University Honors ProgramUniversity of Cincinnati

University Honors Program

LeaderShape Institute

LeaderShape Logo

Are you ready to create a personal vision and learn to lead with integrity? Are you ready to disregard the impossible?

The LeaderShape Institute is a nationally renowned program. At  LeaderShape, you’ll spend six days creating a comprehensive and powerful vision for the future that defines a bold change for your community, group, cause, or organization. As you work through this vision, you’ll have an opportunity to engage in reflection, planning, one-on-one interactions, small group feedback, and large group learning. The LeaderShape Institute environment resembles a laboratory more than a formal classroom. You’re encouraged to practice new skills, give and receive feedback from peers and faculty, and risk new behaviors in a safe, supportive atmosphere. You’ll leave with a healthy disregard for the impossible and the ability to produce extraordinary results within your community!

The University Honors Program is pleased to present this amazing opportunity for up to 60 Honors students January 4-9, 2015 at Higher Ground Conference and Retreat Center in West Harrison, IN. This experience takes place the last week of UC's winter break.  Students who participate in the LeaderShape Institute will fulfill one honors experience.

Want to learn more? Information sessions led by former student participants will be held in 700 Swift Hall early fall semester.  Check back for specific dates and times.

2013 LeaderShape Institute group photo

2013 LeaderShape Institute Participants

Participant Registration Information


The cost to participate is $350, which covers food, transportation, lodging and supplies.  Payment is not required with your online registration.  You will be billed after registering. The actual full cost of the program is $750 per student, but University Honors is subsidizing the $400 difference to make it more affordable for our students.

When registering, you will be taken to the LeaderShape Institute website.  You will be asked to create a profile and login.  The application will also ask you to briefly answer the following essay questions:

  • Please list the organizations or activities which you are currently involved in, including highlights from your involvement in these groups.
  • How do you define leadership?
  • Why are you interested in the LeaderShape Institute? What do you expect to gain from the experience?

The deadline to apply is October 29.  Applicants will be notified on or near November 5 regarding selection into the program. Spaces are limited, so you are encouraged to submit your application as early as possible. 

Payment information is included in the notification. Full payment will be due on Tuesday, November 19, 2014. There are three ways to pay the $350 registration fee:

  1. Submit a check to the University Honors Program for the full amount.  Our office is located in 700 Swift Hall.  Checks are payable to the University of Cincinnati.
  2. Have a university office and/or student organization sponsor your registration fee.  Should you choose to have a university office and/or student organization sponsor you, it is your responsibility to facilitate communication and transferring payment/paperwork between University Honors and your sponsor.
  3. Use UHA funds.  If you participated in the University Honors Association concession stands during athletic events, you can use the money in your UHA account.  Contact the UHA treasurer and me, and let us know that you would like to apply your UHA money to the cost for the LeaderShape Institute.  If you do not have sufficient funds to cover the entire cost, you will have to pay the remaining balance.
When students have been selected, a mandatory orientation session before the LeaderShape Institute will be offered prior to the experience to provide logistical information and additional details prior to the Institute.  

For more information, contact Ashley Walker at 513.556.1065 or

Learning Community Discussion

Students participate in large-group learning community discussions led by facilitators from LeaderShape, Inc.

Family Cluster Photo

Students also meet in small family clusters led by a UC faculty or staff member. Cluster members develop a unique relationships with each other during the 6-day experience.

Low Ropes Activity

Participants engage in low ropes activities to develop an understanding of working and influencing others.

Guest Leader Panel

Students also engage in leadership discussions with UC and community leaders on the rewards and challenges of "Leading with Integrity".

Cluster Facilitator Information

Cluster Facilitators are UC faculty and staff members who lead the small groups (called Family Clusters) at the LeaderShape Institute under the guidance of two Co-Lead Facilitators.  The Cluster Facilitator serves as the group’s resource, catalyst, and coach. The Cluster Facilitator does not serve as a parent or gatekeeper. Instead, the Cluster Facilitator serves as a bridge between the Learning Community and learning application in the Family Cluster.

Cluster Facilitators must be available for a full-day training on January 3, 2015 and for the entire duration of the Institute which runs January 4-9. 

Please click here to learn more about the Cluster Facilitator's role.

Please click here to fill out the Cluster Facilitator Interest Form for the 2015 UC LeaderShape Institute.  You can only access the application for the UC specific LeaderShape session by clicking the link above. Additionally, you will need to create a login to the general LeaderShape site in order to access the application. The deadline to apply is August 1, 2014.

For more information, contact Ashley Walker at 513.556.1065 or

On-Site Coordinator Information

The On-Site Coordinator serves as an important member of the LeaderShape Institute faculty, carrying out crucial logistical and conference management tasks during the session. He or she works in partnership with Lead and Cluster Facilitators to ensure the success of the program and is responsible for organizing the materials for both faculty and participants. As an On-Site Coordinator, your primary support group is the faculty, not the Family Clusters. The On-Site Coordinator “sets the stage for learning” instead of being hands-on in the learning.

The UC LeaderShape Institute On-Site Coordinator position is a one year commitment. She or he could be invited back to participate for a second year. He or she must be available for recruitment meetings and orientation meetings as planned by the staff. On-Site Coordinators must also be available on Saturday, January 3, for faculty training, AND must be free of other commitments during the duration of the Institute (January 4-9, 2015).  This is the last week of winter break.

Please click here to learn more about the On-Site Coordinator's role.

Please click here to apply to be an On-Site Coordinator.  The deadline to apply is August 3, 2014.

For more information, contact Ashley Walker at 513.556.1065 or