What is the Vermont Leadership Institute?

The Snelling Center for Government created the Vermont Leadership Institute (“VLI”) in 1995 with the goal of stimulating citizen enthusiasm for and participation in public service. VLI gives participants from the private, public and non-profit sectors the information, tools and inspiration to make greater contributions to their organizations, to their communities and to Vermont. As Vermont’s premier civic leadership development program, VLI consists of eight overnight sessions, totaling nineteen seminar days, with each session held in a different region of the state to convey a sense of Vermont’s rich historic, geographic and cultural diversity. VLI associates engage in intensive assessment and self-reflection, learn from both each other and an esteemed faculty, and become immersed in some of the most important issues facing Vermont.

Why VLI?

  • Leadership is a valuable skill and it’s important to gain clarity between leadership and management.
  • Learn about your strengths and areas of growth as a leader to empower and more accurately direct your team’s management and leadership staff.
  • Begin to identify your own preferences and biases to invite more diverse stakeholders, perspectives, conversations and decision making into your daily work.
  • Explore ways that race, power, privilege and inequities impact your organization, community and leadership.
  • Apply a systems thinking lens to mentor others and implement change in your organization.
  • Understand data science using Results Based Accountability and apply Appreciative Inquiry to transition and change.
  • Work with an 8+ month practice plan to bring your leadership learning insights to fruition.
  • Build a strong network of leadership, relationships and support that extends past graduation with continued opportunities to learn and engage.

Who has completed this program?

There are currently more than 550 program graduates who are making a difference in Vermont: leading innovative businesses, creating award-winning non-profits, serving in the legislature and state government, and volunteering in their communities. In addition, VLI alumni become part of the larger Vermont Leadership Network that includes more than 900 graduates to date from all of the Snelling Center’s leadership programs.

What are the program dates for the coming year?

The Class of 2020 will commence in September 2019 and graduate in June 2020:

Opening Retreat September 26-27 Basin Harbor, Vergennes
Know Thyself October 28-30 Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee
Leadership in Context December 5-6 Burke Mountain Resort, Burke
Systems and Organizational Change Leadership January 9-10 The Essex, Essex
The Shaping of Public Policy February 3-5 Capitol Plaza, Montpelier
Human-Centered Systems in Action March 18-20 Grafton Inn, Grafton
Transformational Leadership April 23-24 Hildene, Manchester
Commencement June 5-6 Basin Harbor, Vergennes

What are the costs?

A non-refundable application fee of $25.00 must accompany your application. If you are accepted into the program, tuition is $7,550 for double occupancy or $8,450 for single occupancy. Tuition includes food and lodging for the eight sessions/nineteen seminar days.

What if financial commitment is a concern?

We strongly encourage all interested candidates to apply. Once participants are accepted into the program, we are committed to working with individuals to address financial barriers to participation. Thanks to the generous contributions of VLI alums and other supporters, we have a limited amount of scholarship assistance available, plus we also have resources on other funding opportunities. Check out our Financial Assistance page for more details or contact Ptarmigan Abbott at ptarmigan@snellingcenter.org.

How do I apply?

Click here to apply. Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis.

What happens next?

After your application is received, we will schedule a 30 minute interview with VLI alumni in your area. Our Selection Committee will meet in early June to review all applications and make a final decision on those selected for the Class of 2020. Applicants will be notified of their status in the program around mid to late June.

What are the expectations if I’m selected?

Full participation in all sessions is expected. Session days typically run from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, so please make note of the session dates to minimize scheduling problems during the year. VLI constantly evaluates the curriculum, faculty, presenters, activities, facilitation and design. VLI seeks to break down barriers by listening to participants and openly engaging with complex conversations.

What happens if I’m not selected?

Participation is limited to approximately 25 associates to ensure an optimal learning environment. Each class is selected with an eye towards diversity on multiple levels, including professional experience, gender and ethnicity, as well as applicants’ desire to learn and commitment to the citizens of Vermont. Consequently, we have to turn away applicants every year. If you are accepted as an alternate, you will automatically be offered admission in the next cohort. If you are not invited to join the class, we strongly encourage you to reapply to next year’s cohort.

Can I earn college credit?

Yes! 3 Graduate Credits through Marlboro College

What if I have additional questions?

Further details are available by exploring the Leadership tab on our website or feel free to call 802.859-3090 or email Vermont Leadership Institute Director, Suzanne Trahey, at suzanne@snellingcenter.org.