Graduation Requirements

1. Attendance Requirement

  • Attend Opening Retreat (August)
  • Attend Closing Retreat (June)
  • Attend 7 of 9 Monthly Class Sessions (September – May)
  • Missing any time during program sessions will count as 1/2 day  (e.g. being late or leaving early).

NOTE: The dates of all the sessions are outlined here. Dates are set, but the locations, times, and speakers are subject to change. Updated agendas will be distributed by email prior to each of the monthly sessions. You should always refer to these agendas for location and schedule information.

2. Community Meeting Requirement

Attend two community meetings (at least one hour at each meeting) or participate in local community service work (at least four hours total). A one page report indicating the date and time of the meeting or volunteer experience, length of time spent there, and three observations from the experience must be submitted for each meeting.

Community meetings can include:

  • County Commissioners’ meeting
  • County Council meeting
  • Town Board/City Council meeting
  • School Board meeting
  • Hamilton County Governmental Affairs Committee meeting
  • Chamber Coalition Legislative breakfast
  • Nonprofit Board meetings: YMCA, Red Cross, Hamilton County Tourism, HCLA, Prevail, Boys & Girls Club, Janus, United Way, etc.

Look in the local newspapers for meeting dates, times, and locations or call the organization you are interested in for meeting information.

DISCLAIMER: You cannot attend meetings of groups or organizations with which you are already involved or those that are work related.

As an alternative, participants may volunteer their time to meet this requirement. You must volunteer for a minimum of four hours. Any volunteer experience is acceptable.

DISCLAIMER: You cannot volunteer for an organization with which you are already involved. Volunteer experiences coordinated through work must receive prior approval from HCLA.

3. Class Project Requirement

Topics are identified and project groups are formed early in the 10-month program. Detailed project guidelines are outlined in the class manual.

Project Guidelines:

  1. Groups are asked to provide brief oral updates to be delivered to the class in December, February, and April. Content should include objective, timeline, progress, challenges, and/or changes.
  2. Projects are to be completed by the Closing Retreat (June). Any extension must be submitted to and approved by the Dean and Executive Director. Requests for an extension must include a thorough and detailed timeline and plan for completion and must be accompanied by all project members’ signatures on the agreement. A written report of results shall constitute completion.
  3. Use of letterhead, access to funds, or the pursuit of any activity in the name of the Hamilton County Leadership Academy must be approved by the Executive Director and Dean.
  4. Each group member is expected to contribute and participate in projects. If the group feels someone is not contributing adequately, they should notify the Executive Director and Dean immediately.
  5. Project groups should be prepared to conduct press interviews regarding their projects and outcomes by mid-May.
  6. A display and short summary presentation of project results will be given by the group at the Leadership Summit in June.