About the Program

What is the FOS Academy of Leadership (FOSAL)?

Building effective leadership skills while in college is imperative for success. University of Florida graduates should be competent in areas such as global citizenship, communication skills, and teamwork. As a result of participating in the Florida Opportunity Scholar Academy of Leadership, students will increase their knowledge of leadership skills necessary in today’s ever-changing world. Students will develop a heightened awareness of what it means to be a leader as well as receive guidance in their chosen career path.

How will you benefit from FOSAL 2016?

Students who complete the FOS Academy of Leadership program will be more marketable to future employers, graduate schools, and other opportunities after graduation because of their increased understanding of leadership. Additionally, we believe each FOSAL cohort will develop a strong bond that will inevitably benefit all students now and in the future.

Key Components

The FOSAL Retreat

The Retreat will be your first opportunity to meet other 3rd and 4th year first-generation students who are interested in leadership and planning for their future, as well. You will also interact with a small group facilitator who will act as your retreat mentor. The small group facilitator is a University of Florida faculty or staff member interested in your development as a leader.

StrengthsQuest Sessions

A key component of leadership is self-awareness and understanding. After taking the 140-question online assessment, you will learn about what you do best – your natural talents! After learning about your unique strengths, you will learn how to articulate your natural talents in an interview setting as well as on your resume.

Life Coaching

It is important to have a guide in the transition-out process (leaving college and preparing for life after college). You will have access to trained administrators and UF graduate students who are very interested in helping you develop a plan for your life after college. These life coaches will be available to you throughout the year and you are encouraged to meet with them at least three times.

Activities & Workshops

You are a 3rd or 4th year student and it is time to start honing in on your skills to be successful as a college graduate. Past workshops have included long-term financial planning, interviewing skills, writing personal statements for graduate school, and etiquette dinners. These are designed to meet your needs and help you feel ready to tackle life after college!

Summer Symposium

A large part of many interview processes for graduate school and/or post-college employment involves a presentation. The summer symposium is designed to give you experience presenting to your peers and UF faculty/administrators. You will be paired with a FOSAL partner to craft a 25-minute presentation about your summer experience. The symposium takes place early in the Fall semester.

Reflection Blog

As you know, learning and growth happens in many ways. FOSAL students are strongly encouraged to keep a journal/blog about their experiences in their final years as a UF student. After each FOSAL activity, students will submit a reflection paper to the Canvas site, as well as receive feedback about their reflection paper.

Final Banquet

Participate in the FOS Academy of Leadership retreat, a minimum of 6 FOS Academy of Leadership activities, post 6 reflections about those activities, attend and present at Summer Symposium and you’ll be invited to our final banquet in November. This will be your official “graduation” from the FOS Academy of Leadership program. You’ll receive a special token to be worn at graduation and you’ll also have the opportunity to meet key individuals on campus who are invested in your success.

Letters of Recommendation

We realize it can be challenging for some to develop lasting relationships with faculty members and administrators. Through the FOS Academy of Leadership program, you will have the opportunity to develop mentoring relationships with a variety of campus administrators and staff. While this should not be the sole reason you participate with the program, there is a likelihood you’ll be able to ask for letters of recommendation from the people you meet during this experience.