Pillars of PLC

The true advantage provided by the Presidents Leadership Class is the access to multidisciplinary leadership development, extensive experiential learning, a supportive learning community of peers, and a dedication to serving the community, that you participate in from the moment you enter as a freshman at CU Boulder. You will experience the four distinct yet intertwined pillars of Scholarship, Community, Experience, and Service extensively throughout your PLC education. Each pillar combined with our focus on inclusive excellence make up the foundation on which the entire PLC program is built.


PLC requires rigorous academic course work and strong communication skills. Our five required courses are designed and instructed to develop your leadership abilities and broaden your perspectives. Each course pushes you to grow academically, introspectively, and will challenge you to apply your leadership skills in new and increasingly creative ways. The sequence of the PLC curriculum is not meant as a beginning and end to your leadership education, but rather as a broad foundation from which you will continue your leadership growth beyond graduation. If desired, you will be able to earn a Leadership Studies Minor by completing the PLC curriculum and taking a required Leadership Capstone course to capture your leadership development and education here at CU Boulder.

At PLC, you are part of a small family of highly driven peers with a dedicated staff that offers you individualized support throughout your undergraduate experience. The challenge and support you get from the program and your PLC peers is immediate and lasting; providing guidance and reinforcement with everything from your academics to your social life, and from balancing your busy schedule to managing your new life on campus. Your community will extend to our Board of Advocates, the PLC Alumni Club, and many other friends & supporters of the program.

The best way to develop as a leader is to lead. Accordingly, PLC will provide you with opportunities to experience practical leadership through your Applied Leadership Experiences (ALE) process, community dinners, experiential weekends, student staff, and through your other involvements both on and off campus. At PLC, we recognize that the best way for you to learn how to both lead and follow, is by experiencing both, inside and outside of the classroom.

PLC students strengthen their communities through a commitment to service. Leading is not about personal accolades, power, or the accumulation of wealth. Rather, we believe leaders serve noble purposes and serve others. We believe acting with humility and kindness drives positive change and inspires empathetic, compassionate leadership. Each PLC scholar must provide 10 hours of service each year in the program, totalling 40 hours of meaningful, philanthropic service for PLC, CU Boulder, the City of Boulder, Colorado, and beyond.

Diversity & Equity

The Presidents Leadership Class (PLC) acknowledges the pain caused by the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the far too many more lives lost to police violence. We also acknowledge the systemic inequities that oppress Black and brown communities, as well as our personal and collective duties to dismantle them. As a leadership development program, our purpose is to not only train the next generation of leaders, but also to exhibit leadership within the university community on pressing issues, like the racism experienced by our Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) students. So, while we are taking steps to ensure our young leaders thoroughly understand the history of racism and its ties to power in our world, we must do more.

To this end, we express our full support of the petition by members of CU’s Black Student Alliance (BSA), which was sent to the University Administration demanding police reforms for the University of Colorado campus and Boulder at large.

This petition aligns with our core values of scholarship, service, community, and experience: it was developed by young Black scholars in service to our campus community, and it was informed by their experiences with police as well as their expertise and activism. In addition to supporting their demands, we will work to develop a collaborative and supportive relationship between PLC and BSA.

Diversity, inclusion and equity within our program cannot exist if our BIPOC students feel unsafe and unwelcome on campus. We are accountable for ensuring our students’ safety at a university level and understand this statement is only the first step toward improving our campus environment. We encourage other departments and programs to endorse the BSA’s demands as well.

-Official Statement From Staff and Faculty of the Presidents Leadership Class-

The Presidents Leadership Class condemns the May 25th killing of George Floyd and the deaths of every other unarmed life taken by police brutality, including Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others before them, and also condemns the violence committed against peaceful protesters by police. Our program supports the catalyzed response seen around the country by peaceful protesters demanding justice for black lives lost and advocating for the dismantling of systemic racism. Additionally, PLC supports our black, indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) students and alumni and will continue to do so.

Statement of Support for CU's BSA

Letter From PLC Students to Current Students and Alumni


Inclusive Excellence

PLC fully embraces CU Boulder’s strategic goal of inclusive excellence, where the university becomes a place where diversity and an ingrained commitment to making excellence inclusive define its community and its work. PLC fulfills our committment to our pillars from an operational foundation of inclusive excellence. Click here to read our statement about Inclusive Excellence.