Why Coach? 

CLC coaches are excited about experiential approaches to leadership development. In addition to building and training your team, you will have an opportunity to engage with a network of like minds, participate in research, and positively impact the lives of your students.

  • Develop Leaders on Campus: Use innovative concepts, videos, practice outlines, activities, and a stand-alone curriculum to help students develop leadership skills.
  • Build Your Network: Connect with a community of like-minded leadership educators from around the world! CLC is an ideal platform to share expertise, engage with others, and create partnerships.
  • Increase Your Resource Base: Gain access to all CLC materials and activities. New experiential exercises are uploaded regularly and can be accessed via smartphone, tablet, desktop or Google Drive.
  • Grow with Your Students: Grow in your own abilities to influence, coach, inspire and educate a team toward achieving their goals.
  • Advance Your School’s Mission/Vision: Advance the mission/vision/values of your institution or department.
  • Foster School Pride: Represent your college/university in regional/international competition.
  • Build a Stream of Research: Conduct and publish qualitative or quantitative research about the experience. CLC is working to create space for coaches to advance their own research agendas. An ultimate goal of this endeavor is that multiple publications will flow from what we learn.

The Process


Each fall, coaches outline the commitment and practice schedule, and then use a variety of techniques to recruit 6 team members. CLC provides team coaches with all of the tools and resources to recruit teams.


Practices are held on each college/university’s respective campus from January through April. During this time, participants and coaches learn and practice CLC Terms & Concepts. CLC provides team coaches with all of the tools and resources to plan practice and prepare for the competition.

The Competition

In April, teams from schools across each region participate in a high-energy, action-filled competition where participants put their knowledge and training to use. Unique activities are designed annually by CLC.

How it Works

Between January and April, teams practice the CLC curriculum which is rooted in 10 easy to remember acronyms. Some of the acronyms focus on basic content knowledge and others focus on processes that participants learn and practice. For the process-oriented content, coaches have an opportunity to actively coach and build skill. The goal is to develop mental representations that help students make ethical decisions, problem-solve, navigate difficult conversations, choose appropriate leadership styles, and so forth. Ultimately, our goal is that students behave with greater intentionality and skillfully intervene more often. In addition to the CLC intranet which includes guides for coaches and sample practice outlines, we have developed the following:

An Innovative Curriculum

By integrating multiple theories, scholars, and perspectives, CLC developed an innovative curriculum and content that is easy to apply and simple to remember. For example, take a look at SOLVE, one of CLC’s acronyms designed to help students think more intentionally about problem solving. To help coaches and participants, each acronym has a description, a corresponding video, links to external videos/articles, links to thought leaders, a list of quotes, and academic references for further exploration.

A World of Activities

Chefs, physicians, and soccer players become world class by engaging in deliberate practice. Drawing from the expertise literature, CLC has developed a library of activities that serve as opportunities to practice the process-oriented content. Take a look at one CLC activity designed to reinforce and teach SOLVE. Coaches can also access all past competition activities like the Pringles Ringle.

A Set of Tools

A long-standing problem with leadership education is our inability to truly measure growth and development. We have developed a series of CLC Skill Sheets that operationalize many of the CLC acronyms into observable and measurable behaviors. The CLC Skill Sheets can be used to gauge progress and simplify content into observable behavior. Take a look at the SOLVE Skill Sheet.

Register a team

For the 2019 – 2020 Collegiate Leadership Competition season


Regular Registration: $2,195 (First Team)
Second Team: $1,495

CLC offers a unique opportunity to help students grow and develop their ability to lead. The competition is a perfect incubator of events where the true colors of one’s leadership ability is bound to surface – it is the ultimate learning experience in leadership training and development!

– 2017 Coach


Can we recruit more than one coach?
Yes, coaches from one institution frequently co- coach.

Who should coach the team?
CLC coaches are faculty members, student affairs professionals, or graduate assistants. While undergraduate assistants can certainly help to co-coach a team, the experience needs to be facilitated by an experienced member of the campus community.

How many students make up one CLC team?
Six students make up one team. You are more than welcome to include more than six students in your weekly practices. Some educators have taught this curriculum to classes of 40+ students.

What is the typical time commitment for a coach?
Coaches usually train their teams for 1.5- 2 hours per week. CLC’s resources like the Weekly Practice Guide significantly decrease coach planning time.

Is CLC a co- curricular or curricular learning experience?
CLC can be structured as a co- curricular experience or a for- credit course.

How are teams judged at the competition?
Employers, community leaders, and leadership educators evaluate teams on two dimensions: (a) process (determined by CLC Skill Sheet scores); and (b) the results (determined by how quickly/accurately the team was able to accomplish the objective).

How can I access CLC resources?
CLC resources are available through the CLC intranet. Coaches receive access to all materials when they sign up. If you would like to see some additional examples of resources, please feel free to reach out!

How many teams can I bring to competition?
Most schools choose to field 1-2 teams.

Getting Started

Colleges and universities have used a number of different approaches to fund the CLC experience, and to recruit students and coaches. It’s important to note that ideally, coaches should genuinely love working with students, have the ability to provide an excellent co-curricular or curricular experience, and be willing to invest the time needed to prepare the students to excel in the competition.

While not an exhaustive list, our hope is that the information listed below will help you brainstorm ideas for your specific school.

Funding CLC

  • Request funding through student government
  • Apply for a one time “pilot” grant, or a course development grant
  • Approach the president, provost, dean, or department chair for initial seed money
  • Ask if your department has funds for competitions
  • Build the CLC fee into the department, center, or university budget
  • Partner with several departments to share costs
  • Approach individuals responsible for advancing the institution’s leadership mission or vision
  • Involve a community partner or organization as a sponsor and mentor
  • Use the budget of an in-tact group or organization
  • Align CLC with a student group or organization that is already funded, but lacks purpose or direction

Ideas For Recruiting Coaches

  • Student affairs professionals who have a passion for working with students
  • Faculty who could weave the CLC content into the flow of their course
  • Faculty who may be able to align their research agenda with CLC
  • University staff whose job aligns with leadership development
  • Engaged alumni who would be willing to serve their alma mater
  • Recently retired faculty who are beloved and would be willing to give their time
  • Graduate students who are excited about coaching and developing their own skills
  • Engaged community members with expertise

Ideas For Recruiting Team Members

  • Reach out to students that will benefit from the experience
  • Ask faculty and staff to provide names of students participants
  • Contact an intact student group that may benefit from from an opportunity to build the team
  • Students involved in majors/minors/certificates/organizations that align nicely with the experience
  • Use key students to help recruit their peers to become involved
  • Students who have received academic scholarships or other forms of recognition
  • Host an information session and provide the opportunity to students who are seeking a new leadership experience

CLC takes concepts and frameworks in leadership outside of theory and puts it into practice and action. Students are able to internalize what they learn and apply it directly through activities. Students are able to learn and develop their leadership style as well as learn how to work on a team with various personality types. The growth students go through in such a short amount of time is tremendous. CLC allows students the opportunity to really hone in, focus, and be intentional when it comes to understanding how they choose to lead.

– 2019 Coach