Cornerstone League

Cornerstone Leadership Academy

Leadership AcademyRaising the Level of Leadership

The Cornerstone Leadership Academy was designed by credit union professionals for credit union professionals. With a clear focus on building leaders within our credit unions, the Leadership Academy allows for growth through engagement.

The Academy is a nine-month program featuring training from local industry experts on credit union-specific topics. The objective is to foster the necessary leadership skills in up-and-coming professionals here in our three-state region. The curriculum is ideal for anyone looking to grow and engage, whether they are 30 days or 30 years into their career. The program also offers experienced leaders an opportunity to pass down some of their knowledge and engage with new individuals in their chapter, and beyond.

“The Cornerstone Leadership Academy was an eye-opener to all things credit union and is a great buffer for the Southwest CUNA Management School. Not only did the class cover the industry, but it really delved into what leadership truly is, which proved to be invaluable and what I got most out of the Academy. The small class size allowed for a more personal experience, and I will carry what I learned with me not only at work but in life as well.”

~ Kimberli Felts, Branch Manager at MTCU

Benefits for Chapters and Students

  • Convenient nine-month program delivered by the chapter
  • Training designed by credit union leaders for credit union leaders
  • Learning from local industry experts and guest speakers
  • Partnering with a specially chosen mentor through the Cornerstone Collaboration Program
  • In-depth leadership philosophy knowledge transfer and discussions
  • Collaboration on an immersive leadership project
  • Monthly leadership lunch and learn sessions

All credit union professionals affiliated with Cornerstone chapters are encouraged to apply.

Participation in the Collaboration Program

Through the Cornerstone Collaboration Program, each student is carefully paired with a mentor from across the region. If you’ve had a good mentor in the past, you undoubtedly recognize the incalculable value to your career that a mentor can provide. The program also offers opportunities to connect and network with other industry professionals.

Even if you're not thinking about becoming a student in the Academy, sign up for this incredible initiative for a personally rewarding experience.

A Springboard for the Future

The Cornerstone Leadership Academy is also a springboard for students to become next-level credit union leaders. As an introductory leadership course, the Leadership Academy provides the foundation for future development in educational programs, such as cuLEAD360 Leadership Development Program, the Cornerstone Principles and Philosophy Conference, the Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) training, and the Southwest CUNA Management School (SCMS).

New this year: Leadership Academy student will receive a subscription to cuLEAD360.


Education Investment

Chapters and students must commit to one full day of learning per month for nine months. Additionally, program participants will work outside of class, reading two leadership books and collaborating on a comprehensive group project.

In a classroom-style environment, facilitators lead students through the following modules:

Module One

  • Academy Orientation
  • Credit Union History and Culture

Module Two

  • Government Relations
  • Resources
  • Foundation
  • Introduction to Compliance

Module Three

  • Leadership

Module Four

  • A Deeper Look at Compliance
  • Branch Operations

Module Five

  • Lending

Module Six

  • Project Management
  • Information Technology

Module Seven

  • Human Resources
  • Marketing

Module Eight

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Leadership Academy Program Review and Final Project Preparation

Module Nine

  • Graduation Session
  • Final Presentation

Included with Registration:

  • binder with course material
  • a copy of The 5 Levels of Leadership by John C Maxwell
  • a copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  • cuLEAD360 subscription for independent study on leadership topics

Interested in Starting the Academy at Your Chapter?

Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Dean?

The dean is responsible for the month-to-month logistics of the program. This individual serves as the central point of contact for students, facilitators, venues, and the league liaison. The dean is also responsible for attending each day of the Leadership Academy curriculum to ensure that everything is on track. Additionally, the dean has general oversight of the program. Co-deans are recommended to share responsibilities and provide different perspectives. The dean is responsible for the following:

  • Student contact
  • Supply ordering
  • Facilitator contact
  • Venue contact
  • League CLA liaison contact
  • Session attendance
  • Coordination of feedback from students and facilitators
  • Final project approval
  • Formation of project teams
  • Counsel of students on their group projects

To access dean resources, contact us.