Leaders in Action

Leadership in Action

The PLP Leadership Studies minor is a 4-year, integrated learning experience that combines coursework, a residential community, civic engagement, and professional networks to develop citizen leaders. PLP was designed to link formal learning experiences and concepts in leadership with learning and involvement in the community. With a focus on citizen leadership and social change, PLP engages and equips students through group projects, service opportunities, and internships that improve the conditions of our community. Hours dedicated to the community are closely tied to coursework within the leadership minor. There are four main programs where students will get an opportunity to observe and apply newly gain skills within community-based agencies and organizations. Scroll to review our programs.

Community Learning Field Placements

The University of Denver's PLP Leadership Studies Program seeks to link formal leadership learning with experience-based applications through involvement in the community through Community Learning Field Placement. Students in their first year of PLP will spend roughly 40 hours, and many times more, of engaged service in a community agency that is focused on a social issue for which they are passionate. In exchange for this service, community partners are asked to provide students with access to leaders in the organization in order to learn from their experience and knowledge.   


Community Change Initiative

During the 2nd year of the PLP Leadership Studies Program, students participate in a group-based Community Change Initiative.  The nature of the Community Change Initiative (CCI) is to envision, develop and bring to fruition real and lasting community change in collaboration with others. The initiative will require at least 6-8 months to complete, lasting through April or May each year and culminating with a public presentation of their work and learning. The purpose of the CCI is to apply and reinforce the skills and insights gained throughout the PLP course work. Without this "hands-on" application of knowledge and skills, development as a leader is limited. The initiatives allow students to test their current abilities as well as develop in new ways.

Get past examples of PLP Community Change Initiatives

Community Leadership Internship

University graduates today are more equipped for work and service in their communities when they have had internship or like experiences. PLP provides several ways for students to pursue their passions and career interests through internship learning.  Each academic minor student is required to take 6 credits of electives. Usually, these electives are met with a 4-credit course of the student's choosing that supports their leadership in an individualized way and the remainder can be acquired through a 2-credit internship. 

Internships require 40 hours of work per credit hour and allow students to immerse themselves more deeply in a leadership learning opportunity.  Students will work with their assigned PLP faculty advisor to determine what kind of an internship will best round out their leadership development experience.  

In the past, internships have included the following contexts for placements: 

  • City of Denver homeless initiatives 
  • Non-profit financial planning offices 
  • El Pomar Foundation summer internships 
  • Global non-profit placements 
  • Denver Public School partnerships 
  • Senate and governor's offices internships 
  • Business management and training internships 
  • International service-learning opportunities 

Students are encouraged to think early about where internships might best position them for their leadership learning and career aspirations. We are open and willing to discuss any internships that you think will benefit your professional and leadership development.  

Leadership Development Fund

The Leadership Development Fund was created with the intent to provide students with the chance to further their leadership development through conferences, internships, or community engagement opportunities both here and abroad. The goal is to provide every student in the PLP with funding up to $1,000 before they graduate. Students must apply for funding and then PLP donors and alumni vote on which student projects are funded.

You can check out some of the funded projects on our blog. Click here to read about what our students are using their Passport Funds to achieve! 

Hear more about the fund and its impact in the video below!