Walter Bumphus Leadership Institute Mission

Going into the Bumphus Leadership Institute, I was both anxious and nervous. The unknown overtook me. What I discovered was that I still had areas, in terms of my leadership style/approach, that needed further development. Attendance and participation as a part of the institute allowed me the opportunity to be vulnerable and verbalize the aspects of my leadership that I felt were weak, but also those attributes that I felt were strong. I learned so much from the faculty and fellow cohort members and developed a foundation for my personal student development philosophy, which I am still solidifying. I reported back to work with a new desire to be a better leader for my staff and for the students that I serve. I am a more observant leader. I self-assess more often. I am more flexible and adaptable and continue to grow and evolve in my leadership style and approach. An added bonus was the friendships and professional relationships that I fostered during the institute. I would not exchange the experience for anything. I am eternally grateful to the faculty and my fellow cohort members.


Director of Advising, Transfer & Career Services

As of December 1, 2015, the National Council on Student Development received an authorization to rename the Community College Student Development Leadership Institute.  Therefore, NCSD is pleased to announce the renaming of the Leadership Institute to the Walter G. Bumphus Leadership Institute.  Dr. Bumphus currently serves as the President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges. The Walter G. Bumphus Leadership Institute is dedicated to building and fostering a network among participants and facilitators. Established in 2000, by the National Council on Student Development, to date, the Institute has graduated 212 participants representing many states across the United States and Canada. Participants benefit by reinforcing their focus on leadership and student development theory. They also establish a network of colleagues in the student services profession.

  • Develop future leaders who aspire to senior leadership positions in student development within community college systems.
  • Develop and maintain a pool of student development professionals eminently qualified to assume leadership roles.
  • Develop and refine the critical leadership skills of current and future leaders in the profession.
  • Facilitate discussions on leadership, management, student development theory, professional development, and mentoring.

Institute Features

  • Participants discuss the professional and personal rewards and costs associated with leadership.
  • Participants work on successful and challenging issues confronted on the job and share beneficial insights.
  • Participants build networks and enjoy the support of colleagues with similar goals and ambitions.

Institute Focus

The program is an intensive 2½ day experience that utilizes a modified Great Teachers format and is adapted from a program that was first sponsored by the California Community College Chief Student Services Officers Association. Participants should expect to be fully immersed in leadership activities from Thursday morning through Saturday afternoon, including evenings.

Discussion Topics

  • Leadership philosophies and application in student development
  • Leadership skills competencies
  • Student development theory
  • Principles and politics of leadership
  • Behavioral intervention and crisis management challenges
  • Leadership versus management
  • Mentoring relationships
  • Student learning outcomes in Student Affairs
  • Visioning and strategic planning
  • Managing change
  • Nurturing leadership teams
  • Future trends in student development

Institute Facilitators
A diverse and distinguished group of chief student development officers will facilitate this intensive training program. Major responsibilities include charting the student development focus, direction, and priorities.


The Institute’s primary focus is on those who seek to serve in chief student development officer positions. Candidates for the Community College Student Development Leadership Institute are selected from among applicants who have served in entry and mid-level management positions of leadership in student development within the community college.
These individuals are qualified based on position, education, levels of experience, and letters of nomination and recommendation. Participants are likely to have three or more years of experience with increasing levels of responsibility and a minimum of a master’s degree.

Candidates are selected from the qualified applicants by a committee comprised of the Institute facilitators, some of whom are also members of the Executive Board of the National Council on Student Development.

Each Leadership Institute invites 40 participants, insuring the participants represent a diversity of opinions and professional settings as well as gender, ethnic, and racial backgrounds.





Leadership Institute Sponsorship

The Walter G. Bumphus Leadership Institute is dedicated to building and fostering a network among participants and facilitators. Established in 2000, by the NCSD, to date, the Institute has graduated more than 260 participants (approximately 40 graduates of the new WBLI) representing many states across the United States and Canada.