CSULB Leadership Academy

By Rob Flores

Would you like to earn a letter of recommendation when you graduate from California State University, Long Beach? Does earning a certificate in addition to your degree sound appealing? Established in 1999, The Lois J. Swanson Leadership Resource Center offers a program known as the Leadership Academy. After completing the orientation, you have approximately four semesters to complete the program requirements depending on the certificate you want to achieve.

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“It is our hope that students who participate in our program begin a purposeful journey towards becoming the best leaders they can be in both their personal and professional lives,” said Dr. Matt Cabrera, coordinator of the Leadership Academy Program and the Emerging Leaders Certificate Program. “Our program provides interactive and engaging workshop experiences that make leadership development more relevant and meaningful for our students.”

The two programs offered have different requirements. To receive the Leadership Academy Certificate, a student must attend orientation and the required workshops, complete 20 hours of community service, and write a theory of practice paper. For the Emerging Leader Certificate, students are required to attend orientation and the required workshops and complete 10 hours of community service.

“What I enjoy most about the leadership academy is that their workshops get you thinking,” says accounting major Priyanka Tiwari. “You engage in critical thinking like circumstances scenarios and are asked how you will react to said situations; it prepares you for public speaking.”

Arianna Arriola, a consumer affairs major and current junior, added, “I joined the leadership academy because I am an officer in my club CASA, the Consumer Affairs Students Association. My president told me about it last year. I am currently working on achieving both leadership academy certificates.

“One of the workshops that stood out to me was hosted by Matt [Cabrera]. At that workshop, there was an activity where there was paper on different sections of the walls in the room. He asked us questions, and had to stand by the word we identified with that question. It is amazing to see how we all have different identities and we all have different perspectives. I really think more students should be aware of the leadership academy so that they can participate in learning unique lessons. You won’t find a lot of classes that focus on leadership in great detail like the leadership academy offers. “

Graduates of the leadership academy can participate in a ceremony in the spring where they are presented their certificates. For more information on the leadership academy, email Dr. Cabrera at matt.cabrera@csulb.edu or visit their website .