Athlete Leadership

Athlete Leadership University

Spring registration opens February 27, 2023 • Spring Practicums due March 27, 2023

Special Olympics Indiana’s foundational program is Athlete Leadership University, which meets two weekends per year (Fall and Spring). Starting with the “Introduction to Athlete Leadership” course, athletes learn about Special Olympics, create a personal mission statement, and plan how they can lead in the organization.

Athletes then select one of seven majors — communication, events, governance, health and fitness, sports, technology, and leadership through visual arts. Each major consists of a series of courses leading to graduation two to three years later. Following each class session, an athlete must complete a practicum related to the course topic. Review our Handbook for Athlete Leaders for more details on Athlete Leadership University and the curriculum.

All practicums from Fall 2022 Session are due by March 27, 2023. Practicums turned in after this date may not receive credit for the course.

Spring 2023 Session

Saturday and Sunday, April 15 – 16 at Butler University

Spring 2023 Courses

  • Core Course: Understanding Leadership (Required second course: must have completed Introduction to Athlete Leadership)
  • Communications: Global Messenger II (must have completed Global Messenger I)
  • Events: To Be Determined
  • Governance: Athlete Leadership Councils
  • Health & Fitness: Introduction to Health & Fitness
  • Sports: Principles of Coaching
  • Technology: Digital Media
  • Technology: Internet Communications or Basic PowerPoint (TBD)
  • Visual Arts: Leadership Through Visual Arts II (must have completed Leadership Through Visual Arts I)
  • Core Course: Leadership Capstone

Note: Introduction to Athlete Leadership is not offered in spring. All new leaders start in the fall session.

Contact Elesia Yoon with any questions.

General Information


Graduates of Athlete Leadership University become members of the Special Olympics Indiana Athlete Leadership University Alumni Association. This special group of athlete leaders promotes the organization through numerous leadership roles in various projects and management teams. The association newsletter, ALPs Alumnus, is publish quarterly. For more information, contact the association at

*Area and County Programs that seek to involve athletes in leadership roles are required to attend a two-hour certification session.

Athlete Leadership Councils

Athletes who participate in ALCs discuss ideas and problems, respond to program proposals, make suggestions, and propose recommendations to the State Office and County programs. Athletes have the opportunity to participate in their County ALC and State ALC.  The SOIN Board of Directors approved the athlete-led recommendation for every county program to have an Athlete Leadership Council (ALC) by the end of 2022. The Indiana Athlete Leadership Council was reimagined in 2019 and added to the SO Indiana organizational by-laws. The policy provides guidelines to counties for participation in the statewide ALC. For more information, read the Athlete Leadership Council Overview and the Athlete Leadership Council handbook.

ALU Partners:

Butler University College of Education logo

Current Leadership Opportunities

Visit Leadership Opportunities to explore how you can use your leadership skills.

ALC Registration Form

Ready to register your local ALC? Fill out the ALC Registration Form

SO Indiana State Office Contact

Elesia Yoon
Dean, Athlete Leadership University
Director, Organizational Development

Please visit our Resource Library for more information about current and upcoming Athlete Leadership University semesters.