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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question looming in your mind that did not get answered here, feel free to email your question to eliska.smith@systems.tstc.edu.

Q. Regarding references, do applicants just supply contact information for references or do they need to have letters of recommendation sent?

A: Contact information only is not sufficient. Please send or ask your references to send actual letters of recommendation from individuals who either know you personally or professionally and can attest to your leadership ability (NOTE: At least one letter of reference must be from an alumni of The TSTC Leadership Institute).  These must be sent either hard copy, or via email to: Eliska Smith, TSTC System, Office of the Chancellor, 3801 Campus Drive, Waco TX 76705 or tli@tstc.edu

Q. How long does the essay question on promoting TSTC values need to be?

A: 500-1,000 words – It can either be typed in the email or attached as a document with the email -- as you wish.

Q. Is there a fee to participate in the Leadership Institute?

A. No direct fee to participants. For colleges outside Waco, the colleges are responsible for travel-related expenses for their participants.

Q. Is there much travel involved?

A. For the fourth class, the only travel involved is for those participants from Harlingen, Marshall, and West Texas to travel to Waco and return home. As noted in the component information, participants are required to commit to three face-to-face sessions in Waco -- dates/months as specified. For participants from Waco and System Operations, there is no travel outside of Waco Also, there is no requirement or expectation that Waco and System Operations participants be housed on campus during the face-to-face sessions.

Q. What type of follow-up will participants receive after submitting applications?

A. After the deadline of June 2 is met; all scoring is complete; and presidents have approved their college applicants; those selected will receive a communication from the Leadership Institute Advisory Committee. Those not selected will also receive a communication from the TLI Advisory Committee.


Considering applying?

I was very skeptical at first and was thinking ‘what I did I get myself into?’ But, I found that I have learned a lot about myself and faced many things, which I did not know about myself or how I carried myself as a leader.  I honestly can say now, ‘it was worth the work and time and a rewarding experience,’ and I will carry a distinguished honor of being a member of the TSTC Leadership Institute, a pride that I will carry forever in my personal life and professional career. – Karen Sonnenberg, Associate Director of Payroll, TLI Class IV  

Q. How are scores decided?

A. There are five scorers (TLI Advisory Committee member) from throughout the statewide college system. Each will score all applications and each will determine points separately based on their objective assessment. Further details are found in the application process on the website.

Q. Will participants receive a certificate at the end of the institute?

A. Yes, a certificate will be presented and a photo of class will be taken. CEUs are also awarded for successful completion of the course (approx. 16 CEUs)

Q. Can a person apply again if not selected the first year?

A. Yes, she or he may apply again the next year.

Q. Are there initiatives for leadership elsewhere or is it a TSTC exclusive?

A. Yes, there are numerous conferences and initiatives nationwide focusing on leadership. This leadership program is exclusive to TSTC faculty and staff.

Q. Who determines the group project?

A. The class participants, with approval by the advisory committee.

Q. Will there be an outside time commitment?

A. You will be given a book on leadership to read and will be required to participate weekly on a discussion thread with your class participants. The class may also decide some of the project planning/implementation occur in between face-to-face sessions. Or, this may occur while the class is together in Waco. That will be a group decision. Most learning team members report approximately 4 hours per week spent on the reading, online discussion, and assignments.

Q. Have speakers been selected?

A. We will invite speakers for the 5th class based on feedback from previous learning team members, and availability of other inspirational leaders.

Q. Does a person need to be in a leadership role right now to apply?

A. The TLI is designed for developing leaders at all levels. Please note in the announcement and application, and in the TLI vision, it is stated that the TLI is open to all full-time employees and the goal is to develop leaders at all levels.

Q. Does the president select the participants for TLI?

A. The president may veto a participant; but applicants self-nominate and apply for consideration to the Leadership Institute.

Q. Would each participant be assigned to mentor a certain individual? Would they follow them through their career?

A. Participants are assigned to mentors from the previous leadership class. They will also have be assigned accountability partners to hold one another accountable to working through their personal leadershiph development plans.
Q. Are applications from last year kept on-file or do we have to re-submit an application for this year?

A. Applicants who are not selected would need to re-apply and re-submit each year that they wanted to be considered. The questions may vary from year to year, and one’s experiences may change. Also, letters of reference would need to be current.

Q. How do we budget this?

A. Colleges are responsible for travel-related expenses for roundtrips for their participants to Waco.

Q. Can we use "work time"  to work on TLI projects?

A. The answer may vary as the answer is dependent upon the college/departmental culture, environment, and practices for their participants.

Q. Will TLI advisory committee members attend the sessions with the participants?

A. Some of the advisory committee members may choose to attend a particular speaker’s presentation; however, the focus for the speakers will be engaging discussions with the participants.
Q. Are presidents supportive of the TLI?

A. Yes, all presidents and the Chancellor are supportive of this initiative, currently beginning its fifth year.

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