The Application Process

Applying to Leadership SLO requires your time and thought, and, if you’re employed, your employer’s agreement. If you’re accepted to Leadership SLO, we’ll do everything possible to make sure tuition payments are not an obstacle, scholarship requests are confidential.

The Application

Please complete both the application and “the Fine Print”



Sample Letter of Recommendation

Application Dates & Deadlines

October 4 Deadline for Applications
Oct. 29 to Nov. 4 Group Interviews Scheduled
Late November
Notification for Class 29-2020
December 4 Tuition Due

The Interview

After your application is received, you’ll be notified to sign up for a group interview.


  • Are CURIOUS by nature and MOTIVATED to get involved in their community
  • Are LOOKING for information about our entire county
  • Are actively exploring arenas in which to FOCUS their energies
  • May be SERVING on boards or commissions or may be just thinking their path to community service
  • Have a COMMITMENT to personal and professional growth
  • Are WILLING to view community issues from a broad perspective

Participants come from all over SLO County, from every walk of life. In every class you’ll find college students, middle-managers, front line workers, farmers & ranchers, retirees, parents and stay-at-home parents. Class members are ALSO public servants, nonprofit and business executives, officers and managers; people already in leadership roles in their work life. Membership in the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce is not a factor for selection.

Selection Criteria

The group reflects a geographic, cultural, life experience, and gender balance between the private, nonprofit, public and volunteer sectors. We do not typically accept two members of the same family in the same class, nor do we typically accept two candidates from the same business or municipality.

In our commitment to ensure diversity of people and viewpoints, many well-qualified applicants may not be selected. We urge those applicants to reapply in the following year with the understanding that each year’s applicant pool is independently considered.


Tuition for the 10-month program is $1,995 and includes:

  • Retreat at Wonder Valley Resort (2 nights, 5 meals)
  • Light breakfast and lunch at 9 Day Sessions
  • Transportation on Tour Day


Partial scholarships are offered and awarded based on greatest need. Every year more than 25{b16937efed2fc63e89504cf07af2a70f9dc0f983064997b2821001a5babf5ae7} of applicants request scholarship assistance thanks to generous sponsors and donors. Since scholarship funds are limited, Leadership San Luis Obispo encourages applicants to seek sponsorship from their employers and community affiliations.

Program Dates & Deadlines

  • Day sessions are on the second Friday of each month, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    • Ag & Manufacturing “Tour Day” begins at 6:45 a.m.
  • Some sessions require homework, which involves a time commitment of 2–4 hours.
  • Every class participates in a Legacy project that’s usually completed after graduation, so please be aware of a continued commitment.

Retreat 2020 Dates

Thursday, Jan. 9 to Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020

Day Sessions

  • February 14
  • March 13
  • April 10
  • May 8
  • June 12
  • July 10
  • August 14
  • September 11
  • October 9

Each day session is a full day commitment: 7:30 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.
Ag & Manufacturing Day “Tour Day” begins at 6:30 a.m.

Our Generous Major Sponsors

Scholarship Sponsors