Apply Now

Selection Criteria

Participation in the HIGHER Ground Women's Leadership Development Program is open to women from all career fields. Those selected to be participants must be able to devote two days per month to the program. Accepted participants are responsible for securing appropriate release time from work for all training events. Applicants who represent faith, community or nonprofit organizations as volunteers and who have full- or part-time positions in other sectors are responsible for discussing with their supervisor the appropriateness of professional development time or other arrangements to attend these leadership development sessions during the work day. 

Application Requirements

Interested candidates may complete an online application. Once accepted, all HIGHER Ground Women's Leadership Development Program candidates must submit the program fee no later than January 1st, to secure space as a participant.

All required documents must be received by the application deadline for your application to be complete. Please ensure that your application contains the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Essay
  • Resume
  • One-paragraph bio sketch (no more than 100 words)
  • One nomination via online form
  • $250 application fee (Application fee may be paid by credit card, check, or purchase order. Please note that applications are not considered complete until payment is received.)

Apply Now

Program Fee

The program fee for the HIGHER Ground Women's Leadership Development Program is $1,800 (which includes the $250 application fee). Payment is due January 1st. The program fee covers all program costs, including intensive leadership assessments, an overnight retreat, registration for the annual HIGHER Ground Women's Leadership Conference and meals on program days. Program fee payments can be made by the sponsoring organization or by individuals. Participants are responsible for securing their own transportation for program sessions. 

The 2020 class of the HIGHER Ground Women’s Leadership Development Program has created one scholarship for a 2022 candidate interested in taking part in the HIGHER Ground experience with The VCU Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute. During our time together, HIGHER Ground took us to a higher place, even during COVID-19. It made us stronger. It showed us gifts and talents that we had that we didn’t know we had. It pushed us to take risks. It taught us so much about leadership and about sisterhood. We want to be sure that others are able to have this experience. To that end, we created a scholarship.

This scholarship is in honor of our fearless leaders through our HIGHER Ground experience. This scholarship is created in the spirit of Dr. Grace E. Harris as a way to help a future GEHLI sister “lead with grace.”

The recipient of this scholarship will:

  • Demonstrate need for financial assistance to be able to take part in HIGHER Ground. In other words, this is a person who may not have financial support from their employer to attend this program and is either paying out of pocket or cannot afford the program fees without outside financial support. 
  • Have an interest in HIGHER Ground to discover “what’s next” for them in their career or life path. Many in the class of 2020 came to HIGHER Ground for exploration and personal growth. We would like for another participant to have that opportunity. 
  • Demonstrate how they give back to the communities around them through their job, official service, or other involvement and/or mentoring. The class of 2020 had a big heart for each other and for their communities.
  • The 2022 scholarship recipient will be expected to successfully complete all program requirements, including maintaining an 80% attendance rate for program sessions.

Due Date: November 15, 2021

**You must submit a completed program application for your scholarship application to be considered

Program Application


Participants who complete the HIGHER Ground Women's Leadership Development Program will receive a certificate of completion from The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute.

View graphic version