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The Signature Program

The Leadership Columbus Signature Program is a unique combination of relationship-building, learning, problem-solving, civic engagement and personal growth.

The program structure has evolved over the years to truly reflect a product that motivates, informs and connects individuals ready to take on the challenges and opportunities faced by our community, their employers and their families.

Annually, 55-65 individuals are selected from a pool of applicants to build a class representative of the Greater Columbus area. The result is a class of professionals who are ready to hone their leadership skills and talents and connect them to community causes about which they are passionate.

The Signature Program is a 10-month experience designed to give participants the tools they need to become active and influential leaders in the community.

The program is a balanced combination of an opening and closing retreat, monthly program days and a Community Impact Project. In September, a mandatory, two-day retreat helps participants focus on their personal leadership style and skills. The retreats are complemented by eight monthly program days that focus on the significant challenges to the Central Ohio region. Issues covered include the economy, the justice system, public education and health and human service issues–with diversity, equity and inclusion interwoven throughout.

A note on scholarships:
We encourage all applicants to seek tuition payment/reimbursement from their employer. In cases where the full cost of tuition is a burden for either the employer or the individual, a limited amount of tuition assistance is available. Tuition assistance is based upon demonstrated need and is limited to no more than 50% of the tuition cost. Leadership Columbus also offers a limited number of Diversity Scholarships, which are awarded by the Selection Committee based on completion of an additional application. When applying for tuition assistance, participants may be asked to submit additional documentation which could include a copy of their most recent federal tax return. To be considered for a scholarship, please check the box and provide the necessary information under “Tuition Assistance and Scholarships”. Eligibility for scholarship includes, but is not limited to, self-paying individuals or individuals sponsored by a nonprofit organization.

Learn more!
Want to learn more about the Signature Program’s curriculum, application criteria, commitment requirements and investment, as well as hear from graduates and current participants about their experience? Check out the recordings of the Jan. 15 and Feb. 10 Signature Program Virtual Recruitment Sessions. Also,  this quick reference document outlines participant and employer benefits as well as important dates.

Application Information

The completed application, including two reference letters, serves as the sole source of information used in our selection process. Therefore, it is critical that the application is thoroughly and thoughtfully completed.

Recruitment:  Applications for the Leadership Columbus Signature Program Class of 2022 are now open! Click below to access the application instructions.* Please read the instructions completely and thoroughly.
*The application instructions were updated 1/11/21.
APPLY NOW
Deadlines:
Early Application Due Date: February 19, 2021
Final Application Due Date: May 7, 2021
Time Commitment:
September through June. A 48-hour Opening Retreat in September (two full days and nights) and one program day in October and Graduation in June are mandatory. One full weekday per month (generally Thursdays) from October through June. In addition to the monthly program days, participants are involved in a Community Impact Project in conjunction with an area nonprofit. Time devoted to the project is outside of the regular curriculum and varies according to the project scope. Participants can expect to spend a minimum of two to four hours per week on average, with the majority of project work occurring during the January to June time frame. Graduation typically occurs the first or second week of June. See application instructions for full calendar of program dates.
Program Cost:
The tuition for the Class of 2021 is $4,975 ($4,725 if application is received by the early deadline).