M. A. and Lila Self Leadership Academy

Joining the M. A. and Lila Self Leadership Academy

To apply for membership in the M. A. and Lila Self Leadership Academy, candidates must complete a comprehensive electronic application. An interdisciplinary team of faculty and staff evaluates each application using a standardized scoring rubric. Promising candidates are invited to a half-day simulation designed to assess their current leadership abilities and potential; professionally trained assessors from Illinois Institute of Technology’s Department of Psychology observe, record, and score the simulation exercises.

Application Information

Programming and Participant Benefits


Significant multi-year tuition scholarships are provided for undergraduate students. Visit the scholarship page for application information.

You can also view the current and alumni scholars.


Individual coaching and mentoring is provided by the executive director and program manager.


The Leadership Academy offers several leadership development seminars across the academic year. Open to any student at Illinois Tech, the academy holds seminars that aim to provide attendees with an opportunity to learn about specific leadership topics in a fun and engaging way. Each seminar focuses on a particular topic in leadership and is led by a presenter that has expertise in that area.

The goals for each seminar are:

  • To teach attendees about the topic utilizing a non-lecture style through active learning, discussion, critical thinking, and group collaboration
  • To prepare attendees to utilize the knowledge, skills, and tools learned in the seminar in the classroom, workplace, or everyday life

Check out upcoming seminars on our events page.


The senior capstone project is designed to display what senior scholars have learned since entering the academy with the wider community. Seniors work in small groups over the course of the year to complete an approved project of their choosing. At the end of the academic year, seniors present the results and implications of their project, along with the leadership theory that informed their project.


  • Sophomore Leadership Retreat—Open to entire class of Sophomore students, this retreat focuses on building leadership and team skills
  • Scholar Retreats— Designed specifically for Leadership Academy scholars, these retreats help to foster the Leadership Academy community and further develop the skills and knowledge of our scholars

2023 Sophomore Leadership Retreat


Scholars are invited to attend Chicago civic group meetings, meetings with members of the Illinois Tech Board of Trustees and administration, participate in regular alumni panels, and attend an annual in-person event with alumni of the academy.


Rooted in a model of servant leadership, all scholars are engaged in volunteering either on campus or within the broader Chicago community.