Leadership Coach

The Leadership Certificate Program is a multi-semester program designed to provide students with a customized experience for developing leadership competencies through leadership education and training, co-curricular involvement, self-reflection, and coaching. Each participant is matched with a Leadership Coach supports their leadership development and guide them in their Leadership Certificate journey. 

The ILC seeks faculty, staff members, alumni, and community members to serve as Leadership Coaches!! 

To learn more about the Leadership Certificate Program, go to https://leadership.illinois.edu/certificate.

For questions about becoming or being a coach, please contact Clair Bryan at cebryan2@illinois.edu.




Role Description

“Coaching is the process of equipping people with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities they need to develop themselves and become more effective. Coaches don’t develop people – they equip people to develop themselves. Rarely will you have the time to involve yourself with every aspect of someone’s development. And rarely will you possess all of the information, skills, and wisdom that someone might need to ensure their development. Fortunately, there is no need to be perfect to be an effective coach. Instead, view your role as a catalyst for development.” - Peterson, D. B. & Hicks, M. D. (1996). Leader as coach. Minneapolis, MN: Personnel Decisions International Corporation.

There are five key areas in which Leadership Coaches should spend time with their students (from Peterson & Hicks’ Leader as Coach):

  • Establish a positive relationship with their students based on trust and understanding
  • Share their insights and motivations with their students and encourage them to do the same
  • Help their students develop new leadership competencies by connecting them to relevant experiences, individuals, and resources
  • Check in with their students on their progress towards their goals
  • Set an example for their students through their own behaviors and actions

To learn more about serving as a Leadership Coach, check out our Leadership Coach Manual: https://uofi.app.box.com/v/ILCcertcoachresources  


Time Commitment

Coaching a Certificate student generally takes between 3 to 4 hours a semester, or one to two hours a month when class is in session.

All new Leadership Coaches are required to meet with an ILC staff member for an orientation prior to being matched with a student. Periodically, the ILC staff will provide professional development opportunities for Leadership Coaches. 

At the end of the fall and spring semesters, students who have completed all of the requirements will be invited along with their Leadership Coaches to participate in the Leadership Certificate Completion Ceremony.




Opportunity Benefits

While serving as a Leadership Coach does require a time commitment, there are many perks to volunteering as a coach that could be both personally and professionally beneficial. Below are just a few examples:

  • Improved Skills - Coaches have the opportunity to foster their own leadership skills while working with their students.
  • Expanded Network - Coaches have the opportunity to meet other professionals who are also serving as coaches.
  • New Perspectives - Coaches have the opportunity to gain new perspectives from their students through their interactions and experiences together.  


Application Process

The application to become a Leadership Coach is open year-round. Please complete the following steps to submit an application:


Step 1: Go to: leadership.illinois.edu/login

  • If you have an Illinois NetID:
    • Log in using your netid and password
    • Hover over Volunteer Involvement tab (left hand side)
    • Click on "Certificate Coach"


  • If you do not have an Illinois NetID:
    • Click on “Non-Illinois Login”
    • Click on “Register Here” below the login box
    • Fill out the information, then click “Register” to create an account
    • Once logged-in, hover over Volunteer Involvement tab (left hand side)
    • Click “Certificate Coach”


Step 2:  All applicants must answer the following questions:

  • Why would you like to serve as a coach?
  • How do you hope to help students in the program with their leadership development?
  • Please share any personal information or preferences that might help us pair you with a student in the program:
  • How many students can you commit to coaching at one time?

First-time applicants, please upload a current copy of CV/resume.

Click "Submit" when done. Once everything is complete, an ILC staff member will contact you with more information about scheduling an orientation meeting.