The Institute™ by Leadershape®

The Institute™ by LeaderShape®  is a nationally-recognized six-day, five-night leadership development retreat. The lllinois Leadership® Center coordinates a special program each year for Illinois undergraduate students, which takes place over winter break in the Champaign-Urbana area.

The next session will take place January 12th - 17th, 2020

The Institute™ challenges participants to lead with integrity™ while working towards a vision grounded in their deepest values. Participants explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be.



Dynamic, challenging, and exciting, the week is intended to produce a breakthrough in the leadership capacity of participants—benefiting them individually, as well as their respective communities and the organizations they will go on to lead and serve in the future.

For more information about The Institute, contact the Illinois Leadership Center at 217-333-0604 or

Click here if you are a faculty, staff, alumnus or community leader and are interested in being a Cluster Facilitator






Frequently Asked Questions

What does a typical day look like?

Most days begin with breakfast at 7:45 AM and end around 9:00 or 10:00 PM. Participants can expect to engage in team building activities, group discussions and exercises, and individual reflections each day of the program. Snacks and coffee are also provided to participants throughout each day.

Where is the program held?

It is held at the Allerton Park Retreat Center in Monticello, Illinois. Round-trip transportation, housing in the mansion and adjacent buildings, and three daily meals will be provided for all participants. Learn more about Allerton Park here:

How much does the program cost?

It is free for all selected participants. Participants will be selected and sponsored financially by their respective colleges, departments, or units. 

Can I arrive later or leave early from The Institute?

No, participants must be able to attend the entirety of the program. Applicants must agree to this expectation when completing the application form in order to be considered eligible

Can graduate students attend The Institute?

No, this program is only open to Illinois undergraduate students.