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Applications Now Open For Penn State’s Presidential Leadership Academy

Penn State freshmen can now apply to join Presidential Leadership Academy, a three-year honors program that features special classes and extracurricular events. 

The academy was established in 2009 to teach students about leadership and global affairs and develop their critical thinking skills. It accepts an exclusive group of 30 new students each year.

The academy’s courses are led by its director, Melissa Doberstein, and Schreyer Honors College Dean Patrick Mather. Penn State President Eric Barron teaches a weekly seminar course for sophomores in the program, too.

“The PLA is an amazing opportunity for students,” Doberstein said in a release. “The one most unique aspect is for students to share a class not only with President [Eric] Barron, but also to hold discussions with peers from different perspectives.” 

Outside of class, academy members attend leadership seminars, etiquette dinners, and up to three fully-funded field trips per year. Members are also eligible for grants related to their studies. Students complete an e-portfolio during their final year in the program and are recognized with a certificate when they graduate.

Applications, which feature a few essay questions, close at midnight on Friday, February 25. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.2 or higher to be considered. Penn State faculty and staff are also able to nominate first-year students for the program before February 15.  

Those interested in applying can find out more on the Presidential Leadership Academy’s website.

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About the Author

Adam Babetski

Adam Babetski is a senior double majoring in broadcast journalism and medieval history and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He's from the only part of Virginia without tractors and southern accents, except Richmond (reportedly). You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBabetski for hot takes about sports. For serious inquiries, email [email protected].

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