The Emerging Leadership Series Certificate program is a FREE way for students to build leadership skills, practice teamwork and communication skills, and connect with other student leaders through an inclusive lens. The Emerging Leaders Series is open to all students (no experience required), and provides an engaging way for students to expand their perspective on leadership. Past Emerging Leaders Series have gone on to become RAs, WOW and SLO Days Leaders, Leaders in Greek Life, InterHousing Council members, and get involved with clubs and different student organizations.

Students in Cal Poly’s Honors Program get leadership credit for participating in the series.

Students can also earn ELS through participating in the Center for Service in Action's Domestic Alternative Break Trips during winter and spring break! Stay tuned for trips potentially happening in late 2021.  


Word cloud for leadership 

Spring Quarter 2021

  • Tuesdays beginning April 6th- 11am-12pm
  •  Tuesdays beginning  April 6th 4-5pm
  • Wednesdays beginning April 7th 10-11am
  • Thursdays beginning  April 8th 12-1pm

The Emerging Leaders Series is a not-for-credit series that meets once a week for one hour over zoom. Students will also be expected to complete one hour of asynchronous content via Canvas during the course of these eight weeks. The series begins during week 2 of each quarter.  

ELS uses a variety of leadership theories such as Relational Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, True Colors, and more to equip students with leadership skills. 

Participating students are matched with alumni mentors as part of the Alumni Mentor program. The mentors will help students with networking, identifying strategies for continued leadership development, and utilizing leadership skills for career success.



“I didn’t know what to expect from this series, but walked out of every single meeting feeling inspired, confident, and with a desire to go out and change something. I really enjoyed the thought provoking conversations and have encouraged several friends to look into this program. I think it has helped me understand myself better, as well as how others work.”

– Student Participant

“I really enjoyed being a part of this program. It helped me feel more connected to Cal Poly, it helped me feel more empowered and I was able to create new friends and acquaintances. It was great hanging out with other leaders once a week.” 

– Student Participant


As a capstone assignment, each student will create and present their own personal leadership philosophy to the group. Students will share a centralized leadership philosophy and demonstrate connections between leadership and academic, personal, and career success. Click below for more examples.

Leadership Philosophy

My Personal Leadership Philosophy

Personal Leadership Philosophy




Related Content