What Is PLP?
The Professional Leadership Program (PLP) is a mentoring, leadership, and soft-skills development program for students at the University of North Texas. The purpose of PLP is to give our students exposure to the leadership skills needed to be a servant leader in any industry or position they seek after college. Students are given the opportunity to network with the corporate community, attend weekly employability development programs, and engage in a yearlong mentoring relationship with industry professionals.
How Do You Recruit And Select Students?
We look for high-achieving students with prior leadership experience and those who demonstrate a coachable mentality. We do not recruit to a specific number, but rather a quality in our candidates. The 2018 - 2019 PLP class had 141 total program members.
Applicants come from all majors across campus. Recruitment runs from January to March of every year, with selection made in April for the following academic year. Prospective members must complete an online application, list two faculty/staff references, and answer self-assessment questions. After applications close in March, interviews will be conducted.
What Are The Requirements To Apply?
Applicants for PLP need to be of sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate status by the beginning of the PLP term (fall semester). In addition, applicants must have a 3.25 GPA. Written requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis for individuals wishing to apply who do not meet these listed requirements.
What Majors Do You Target For PLP?
PLP is open to all majors. With financial support coming mainly from the College of Business, business majors have historically made up 70% of the program participants, but priority is not given to business majors. The 2018-2019 PLP class is comprised of about 58% business and 42% nonbusiness majors, with 11 university colleges represented (College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Mayborn School or Journalism, College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, Toulouse Graduate School, College of Health and Public Service, College of Science, College of Music, and College of Visual Arts and Design).
What Is The Profile Of The 2018-2019 PLP Class?
16% International students
58% College of Business students
60% Female / 40% Male
9% Graduate students
What Curriculum And Content Do You Deliver To PLP Students?
During the course of the academic year, the facilitators present content on a wide array of topics such as Ethics, Global Awareness, Emotional Intelligence, Servant Leadership, Social Entrepreneurialism, Negotiating Skills, Personal Branding, Social Media, Organizational Culture, and more.
Who Are The Facilitators That Deliver The Curriculum & Content?
The Facilitators are “Subject Matter Experts” from industry and not-for-profit sectors across the DFW metroplex. Many have businesses that are National and International in scope, providing our students with an opportunity to learn both the theory and experiential sides of management and leadership.
What Type Of Practical Experience Does PLP Offer Its Participants?
PLP offers practice experiences in several ways, including McKinsey & Company case studies and business after-hours networking events.
- Each semester, students are presented with a McKinsey case studies. Working with a team of students from diverse majors, students analyze a situation and conduct evaluations of real business scenarios, culminating with a presentation of their findings to a panel of executives. Through this process, students learn to effectively collaborate and utilize critical thinking skills to solve real world business problems.
- Twice per semester, students are given the opportunity to practice their networking skills. Hosted at various locations throughout the metroplex, students mingle with PLP mentors, corporate partners, and business executives, learning how to present themselves professionally, leverage their experiences, and exchange business cards.
Where Are Your Classes And Events Held?
Classes are held every Wednesday from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. for block I and 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. for block II in the Business Leadership Building (BLB) on UNT campus. Events vary and are held both on-campus and throughout the DFW metroplex.
Do You Support Or Foster Community Service Projects?
Servant Leadership is a strong driving principle of the Professional Leadership Program. As such, community service and volunteer projects are very important for the development of our participants. Students are required to complete at least 4 hours of community service each semester.
Does The Program Offer A Study Abroad Or Global Leadership Component?
Yes. PLP is working to become globally recognized, including the development of leaders who are prepared for the global workforce. This component of the program typically occurs during the summer and varies from year-to-year.
How Long Has The Program Been In Existence?
PLP was started in 1994 by the Dean for the College of Business (at the time), Clayton Singleton, who had a vision to shift the paradigm from a classroom-only learning experience for business students to one that is experiential-based and linked to developing skills and competencies that are essential in the marketplace.
In its current form, the PLP vision is to continually be recognized in the education and business sectors as an exceptional servant leadership development and mentoring program, serving as a model for partnerships between the university, students, community, and businesses.
How Do You Recruit And Select Mentors?
Mentors for PLP are volunteers and are recruited from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors across the DFW metroplex. This results in a diverse mix of companies and industries providing a wide range of experiences. The recruitment effort is led by the PLP Staff in collaboration with the Board of Directors, UNT faculty and staff, current mentors, and PLP Alumni.
Mentor recruitment is ongoing throughout the year. Prospective mentors hold an introductory phone call with PLP staff and complete an online mentoring profile. After PLP student members are selected, mentors are matched with their student on the basis of career interests/experience, location, and other key factors.
How Long Is The Mentor Assignment?
Each mentor/mentee match is assigned for one academic year (August to May). We ask that our mentors commit to meeting in-person or conference call with their students at least once every 4- 6 weeks with phone calls and email communication in between meetings. We also encourage students to stay connected with their mentors even after their term with PLP has ended.
Are There Opportunities For Corporate Partnerships?
Absolutely! Companies can get involved in a variety of ways, including mentoring, providing representatives as curriculum facilitators, sponsoring a “Business After Hours” networking event or other industry field trip, providing gift-in-kind donations for program activities, or through providing one-time or recurring financial support for programmatic expenses or for student scholarships.
How Is The Program Funded?
Funding for PLP comes from two sources: 1) State funding for staff salaries and expenses and 2) Donations from external entities. Donations include financial gifts and in-kind donations that provide for expenses related to program activities such as business networking events, select industry field trips, and a student recognition banquet at the end of the academic year.