Leadershape® Institute™

The LeaderShape®  Institute™ 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 2021 session has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2022 session is to be held January 9-14. 

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.

Learn more about the LeaderShape®  Institute™ at https://www.leadershape.org/institute


group photo of the 2020 participants


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.

Participants are randomly placed into small groups or, “family clusters”, during The Institute. Cluster Facilitators, who are typically University of Illinois faculty, staff, alumni, or local community members, serve as the groups’ resource, catalyst, and coaches. 

click here if you 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 at https://allerton.illinois.edu/


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.


For more information about applying to The Institute, contact the Illinois Leadership Center at 217-333-0604 or leadership@illinois.edu.