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Leadership Cortland 

Sponsored by the Cortland County Chamber of Commerce and Tompkins Cortland Community College

All participants are required to complete a community action project.

Project Guidelines


  • Will enhance your understanding of practical leadership as well as yield tangible results of lasting benefits to the community.

  • May involve a community partner with which the project team works closely as a resource of information and guidance.

  • Will be linked to the community assessment issues identified at the retreat.  Can be form any field, for example, education, regional planning, human services, economic development, the arts, but will address a critical community issue.

  • Will provide opportunity for research, planning, resource development, collaboration and negotiation skills.

  • Are to be competed between November and the graduation dinner date and must have a tangible end product.

  • Should have a community partner identified to sustain the project, if applicable

  • Are not partisan.

  • Are not religious in nature.

  • Will require minimal fundraising only to support project costs. This will be explained at the retreat.

Team Operating Guidelines


  • The purpose of the Leadership Cortland Community Action Projects are:

  • To provide participants with a group learning experience in the context of current community issues

  • To provide an opportunity to establish a partnership with at least one community organization in order to learn about that (those) organization(s) and its (their) interaction with the community

  • To allow participants to apply leadership skills and information toward an end product

  • To support collaboration and shared experiences through small-group interaction, between Leadership Cortland, its participants and community organization throughout the region

  • To create an environment which will foster on-going communication among participants and enhance their commitment to community service

  • To increase Leadership Cortland's visibility within the community

Values and Guiding Principles:

  • Each of our unique backgrounds, skills, ideas and interests will be valued for its ability to expand the knowledge, understanding and capabilities of other individuals and the class as a group

  • As class members, we will seek to clarity and elaborate the regional public dialogue on issues of importance to the county

  • Each of us will dedicate this year to learning about trusteeship and to becoming a trustee of the Cortland County area


Team composition is determined by participants and the program director that the retreat. Teams will meet as needed as determined by the team members.


It is the responsibility of the team to monitor its own progress as well as to ask for resources and assistance.  The program director will check in with the team at monthly session to monitor its progress and to observe the process.  Any problems with the project should be brought immediately to the program director's attention.


Each team must define a project resulting in a tangible end product that will be completed by the end of the program year in June.  Project groups will present their proposed project at a December or January  meeting with Leadership Cortland Advisory Board members and the Director for input and approval.

Projects will be presented to the community at the Graduation Dinner.

A brief written report of the project must be submitted to the Director in May.  As needed, consideration should be given to releasing findings and information to the community.

Criteria for Projects

Each team is encouraged to consider multiple options before selecting a project.  The criteria used to select a project are determined by the team and may include impact in the community, feasibility, meaningfulness for the team, skills of team members versus skills needed for the project, etc.


Sustainability is encouraged.  Thea team must arrange for some persons (including the project team) or organization to provide continuing support of the project with applicable.  Leadership Cortland cannon assume ongoing responsibility for any community action project, but key community agencies may do so.

Funding, Public Relations, Use of Leadership Cortland Logo and Reimbursement

  • Each team will have a budget of $100-$125 to spend on the project.  These funds should be used for project management issues (I.e. copying, mailing, and printing).

  • Request for reimbursement must be submitted by June and copies of receipts are required.  Sales tax and alcohol purchase cannot be reimbursed.

  • No fundraising should be a part of the project team's work except for small, in-kind services in some cases. This will be explained at the Retreat.

  • Publicity, brochures, etc. relating to a project should acknowledge Leadership Cortland sponsorship.  Additionally, any press releases, advertising copy, brochure design or other publicity using the Leadership Cortland name must be reviewed with the program director prior to being released.