Ends on

The Cooperative Leaders and Scholars (CLS) program is an opportunity for employees, board members, and post-secondary students working for cooperatives and others interested in working for a cooperative or cooperative organization to participate in multi-sector programming and events and engage with co-op industry thought leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders. 

CLS offers the opportunity to learn more about the cooperative model, engage with cooperators and experts from all sectors, and participate in and share knowledge with a community of cooperative leaders and scholars. 

As a participant, you will:

  • Participate in an 8 month program designed to deepen and broaden your knowledge of cooperatives and the role of the co-op model in meeting the economic and social needs of communities
  • Be a part of a community that can provide ongoing peer support and professional development opportunities
  • Co-create a capstone project that will be presented at the Co-op IMPACT Conference
  • Participate in exclusive networking events 
  • Learn from industry experts in a series of webinars
  • Get to know the cohort in-person at a multi-day event in St. Paul, MN in May that will include co-op tours, capstone project planning, and art of facilitation training
  • Attend a weeklong event in Washington, DC from October 2 - 6 featuring NCBA CLUSA's multi-day Co-op IMPACT Conference, CDF's Cooperative Hall of Fame reception and induction ceremony, and a one-day course from the International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary's University

Fellowship includes:

  • Registrations for the Co-op IMPACT Conference, Cooperative Hall of Fame, and International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary's University course
  • Access to exclusive networking events
  • Webinars from industry experts
  • Peer-to-Peer and Mentor-to-Mentee opportunities
  • Hotel accommodations for October weeklong convening in Washington, DC
  • Hotel accommodations for May multi-day in-person meeting
  • Up to $1,000 in reimbursement for travel costs for May and October events (up to $500 per in-person event)
  • 18 meals for in-person events (part of program, not reimbursable) 
  • $25 metro card for Washington, DC
  • $600 honorarium

CLS is open to:

  • Emerging cooperators (ages 18 - 35) pursuing a career in or working with cooperatives, credit unions, and mutual insurance.
  • Individuals new to cooperatives, credit unions, and mutual insurance with less than five years of experience. 
  • Post-secondary students of any age with an interest in cooperatives, credit unions, and mutual insurance.


  • February 10 - Applications due at 11:59pm ET
  • March 1 - Applicants notified of status
  • April 5 - Fellowship kick-off
  • May - Multi-day in-person meeting with cohort
  • June - September -  Virtual programming
  • October - Weeklong in-person convening in Washington, DC
  • November - Virtual programming

Contact Kirstie Boyette at kboyette@ncba.coop for more information.

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