GOLD Leadership Certificate Program | Involvement & Leadership | ESF Students
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

GOLD Leadership Certificate ProgramGrowing Opportunities for Leadership Development

The Growing Opportunities for Leadership Development (GOLD) program empowers students to voluntarily participate in and complete a tiered leadership development program.

The curriculum is based on the social change model and has three levels: individual, group, and society. Each level has four elements: education, experiential leadership, community service, and reflection. Once each level is completed, students receive a certificate of completion and pin to move onto the next level. The GOLD certificate program overview is here.

GOLD Mentors

Through GOLD, student leaders will:

  • Recognize and improve their leadership skills
  • Help build a better sense of community and purpose
  • Become better prepared for life after college
  • Create an environment that supports diverse thoughts, opinions, and perspectives
  • Learn how to create positive change within the campus and greater community

Student leaders will be expected to:

  • Take responsibility for tracking their own participation in workshops, writing journal entries and final reflection papers, and presenting about their activities
  • Meet with their Mighty Oak Mentor to help navigate the Mighty Oak Level service project requirements
  • Have workshop facilitators validate their participation by completing the tracking sheet

Each GOLD Certification level has four elements:

  • Education via workshops, training, and presentations
  • Experiential (applied) leadership via involvement in and leadership of campus organizations
  • Community Service elements to explore agencies, organizations, and areas of interest for the Mighty Oak level project
  • Reflection via written and oral, following the guidelines below per each level

Completion results in a certificate at each level and pin per level. The formal recognition will be held during the Student Organization/Leaders Awards Recogntion (SOLAR) Ceremony held in April each year.

Other Student Leadership InitiativesEmerging Leaders, Leadership Empowerment Retreat, Orientation Leaders, Workshops

See what other leadership opportunities are available to students:

GOLD Certification Levels & Completion Requirements

Acorn (Individual) LevelExplore your own strengths and leadership style

Sapling (Group) LevelDevelop further skills by working with others to improve your relationships

  • Attend 5 Leadership Workshops on topics of diversity, inclusion, working with others and team-building, dialogue circles, LGBT workshops, international or study abroad sessions, etc.
  • Link to Current Workshops can be found here
  • Participate in and/or join a student organization as an officer; become an RA, OL, or tutor; or take on another formal leadership role as well as attend a cultural event that is different from your own identity
  • 10 hours of community service
  • Journal after each workshop and complete a final reflection paper
  • Present to a student group, class, or organization on your leadership skills you have learned thus far

Mighty Oak (Society) LevelActivate your leadership skills to impact society

  • Participate in (any option will count):
    • alternative spring break trip and/or other service learning experiences
    • Advanced Leadership Trek
  • Work with a Mighty Oak Mentor to implement a social action/change project to benefit the community with an assigned group
  • Peer mentorship of the new Acorn cohort
  • Journal after each workshop and complete a final reflection paper
  • Present to a student group, class, or organization on your final reflection including your project
  • End the Mighty Oak GOLD program with a post Self-Assessment Inventory

Student Involvement & Leadership Links

facebook icon

Contact Us

110 Bray Hall is the place to go for information and assistance.

Office Hours

  • Academic Year
    Monday- Friday 8am - 4:30pm
  • Summer
    Monday-Thursday 8am -4pm
    Friday 8am - Noon

Laura D. Crandall, MS
Director of Student Involvement & Leadership
110 Bray Hall
1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY  13210
(315) 470-6660