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Pioneer Leadership Program

PLP students in Belize - Leadership & Sustainability Interterm Course


Pioneer Leadership Program


Can leadership be learned? We think so. Leadership development can be spurred along by up-to-date research, knowledge and skill development opportunities. PLP's curriculum offers an engaging approach to the formal study of leadership, and leadership development itself, utilizing the classroom, expert regional leaders, site visits, community-based initiatives, retreats and internships. This rigorous academic and experience-based program leads to a 24-credit minor in Leadership Studies that spans the four year DU experience.

PLP students engage in intellectually challenging courses, complex issue discussions, group projects, community service, and internships and have opportunities to study abroad. Students meet, listen, and engage with local and nationally known community, business, and public leaders to gain current applications and understanding of leadership challenges.

Student Profile

Student profile: Beth Besrat Bethlehem Besrat

Hometown: Aurora, CO
Year: Class of 2017

What is your favorite component of the Leadership Studies Minor or the academic component of PLP?
My favorite component of the Leadership Studies Minor is the opportunity that we have to apply what we learn in real and meaningful ways both inside and outside the classroom. 


Students will take the following courses during their PLP experience:

Year 1

  • The Leadership Process (Fall, 2 credits)
  • Self as Leader (Winter, 2 credits)
  • Leading Teams (Spring, 2 credits)
  • Serve to Lead/Lead to Serve Program (Year-long service placement)

Year 2

  • Leading Community Change (Fall, 4 credits)
  • Collaborative Leadership: Local Perspectives (Winter, 2 credits)
  • Collaborative Leadership: Global Perspectives (Spring, 2 credits)
  • Community Change Initiative (Year-long group service project)

Years 3 & 4

  • Capstone: Leadership Ethics (4 credits)
  • Electives: (6 credits, may include electives to support the major, study abroad and internship credits)
  • Study Abroad Options
  • Internship and Mentoring Opportunities