The NCDA Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academy was created in 2006 with the goal of identifying and nurturing future generations of NCDA leaders.  Every two years, approximately six to eight NCDA members will be selected to join this hands-on, highly experiential leadership development opportunity designed specifically for promising national and state career development association leaders.

Applicants selected to the NCDA Leadership Academy Class will: 

  • Attend a series of leadership workshops and training sessions during the NCDA annual conference.
  • Learn more about NCDA's history, governance process, and strategic initiatives.
  • Prepare for future leadership positions on the NCDA Board, Committees or state career development associations.
  • Work on a twelve-month Leadership Action Learning Project selected from a list of Board identified needs.  Research and complete the project with the support of an assigned mentor.  Provide a written report in advance of and short presentation on Project results at the conference of their “graduating” year. See previous class projects for each class linked below.
  • Be encouraged to join, and consider leadership, in an NCDA Committee.
  • Maintain NCDA membership throughout your participation in LA.

NCDA Leadership Academy participants will benefit from:

  • A $500 travel stipend (each year for two consecutive years) to support attendance at the next two NCDA annual conferences.
  • Waived NCDA annual conference registration fees for two years.
  • The opportunity to expand leadership potential and explore leadership opportunities through NCDA and state career development associations.
  • Ongoing support and mentorship.

The Next Class

The LA convenes a new class every two years. The next class will be able to apply in 2024, which will meet in 2025.

Interested NCDA members need to apply:

All application requirements must be submitted by November 15th.  Only complete applications received by the deadline will be considered.  Application materials include:

  1. Leadership Academy Application - watch here for online application
  2. Resume - send to Melissa Venable at
  3. Two letters of recommendation - send to Melissa Venable at

For questions, contact:

Leadership Academy Development Committee: Carla Cheatum and Melissa Wheeler
Or Melissa Venable at


Leadership Academy Classes & Projects

Click on a year below to view the list of participants in a class and read about the many projects.

Class of 2024    
Class of 2022 Class of 2019 Class of 2018
Class of 2017 Class of 2016 Class of 2015
Class of 2014 Class of 2013 Class of 2012
Class of 2011 Class of 2010 Class of 2009
Class of 2008 Class of 2007