Leadership Education
Institute for Leadership in Changing Times-ILCT
Professional Executive Leadership School-PELS
 Law Enforcement Training
New Chiefs/Deputy Chiefs Training School
First Line Supervisors Training School
Special Seminars/Training's
Internal Affairs Investigators Basic Training
PELS Alumni Section
Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP)
 VPCF Platinum Donors
Criminal Justice Services Board/Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
Altria Group, Inc.



The Professional Executive Leadership School (PELS) program is an intensive three-week leadership education program conducted in cooperation with the University of Richmond. This program is designed for individuals who currently serve in command/executive level positions within their agencies. The curriculum is liberal-arts/humanities based and focused on the study of leadership at an advanced level. The objective of this program is to acquaint participants with best practices in leadership, challenge them to reflect upon their own leadership competency, and examine ways of achieving both personal and professional growth.

The University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies administers and hosts the PELS program. The classes are held at the University of Richmond’s main campus in Richmond, Virginia, and classes are taught by faculty members from all five schools within the University of Richmond and Executive Education.

PELS is geared for chief executive officers and managers. Candidates from the private sector, public safety, and government agencies are invited to apply.

-PELS Application-

Application deadline for 36th Session is November 1, 2014

Application deadline for 37th Session is July 1, 2015

Program Dates

Session 36: January 12-16; February 16-20; and March 16-19, 2015
Session 37: September 14-18; October 12-16; and November 16-19, 2015
Session 38: January 11-15; February 15-19; and March 14-17, 2016
Session 39: September 12-16; October 10-14; and November 14-17, 2016

Program Information

A wide variety of topics from the liberal arts perspective are included in the program. Curriculum topics have included foundations of leadership, relationship-centered leadership, setting goals for your team, leadership and politics, arts and leadership, literature and leadership, religion and leadership, psychology and leadership, negotiations, strategic leadership, media relations, leadership in crisis, motivational leadership, leadership and the law, and making a difference, among other topics. Case studies and topical issues are also explored. Legal, Cultural Diversity, and Career Development/Elective in-service credits are included in this program.

The PELS program is conducted on the campus of the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, for one week per month for a three-month period. Attendees are required to attend all three weeks of the program. Classes are held from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, except on Fridays when classes will adjourn at 12:00 noon. Individuals accepted to the program must be prepared to commit to this schedule.

Attendees who do not live in the greater Richmond metropolitan area will be provided lodging in a local hotel within close proximity to the school.



The PELS program is appropriate for individuals who meet the following criteria:

1.  Applicants must be in an executive or upper management position within the public or private sector. Out-of-state applicants are welcome.

2.  Currently serving in a management or senior command position; mid-level managers are eligible to apply if they also meet the remaining criteria.

3.  Occupy a position responsible for making or impacting policy within your organization.

4.  Possess an associates degree or equivalent.

5.  A personal commitment to expand your leadership abilities and use these skills to benefit your organization.

6.  Possess prior training, education and life experiences consistent with the requirements and expectations of this program.

A program of this type requires a total commitment on the part of the attendee and his/her organization. Full-time attendance is mandatory for all classes and program activities. For these reasons, the agency chief executive is required to nominate each candidate.


Certification and Credit

This program has been approved by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) for in-service training credits. At the end of the program, pre-approved Partial In-Service Credit forms (DCJS Form PIC-3) will be distributed to those participants who fully complete all parts of the program. In addition, the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation and the University of Richmond will jointly award a certificate of completion to those individuals who successfully complete all phases of the program. Continuing Education Units can be awarded upon request.


Application and Selection Process

To attend the PELS program, each applicant must submit the following:

1.  A completed application form endorsed by the agency chief executive;

2.  Resumé of the applicant (include work experience and education and training history);

3.  Agency organizational chart with the current position of the applicant clearly indicated;

4.  A letter of interest to the PELS Selection Committee indicating why he/she wants to attend PELS and the applicants goals and expectations of the program.

Please note, great care should be given to completion of the application packet, as acceptance to this program is limited to 25 individuals per session. Completed application packets can be submitted electronically to stephanie@vapolicefoundation.org or by mailing it to the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation, 1606 Santa Rosa Rd., Ste. 134, Henrico, Virginia 23229. Faxed applications will not be accepted.

An open enrollment process is utilized for the PELS program. To facilitate this process, applications received are provided to the PELS Selection Committee at various intervals. A member of the PELS Selection Committee will contact the applicant for a brief interview. After the selection committee discusses each application and makes their decisions, applicants are notified of the status of their application. Application packets are evaluated based upon the following criteria:

1.  The applicant meeting the pre-requisites of the program;

2.  Proper completion of the application;

3.  Submission of all required attachments; and

4.  Thoroughness, thoughtfulness, and professionalism demonstrated in letter of interest to the PELS Selection Committee.

Program Fee

The program fee is $3,300 and includes tuition, textbooks, course materials, lunch, and lodging.  The program fee without lodging is $2,400.

Lodging is single occupancy and arrangements are made by the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation. If special accommodations are needed, please send an email to stephanie@vapolicefoundation.org


Scholarship Information

The graduates of the 24th Session of the Professional Executive Leadership School have created the Lex T. Eckenrode Scholarship for PELS. This is a partial scholarship for PELS and is available to sworn law enforcement officers employed in the Commonwealth of Virginia who qualify for and are accepted into the Professional Executive Leadership School. The amount of the scholarship will be determined by the Scholarship Committee. For more information on this scholarship, please click here.

When funding is available, the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation will accept requests for needs-based scholarships from applicable law-enforcement agencies. For more information on needs-based scholarships, click here.



For more information or any questions concerning this program, please contact the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation office at (804) 285-8227 or email stephanie@vapolicefoundation.org

The Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs or activities, including education policies, admissions policies, scholarships, and other programs. The following position has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the Foundation's non-discrimination policies:

Chairman of the Board

Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation

1606 Santa Rosa Rd., Ste. 134

Henrico, Virginia 23229

(804) 285-8227

For further information on federal non-discrimination regulations, contact the Office for Civil Rights at ocr.de@ed.gov or call (800) 421-3481.

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