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President Jimmy Carter Leadership Program

Curriculum & Opportunities

Program Curriculum & Opportunities

Guided by the evidence-based “The Social Change Model of Leadership Development,” the four-year cohort model, Carter Leadership Program allows students to develop their leadership skills individually and within a group. The program consists of two pathways, an Undergraduate Research Track and a Service Track, exemplifying Carter's lifetime of leadership in education, politics, and community service.

  • In year 1, the focus is on individual growth and development, working to understand their beliefs and values while actively participating in various service learning opportunities on and off campus. They actively participate in an introduction to a leadership course and spend a day diving into the area of robust professionalism, listening, the art of conversation, and dining etiquette. Toward the end of their first class, as a part of the program curriculum, they participate in a formal dining experience where they can put their learning experience into action.
  • The second-year program curriculum is set around collaboration and group values, and the students are expected to be active members in two organizations while holding a leadership position in at least one of them, acquire a practicum during this year, and complete 45 hours with a mentor of their choosing related to their field of study.
  • Year three is centered around creating and inspiring profound change as a leader, what that means, and how to accomplish that as future leaders in their field. With a center around the third-year curriculum, the students participate in a second practicum for 45 hours, where the goals are to learn more about significant issues in their field of study, how the mentor of their choosing is inspiring profound change in the area, and what challenges they will face as future change agents in their fields.
  • During the fourth and final year of the program, the students focus on connectedness to the community and society at large. The students complete a capstone project, either research or service based, in the community to spark change to an issue in society and their field of study that they are passionate about.

Students Who May Graduate Early

President Jimmy Carter Leadership Program students can receive their scholarship for a maximum of 4 years, 8 semesters. Students who graduate with their baccalaureate degrees in less than four years will have 1 of 2 options if they wish to complete the requirements of the program:

  1. If the student does not wish to enroll in a graduate degree or second bachelor’s degree program at Georgia Southwestern State University, the student could meet with the program coordinator to discuss speeding up the timeline of their program curriculum track. The program curriculum has been revamped to allow PJCLP students to alter the curriculum track to their particular anticipated graduation date.
  2. If the student chooses to enroll in a graduate degree or a second bachelor’s degree program at Georgia Southwestern State University following their bachelor’s degree completion or as a Double Cane, the student will need to continue to meet all semesterly requirements of the program including:
  • Maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average each semester
  • Meet the volunteer service hour requirement each semester
  • Be actively involved in the completion PJCLP and their cohort
  • Continue to participate as a leader on campus 

If the above standards are met each prior semester, the student will continue to receive the annual scholarship for a total of four years (eight semesters, excluding summer term).

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Program Contact

President Jimmy Carter Leadership Program

Mikela Barlow
Program Coordinator
Student Success Center Room 3416



Community Partners

Students in the Carter Leadership Program will have a variety of service partners within reach to meet their leadership and volunteer goals.


View Partners

What makes GSW special to me is all of the opportunities I have been provided. I have been able to grow and develop my leadership and career since I have been here.

Ric Ware, '22 Business Management, MBA
Albany, Georgia