experience, I will be joined by members of the College’s senior administrative team in the weeks ahead to personally convene and facilitate.

There is no question that leadership involves having talent and expertise in one’s career endeavors, but there is so much more. And we are going to tap into some of the “more” during our weeks together. If you are selected to participate, I am confident that the PSLA will engage you in very memorable ways to increase your knowledge of this very important topic, while also expanding your view of national history and cultural awareness, all to influence your growth as a future leader.

Who is eligible to apply?

The following are required of all applicants:

  1. Be in good academic standing (2.5+ GPA preferred) and have completed 12+ credits at Delaware Tech
  2. Complete an application to the Presidential Student Leadership Academy by February 12
  3. Be registered in spring 2022 classes unless graduated in the previous summer or fall semesters
  4. Commit to participation in all activities associated with the PSLA

Apply Now!

An aerial view of the Washington DC Mall.

Leadership Group Meetings and Book Reflections

PSLA accepted members are required to read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne and attend four leadership group meetings and book reflections (one in-person and three hybrid). The novel tells a story about an unlikely friendship that forms between two boys during World War II in Central Europe. Readers explore several real-life lessons and themes focused on friendship, humanity, compassion, prejudice, and obedience.

Washington D.C. Trip Overview

Students will visit Washington D.C. with one bus departing from the Stanton campus and a second bus departing from the Dover campus. Both buses will meet in Washington D.C. for a series of activities and visits to national landmarks.

Frequently Asked Questions

The PSLA is a competitive program, and space is limited with only 40 spots available.

Based upon the review of applications, a committee will select a maximum of 40 students. The committee will select participants based on their potential and desire to develop into a leader at Delaware Tech and in their community. Students will be notified about acceptance through their Delaware Tech email account in early March.

The cost of the program is free for students participating in the program. The College will cover the materials and travel expenses.

In order to participate in the PSLA, students must:

  1. Be in good academic standing (2.5+ GPA preferred) and have completed 12+ credits at Delaware Tech.
  2. Complete an application to the Presidential Student Leadership Academy by February 12.
  3. Be registered in spring 2022 classes unless graduated in the previous summer or fall semesters.
  4. Commit to participation in all activities associated with PSLA.

Yes, students who graduated during the current academic year (summer, fall, and spring semesters) are eligible to participate.

The PSLA includes three leadership group meetings and book reflections and two activities, including a day trip to Washington, D.C. and a capstone dinner. Participants should plan to spend about 3-5 hours a week during the month of April to complete assigned readings and leadership group meetings and book reflections. Participants must also be available to attend both activities. Details for all required meetings and activities are located on the PSLA website.

Yes, PSLA participants are required to attend all sessions (see schedule) to be eligible for graduation. An excused absence for extenuating circumstances must have prior written approval by the PSLA facilitator; the request must be made in writing to

Before committing to the program, participants should confirm availability to participate in all mandatory meetings and activities.

The trip to Washington, D.C. will cover concepts such as diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice that will be explored through participation in museum and historical visits. Travel costs and meals are covered by the program. If you are interested in purchasing gift store items or other items, please bring additional spending money. Dress is business casual.

Museum information:

All participants and their belongings must pass through a security screening upon entering museums. Before departing, please view prohibited items for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Bottled water is permitted in museums.

Participants who complete all the requirements will be recognized at the capstone dinner with Delaware Tech administrators.   

Participants will be required to complete an exit survey prior to the capstone dinner.