Be the best version of you. Prepare to excel in your career. Make an impact. 

LEAD Forward integrates industry mentors and hands-on experience to empower you to achieve your career and life goals.

LEAD Forward is a three-semester program presented as a Series of Creative Inquiry classes that leads to a certificate completion. Students who enroll in LEAD Forward will work with industry professionals and peers to hone their leadership skills. After completing the first two courses in the sequence students are matched with industry mentors who help them define and implement their individual leadership challenge.

Please send an email to if you are interested in joining the Fall ’21 Cohort!

What Students Say About Lead Forward

“I absolutely love being involved in the LEAD Forward program. Because females are a minority within the engineering industry, I think that it is of utmost importance for us specifically to develop effective leadership qualities. This program allows me to develop those qualities that allow for personal improvement as an individual and as a team member through weekly meetings, group activities, guidance on personal reflections, and the providing of resources to help me better myself.” – Carson Brackett

“I believe the LEAD Forward program is developing to become a focal point of students’ success not only at Clemson but throughout their emerging professional careers. With ample opportunities and avenues to learn about leadership, it will develop young leaders in industry, in research, in a family unit, and in any path life takes us. Overall, this program is a large step for Clemson engineering students to make a difference in their surroundings both now and in the future.” -Jake Flynn

More About Lead Foward Leadership Development Model:

LEAD Forward has constructed a unique leadership development model based on the concept of having a leader mindset. This model is unique in the sense that it is not focused on developing leadership traits and abilities, but rather on emphasizing the principle that the students must first develop self-awareness and learn to think as a leader before they are able to effectively lead others.

The model has three components which relate to the three semesters in the program:

Empower Myself incorporates the principle of being self-aware with the development of personal discipline. A leader must first be aware of their strengths and areas of improvement and how to best use those as they develop their personal leadership style. A leader must also have the ability to understand and properly react to others (emotional intelligence) in order to best lead others. A leader must be able to manage themselves before they can endeavor to lead others.

Empower Others focuses on the need for a leader to understand team dynamics – defined objectives, defined plan, assigned roles and responsibilities, effective feedback, and accountability. It will develop the students’ abilities to lead effectively in a variety of environments. An effective leader must be able to adapt to a changing environment, and perhaps even be the change agent.

Leadership Challenge gives students the opportunity to apply their leadership skills to a capstone project. Students might mentor and coach new participants, work with the local school district to support leadership development and increase knowledge of STEM careers and opportunities, or educate emerging young leaders on important principles such as Emotional Intelligence. LEAD Forward students are also given the opportunity to be mentored by an industry leader.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more please contact us!

Contact: Steve Murphy at