Robert J. Coury Applied Leadership Program

A highly interactive workshop series whereby Marshall first-year students learn tools and skills to launch their personal leadership plans.
Key Takeaways from panel with MBV

Our Mission:

The Robert J. Coury Applied Leadership Program is a new program designed to encourage confidence, character, and courage in first-year undergraduate students within the Marshall School of Business. First-year students (freshman and transfers) participate in two highly interactive seminars and skill-building cohort meetings throughout the spring semester in an effort to identify and develop their strengths and values as leaders. The program culminates in a leadership capstone experience led by students from the Marshall Masters of Business for Veterans program.  Program sessions are facilitated by experienced Marshall faculty, staff, and Student Mentors. 

Coury Leadership Journey Map - Application, Orientation, Strengths Based Leadership SEminar, Cohort Meeting, Values based Leadership seminar, cohort meeting, one on one meeting with mentor, capstone event


Student Mentors: 

Student Mentors are current Marshall sophomores, juniors, and seniors who receive specialized leadership training to co-facilitate and coach first-year and transfer participants. Student Mentors must have at least a 3.0 GPA, and commit approximately 30 hours to the program, including evening hours, throughout the year. Students Mentors must have been a Marshall student for at least one full semester. To read more about the unique mentor experience, take a look at our current Student Mentor bios.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How will this program help me be a better leader?

In a competitive world, we often find ourselves trying to mimic the actions and leadership of other people to reach the top as soon as possible. The reality is that no two people have the same skills and experience. The Robert J. Coury Applied Leadership Program is designed to combat this idea and create an individualized and strengths-based approach to leadership that will help you to better understand yourself as an individual and a leader. In building your confidence, character and courage, the skills you learn will be beneficial to you in the present on campus as well as in your professional endeavors as future leaders who will make a difference. 

What are the requirements to be a part of the program?

The Robert J Coury Applied Leadership Program is offered to freshmen and first-year transfer students in the Marshall School of Business and Leventhal School of Accounting. In order to participate, sign up by registering on the main page of our website.

Do I have to attend all the sessions?

Yes, it is necessary to complete all five sessions (two main sessions, two cohort sessions, and one capstone experience) to receive a certificate of completion. Each of these sessions build on each other, and in order to understand the methods of the program it is important to attend each session.

What if I miss a session?

If you miss a session and have a valid reason, we will offer one makeup session to offer you the full experience. However, it is important that you try to attend all sessions with your cohort.

What is the time commitment?

The Robert J Coury Applied Leadership Program meets five times in the spring semester. The two main sessions and the capstone session run from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Fridays with breaks and food. The two cohort meetings with your student mentors are catered to your availability during the week, and run for 90 minutes. 

How much work do I have to put in outside the session?

Before the two main sessions, we ask that you complete a self-assessment. The first assessment is the Clifton StrengthsFinder survey, where you will discover your Top Five talent strengths and complete a short reading assignment to better understand your strengths. The second assessment is the VIA Character Survey where you will explore your values and read the descriptions included in your evaluation. Each of these tasks should take no longer than an hour of preparation. Since the program is very much hands-on, we expect you to apply what you learn to the activities you engage with around campus.  For example, you should be leveraging your strengths in your next project team meeting or student organization event to develop your confidence in leading and influencing others. Overall, the program will require a time commitment of about 25-30 hours throughout the spring semester. 

Is this program free?

Yes, the program is free for freshmen and first-year transfer students and does not count for school credit. A certificate will be offered upon completion of the program.

What do the student mentors do?

Student mentors are sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are trained to help program participants realize their strengths as a leader and manage crucial conversations in both the business world as well as personal life. Mentors lead the two cohort sessions as well as facilitate breakouts during the main sessions.  They also support participants leadership growth throughout the program with ad hoc meetings and other communications.  Student mentors come from a wide range of backgrounds and apply for the position in the Fall semester.

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Student Testimonials

Testimonial: Having a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses has allowed me to lead my groups with better grace, humility, and direction. Having empathy and understanding of what each member brings to the group helps me to better position our team members to succeed. It also allows us to work smarter alongside our strengths.



Apply Now!

Applications are now open

Learn More About the Program!

Watch our info session for first-year students who are interested in signing up for the Coury Leadership Program. 

Stretch Your Strengths!

Watch our presentation from Trojan Family Weekend (2020) to hear from Dr. Tolan and our trained Student Mentors about the work we do with first-year students to help them invest in discovering and leveraging their strengths to achieve their goals.