Applied Leadership Project Process & Timeline

  1. Research and observe: Volunteer with and observe an organization in order to understand its mission and goals, as well as its systems of work and management.
  1. Assess needs and gather data: Examine the needs and possibilities of the organization, as well as gather any information necessary to provide background for the proposed project.
  1. Design a proposal and an implementation plan: Following this period of observing and volunteering, design a project in collaboration with the organization. Submit a 5-page summary that includes
    • the background of the organization, including function, mission, observations and systems analysis;
    • needs assessment;
    • proposed action and further research;
    • the scope of the work including time commitment, contacts, location, etc.;
    • a confidentiality agreement (re: data disclosure and names).
  1. Establish a formal agreement: In consultation with the organizational partners as well as with Naropa faculty members, complete the Project Agreement Form, which is signed by you and the organization.
  1. Begin the project
  1. Complete the project within the agreed-upon timeline.
  1. Assess and present the project:  Submit a formal 20-page final report to the organization and to the Naropa faculty.  In addition, give an oral report on the project during the Capstone Seminar. Both the written and oral reports are assessed by Naropa faculty.  Feedback on the project comes from faculty, from student colleagues, and from organizational stakeholders.


  • Summer after first year of classes: Research organizations, volunteer and build relationships.
  • Early September of second year of MA program: Choose an organization.
  • September - October: Study, observe and assess.
  • November: Submit approved proposal along with Project Agreement Form.
  • January - April: Collaborate and carry out project.
  • Late April to early May: Present to Naropa Environmental Studies community and stakeholders in the Capstone Seminar.