Admission Criteria

The mission of Leadership Howard County is to empower individuals to strengthen and transform the community. In monthly full-day sessions that include site visits and dialogues with key decision makers, participants learn how the county operates, gain insight into policy decisions, and how to access vital resources.

The program emphasizes experiential learning, requiring participants to immerse themselves in community programs and to work in teams to study challenging issues and develop real-world solutions. Through these real world projects, and through the development of working relationships with members who share their interests, participants enhance their leadership insights and learn how to affect real change.

This is a 10-month tuition-based program that runs from September – June. Applications are due May 16, 2016(see below). Interviews will be conducted in June and July; participants will be notified of acceptance in August.

Because of attendance requirements (see “Participant Commitment” below), please note the first two session dates:

  • The Kick-Off orientation meeting will be held on September 13, 2016 in the morning
  • A mandatory 2-day, overnight retreat will be held September 27 – 28, 2016.
  • All other meeting dates (usually the second or third Tuesday of the month) will be published in August 2016.
Candidate Profile
  • Application to Leadership Howard County (LHC) is open to persons living or working in Howard County. Approximately 50 individuals will be selected to participate in the program.
  • LHC seeks representation from a cross-section of the community – business, labor, education, the arts, faith communities, government, community-based organizations and nonprofits.
  • Applicants may be recommended by a graduate of LHC or by another community leader, or may self-nominate.
  • Applicants must have the full support (financial and time commitment) of the organization or business they represent.
  • Applications are reviewed, and applicants are selected, by LHC’s Selection Committee.  The Committee evaluates each applicant based upon the merits of their written application and a personal interview in June – July.

The Selection Committee takes into consideration the following:  

 Commitment and Participation

  • A sincere concern about the future of Howard County and a demonstrated motivation to serve the community.
  • A demonstrated commitment through past and present community involvement and/or volunteer activities. What is the number of hours usually dedicated to volunteer work over the past year?  If there is little history of past involvement, what has changed to allow more time now and also in the future giving back to the community after the LHC program?
  • A history of follow-through on committees, projects, etc. which demonstrate a willingness to become involved in LHC and in volunteer leadership in Howard County.


  • A demonstrated capacity for leadership within applicant’s own organization through significant achievements relative to age and experience.
  • Ongoing and recent capabilities to foster a common vision; communicates with and inspires others toward a specific direction and priorities; creates effective work teams; and promotes collaboration.
  • Ability to set goals resulting in achievement (professional and community).

 Understanding of Issues

  • A policy-shaping responsibility or position of leadership in employment and/or volunteer organizations resulting in the potential to have significant influence on important issues facing the community.
  • Understanding of the complexities of socio-economic, racial, political and other diversities in Howard County. 

 Experience, Education, and Skills  

The Selection Committee considers the applicant’s overall level of accomplishment and desire to extend their impact on the community.  Also considered are the diverse skills and experience the candidate would contribute to the class, and a demonstrated commitment to ongoing education or self-improvement.

What is the Participant Commitment? 
  • This is a 10-month program, running from September to June. Sessions are held one full day per month, usually the second or third Tuesday of the month, from approximately 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Attendance for the entire day is expected.
  • The kick off orientation meeting will be held September 13, 2016 in the morning.
  • A manadatory 2-day overnight retreat will be held in September 27-28, 2016.  All other meeting dates will be published in August 2016.  
  • To graduate from Leadership Howard County, a participant is expected to attend all sessions.  (A participant may be excused for 16 hours with prior notice, with the exception of the overnight retreat)
  • Additional planning meetings and community learning experiences are scheduled as needed.
  • If an applicant is accepted into the program and either does not enroll, or drops out of the program after enrolling, he or she may re-apply but there is no guarantee of acceptance into the program in subsequent years.                                                                                                                                                         
Tuition and Financial Assistance

Program Tuition: $5,200: includes the overnight retreat, program transportation, meals during the monthly session and a ticket for the graduation dinner in June.  Upon acceptance, a $500 deposit is required.

A limited amount of need-based financial assistance is available primarily to non-profits and small business owners.  We are typically able to provide up to one third of the tuition cost. Payment plans are also available. A financial assistance request must be submitted with the application. While we ask that individuals have the financial support of the organization or business they represent, we also encourage nonprofits and individuals with a sincere interest to apply, as community partnerships may also be available to offer additional financial assistance.      All requests for financial assistance must be received by the application deadline.