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Research shows that centering student voice in the life of a program increases student persistence by fostering student engagement, cultivating a sense of community, and building student ownership of their learning. Student leadership also promotes the “liberation” concepts shared in our UPD ADEI work: power sharing, community, understanding, belonging, self-determination, and trust.

In this workshop, we will hear directly from student leaders about their experiences, we will explore how engaging students as active partners in program design and implementation can strengthen a program, increase student persistence, and further equitable access (IPQ2). Our panelists will share their experiences engaging in diverse forms of student leadership, including:

  • Student government and student leadership councils
  • Engaging lawmakers as student ambassadors 
  • Telling one’s story to create change

We will also discuss practical models and considerations for implementing student leadership activities.

Following this workshop, we encourage you to take advantage of available individualized, program-based coaching to support your efforts to implement new student leadership models or build upon existing student leadership activities in your program. We also encourage you to participate in the second of this two-part PD series in February, which offers support and feedback for programs actively building and growing student leadership opportunities. 

Although not required, we encourage programs to attend in teams with the director, teachers, advisors, volunteers, student leaders, and others who might engage in this effort. 


    This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • New and experienced adult educators who want to unlock the potential of student leadership in their programs
  • Educators who want to improve program enrollment and student persistence
  • Program teams that want to create an inclusive process that values students as key partners

In this virtual workshop, our panelists will discuss ways that student leadership has positively impacted their and their classmates’ learning, persistence, and sense of belonging. They will also discuss their respective programs’ leadership models and activities to inspire your planning. We will outline issues that you need to address and decisions your team will need to make during your planning process. 

During the session, you will have time to network and brainstorm with colleagues, and to ask questions of panelists about their experiences. We encourage you to bring and share your ideas, questions, experiences, and challenges related to student leadership.

Following the workshop, Program Support PD Center Director Alexandra Papagno will be available to meet individually with programs to brainstorm ideas for how to move forward.

Several days before the event, Jane Brandt at will send you an email with the Zoom link.

  • If you can’t attend this session, we will be offering a follow-up in February 2024 
  • To receive alerts for events related to Educational Leadership & Project Management, make sure you’re signed up for notifications. Sign into your SABES account, click the “My Account” tab, select the “My Notifications” tab, and check off Educational Leadership & Project Management.
    Learning Objectives

    Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Identify at least three benefits of incorporating student leadership into your program
  • Address the key considerations for planning effective student leadership opportunities
  • Create a vision for how your program team can plan and implement student leadership activities this year
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s)
12/06/2023 - 12:30 pm to 12/06/2023 - 2:00 pm

United States

PD Center
SABES Program Support PD Center
SABES Program Support PD Center - Educational Leadership & Program Management
Topic Area
ADEI (anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion)
Civics and Citizenship
Education Leadership & Program Management
PDP Eligible