Leadership Education & Academic Preparation (LEAP) is a series of workshops facilitated by the International Programs, University of Toronto staff. The workshops foster leadership skills, critical thinking, thoughtful discussion, and academic preparation for high-achieving and goal-oriented high school students as they prepare to transition into post-secondary education. With a transferable skillset in mind, students build on what it takes to be leaders in and out of the class, learn how interpersonal skills are essential in an academic setting, and understand why varied viewpoints on a topic are fundamental for academic and worldly success.  

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Learning Goals

Engage in open-ended discussion in meaningful and practical ways

  • Develop and extend upon ideas to engage in respectful back-and-forth discussion
  • Critically examine and understand a message on the speaker’s own terms, not just your own

Learn how to ask and answer thoughtful questions

  • Help the audience follow your ideas by using organizational strategies when you speak
  • Ask and encourage open ended questions that focus on Why? and How?

Revisit how to argue, defend, and persuade an idea

  • Demonstrate confidence and knowledge on a topic while explaining the necessity of an idea   
  • Provide evidence to support a claim or reasoning for a personal belief   

Identifying and questioning assumptions about other people and situations

  • Identify common cognitive biases and how to counteract them 
  • Demonstrate increased self-awareness of your own biases, and of how to counteract them 
  • Demonstrate increased awareness of culture-specific norms and customs (in yourself and others), and of how to react and express yourself accordingly

Academic demands on university students and strategies for success

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the difference between acquiring/displaying knowledge and critical thinking 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of academic integrity 


  • Work with a team to research, support, and articulate an idea  
  • Present a side to a topic and counter-argue  


  • Explore personal values and how they lead to decision-making and representation in the community  
  • Explore how values transcend to leadership and vice versa  
Workshop Type
Total Hours
Session Duration
1-Day Workshop
3 hours
3 hours/day
3-Day Workshop
9 hours
3 hours/day
5-Day Workshop
15 hours
3 hours/day

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