Stephen F. Austin State University

Certified Student Leader Program

Certified Student Leader Program

SFA's comprehensive leadership program that maximizes on students' co-curricular experiences and their ability to translate into coveted transferrable skills.


Fill out a custom interest form HERE.

The program has been intricately designed in collaboration with the Center for Career and Professional Development to serve as the avenue for which Stephen F. Austin State University evaluates and endorses the attainment of the transferable skills of each student.

Unique to the program is that it is available for each and every Lumberjack. The ability to earn an endorsement is not limited to any certain major, classification, or method of involvement.

When a student attains all six endorsements they are eligible for induction into SFA's top leadership honor, The 1923 Society.

Submit your evidence. Articulate your experience. Receive your endorsement.

For more information about this program contact Lacey Folsom, director for student engagement at 936.468.1367 or

Areas of Endorsement

Based on the list of Top Ten employable skills as composed by the National Association of College and Employers. The Certified Student Leader program is structured to incorporate seven of these ten skills. The holistic development of each of our students is ultimately defined by the ability to contribute to society. Thus, through the attainment of all six endorsement areas a student will be able to articulate the soft skills of communication, decision making, influence, organization, teamwork and global/intercultural fluency with specific examples from their cocurricular experiences.

Communication: The ability to speak to large and small audiences while effectively presenting a clear message. The ability to write and speak in a way that others find engaging, putting abstract ideas into language that can be easily understood. This communication is free from technical and grammatical mistakes.

Decision Making: The ability to choose between different options to best help the group to meet their goals. The ability to identify threats, as well as find solutions to issues that impede the ability of the group to succeed.

Influence: The ability to motivate other members of a group to do something through convincing or persuading.

Organization: The ability structure the work of a group so that priorities are established and there is a shared understanding of the group's objectives and goals.

Teamwork: The ability to identify the strengths of those with whom they are working and effectively leverage their skills to accomplish the group's stated goals and objectives.

Global/Intercultural Fluency: Valuing, respecting, and learning from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions.

How to receive an endorsement

The Certified Student Leader Program is structured to mirror that of the job application process.

Students seeking to earn any of the endorsements must email the following things to with the subject line "Certified Student Leader Application." A separate application must be submitted for each endorsement. Please submit all documents in PDF format.

  1. A resume (Make sure that the 7 sub-skill areas are easily identifiable)
  2. A specific cover letter for the endorsement
  3. The names, working titles, and email addresses of two evaluators:
    • one must be a person that you have led (peer, co-worker, classmate)
    • one must be a supervisor/advisor who you have reported to (advisor, supervisor, faculty/staff)

It is recommended that students use this endorsement evaluation rubric as a quide when they begin to draft their resumes and cover letters. Find a complete overview of the evaluation rubric for each area of endorsement here.

Please use the resources to the side or visit the SFA Center for Career and Professional Development website for templates and guides for constructing resumes and cover letters.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to earn an endorsement?
Endorsements are processed as they are received. Evaluators are given one week to return their evaluations, followed by another week for the Content Reviewer to evaluate the application. It should take no longer than two months from the time an application is submitted for a decision to be made.

Do I get anything for becoming a Certified Student Leader?
Yes! For each endorsement a student receives they will get a certificate, as well as an electronic badge to publish on social media. Students who reach all five endorsements and are inducted into The 1923 Society are recognized at the Leadership & Service Awards each spring and will get a custom medallion to wear with graduation regalia.

What is the benefit to gaining these endorsements?
Just as your academic transcript verifies your excellence in your courses, the Certified Student Leader endorsements are the University's official way to verify your transferable, or marketable skills. By gaining each endorsement you have illustrated your ability to master the skills of communication, decision making, influence, organization, and teamwork. Congratulations, this is exactly what employers are looking for!

Non- Discrimination Statement

Stephen F. Austin State University strives to provide an educational and work environment that affirms the rights and dignity of each individual. It is the policy of the university, in accordance with federal and state law, to prohibit unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information,citizenship and veteran status. Additionally, Stephen F. Austin State University prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Unlawful discrimination based on sex includes discrimination defined as sexual harassment.

The Discrimination Complaints policy (2.11) and the Sexual Misconduct policy (2.13) outline the university's commitment and details the procedures used to investigate complaints.

It is the responsibility of the university president to ensure that SFA and all its constituencies comply with the provisions of this policy and with all federal and state laws, executive orders and regulations regarding non-discrimination.