Experiential Leadership Program

STEV 11B, 2019

The Experiential Leadership Program is no longer available beginning July 9, 2019.

Program Mission

The Experiential Leadership Program (ELP) courses and services are designed to support and complement a student's academic training. The mission of ELP is to cultivate inclusive, resilient and self-reflective leaders who have the confidence, competence and tools to work effectively with others in professional environments, graduate level programs, organizations, communities, families and life beyond.

About Our Program

The Experiential Leadership Program is a well-established program that cultivates skillful engagement, maturity and a grounded leadership mindset.

  • Cutting edge, high-quality leadership training
  • Strengthens leadership and team dynamics
  • Consistently supports excellent results and outcomes
  • A ten-year track record and far reach across campus
  • Serves a broad and deep demographic of students, faculty and staff

Programs and Services

  • Five, highly popular, 2-unit GE leadership courses - available to all students
  • Team building and custom workshops
  • Leadership training and coaching
  • Stragegic planning support
  • Agenda design
  • Meeting and retreat faciliation

Annually Serves

  • 1,300 Students in leadership trainings and team building
  • 95 Students in five STEV ELP academic courses
  • 150 Faculty and staff in meeting support, leadership trainings and team building
  • Serves all majors and Colleges and the most diverse student demographic of any OPERS program

Student Testimonials

Both graduate and undergraduate students cite immense personal gains through ELP. Here are written statements from a variety of students, reflecting the high impact and importance of ELP course trainings, team building and workshops:

“Every college student should have a chance to be in leadership trainings like these and have a mentor like the ELP Director. Leadership is a skill and it needs to be practiced, just like in math, to get good at it. The more practice, the better we get at leadership. I keep saying this to everyone: I used to think that leadership was a trait that some people are blessed to get it from their parents when they are born. What I have learned is that it is a skill that anyone can learn. Everyone can be a leader, they just need to a place to start. These courses matter.”

“These workshops were highly interactive, practical and a good addition to my overall education here at UC Santa Cruz. Much of what I learn as a student are about theorems and events, but this experience was for Life and how to be a better citizen in society.”

“Not only were we encouraged to work together, but I had to stretch a collaborative muscles of mine that I’m not use to using. I have grown so much from this because I tend to be a rather introverted individual and really have to push myself to collaborate with others. Pushing one’s own comfort zone however is one of the easiest ways to grow both as leader and as an individual.”

“I can honestly say I have experienced more growth than I expected to which is only one of the most amazing things that can ever happen. The areas I feel I have grown in include.... ALL of them….I said that one of the biggest spaces I feel disempowered in is primarily white spaces. I can now say my developments as a leader have helped me reclaim my power. Not fully but enough that I now know I have the confidence to speak up and contribute in these spaces. As I continue my journey, I plan to be participate more in these spaces and feel comfortable.”

“These hands on experiences and training have helped me grow as a person and leader, and understand that a leader has to have the capacity to listen to others. Practicing facilitative skills and being grounded help improve my communication skills, and confidence in taking initiative. I am better able to stand in what I believe, and show others who I am through my actions. I learned skills like paraphrasing, which supports others to be understood and demonstrates value and respect for their views.

“One of the important skills I learned from these workshops is receiving feedback using an objective approach. I realized that I have options to learn from feedback and improve. These tools and mindset have heavily contributed to developing my emotional maturity and supporting me to let go of my ego.”

"I did not expect to grow and develop as a leader as much as I have from just an introductory training. One notion that was very evident within these trainings, that I personally appreciated, is the importance of being yourself while finding ways to effective embody a leadership role."


Miranda Allen

Miranda Allen

Experiential Leadership Program Director
(831) 459-4006