How do I become a Certificate Coach?

To learn how to become a Leadership Certificate Coach, please go to: https://leadership.illinois.edu/become-a-certificate-coach


What is the typical time commitment for Coaches?

Leadership Coaches typically spend at least three to four hours per semester coaching one Certificate student. This includes meetings, correspondence time, preparation, follow-up, and providing feedback on the final requirements (mainly the ePortfolio).


What if I do not know much about leadership theory or practice?

Coaches are expected to guide assigned Certificate students through their learning — not provide it for them. Your primary responsibilities as a coach are to develop a working relationship your students, ask questions, provide feedback, challenge them to grow, and support their efforts.


What if I have never coached students before or do not work directly with students?

Prior experience coaching or working with students is not required. If you have the time and ambition, that is all we care about!


How do Leadership Coaches get matched with students?

The Illinois Leadership® Center works to match students with available coaches. Some students ask someone to be their coach. If that person agrees, we will pair the student with that person once they have submitted their information to the ILC website. Both the student and the coach will receive email confirmations once they have been paired together.


Do Leadership Coaches need to be University of Illinois faculty or staff?

No, many of our coaches are alumni of the university, members of the community, corporate partners, or other individuals interested in a mentorship role working with students.


How many students are Leadership Coaches typically assigned to?

There is no set minimum or maximum. Most coaches work with one to two Certificate students at a time. Some coaches work with more, depending on their availability and flexibility.


Can graduate students serve as Leadership Coaches?

Yes, we welcome graduate students to serve as Leadership Coaches.


What if I have applied to be a Leadership Coach but I haven't yet been matched with a student?

The bulk of the matching process takes place at the beginning of each semester. This is because participants are not matched with Leadership Coaches until they submit their Personal Development Plan (PDP), which is due at the end of each semester. For example, if a student submits their PDP in the fall semester, they will be matched with a coach at the beginning of the following spring semester. 


How often should I meet with my Certificate student(s)?

You are expected to meet regularly with your student and you will work together to determine what schedule works best for you both. At minimum, you are expected to meet with your student at least once per month when class is in session and to maintain contact during the summer sessions if possible.


What if my student has not returned my emails or phone calls?

If you have attempted to connect with your student several times within two or more weeks and you have not received a response, please contact the Leadership Certificate Team. We would love to consult with you and help you connect. 


What if my student is unable to take LEAD 260?

They will need to complete a waiver in order to substitute the required course for another course that connects to at least one of your chosen leadership competencies. 

To access the waiver, go to http://leadership.illinois.edu/sites/default/files/LEAD%20260%20Course%20Waiver_1.pdf.

Wavier must be submitted to leadershipcertificate@illinois.edu for final approval.


What should I do when my student has fulfilled all their requirements and is ready to complete the program?

Students are required to submit a series of final requirements in order to be eligible to complete the program. Students should be working with their coach to have their ePortfolio preliminarily reviewed before they submit it online to by the deadline. Following submission, an ILC staff member or partner will formally review their ePortfolio and the student may be asked to make final revisions. Completing students and their assigned coaches will then be invited to participate in the Completion Ceremony where students will receive their Leadership Certificate.


What if I cannot attend the Certificate Completion Ceremony?

Attendance is not mandatory. However, you should notify your student and the Illinois Leadership Center of your absence.