Member benefits

NALC Leadership Academy

NALC is now accepting applications for the 2018 NALC Leadership Academy, which is open to all active NALC members including CCAs.

Click here to access the application form, which is fillable online and can be saved or printed. Those who have applied previously but were not selected must reapply to be considered. (If you have problems with the fillable form, simply print it out and fill it out by hand.)

The application form has two main parts, one for the applicant to complete and one for the mentor. The applicant’s portion requests contact information, union positions held and any other experience, skills or knowledge the applicant may want to list. Applicants must complete a 300-500 word essay explaining their interest in the Leadership Academy and qualifications to participate in it. The second part is to be completed by a mentor chosen by the applicant.

The mentor must provide a written recommendation explaining how long they have known the applicant, why they believe the applicant should be accepted to the Leadership Academy and their sense of the applicant’s leadership potential. The form also contains a statement of mutual commitment that the mentor and applicant must sign.

Working with a good mentor is one of the most important components for a student to have a successful Leadership Academy experience. For this reason, applicants are encouraged to choose their mentors carefully. Generally, a good mentor would be someone with advanced leadership skills who is willing to spend a significant amount of time interacting with the student while providing guidance and encouragement. A mentor should also be in a position to provide the opportunities and venues for the student to practice the skills they have learned at the Academy and be available to observe their work and provide appropriate feedback. Branch presidents or other branch officers are often good choices for mentors as they have opportunities to work closely with the student and can provide the help needed with the outside learning projects. Leadership Academy graduates, national business agents, regional administrative assistants and state association officers have also mentored past students and are another good source.

The Leadership Academy consists of three week-long sessions held over a five-month period at the Maritime Institute near Baltimore, MD. After graduation, the students will spend a fourth week working in a national business agent’s office. In between the three weeks of classroom sessions at the Academy, students are required to complete at-home learning projects based on the curriculum covered during the previous week’s session and submit a written report about it.

The Academy curriculum is designed to both develop and enhance the knowledge and skills that are essential for NALC leaders. In addition to the Leadership Academy staff, each of the resident national officers, as well as many headquarters staff members, help teach at the Academy, providing students with NALC’s top experts in each field.

Upon selection, students will be advised of the exact dates they will need to be available for each class. Transportation, room, meals, wages and other associated costs while attending the Academy and working in the business agent’s office are paid by the NALC.  

Any active member who is interested in attending the Academy is encouraged to select a mentor and apply. Completed applications must be postmarked by Feb. 28. Confirmation of receipt of the application form at NALC headquarters will be sent to the applicant.