One of my passions in life is ASAE’s Diversity Executive Leadership Program otherwise known as DELP. I’ve talked about DELP a number of times and have featured many of my fellow scholars in my blog posts. However, the program seems to still be a mystery for many people. That mystique has led to some misconceptions. Well, it’s time to clear the air about what DELP is and more importantly, what it’s not.
Myth #1 – DELP scholars are entry-level staffers.
Reality – DELP scholars are mid and senior level professionals. More than a few came into the program as Executive Directors. Many of us have advanced degrees and worked in the association community for more than 10 years. When I was accepted into DELP in 2008, I was Director of Political Advocacy for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, had worked in the association community for 13 years and earned my MA in Government from Johns Hopkins University in 2002. I don’t think anyone would’ve considered me an entry-level staffer.
Myth #2 – DELPers receive a ton of benefits and do nothing in return.
Reality – DELP scholars serve on ASAE boards and committees. We’ve given presentations and conducted workshops for ASAE. We’ve made financial commitments to the ASAE Foundation and APAC. We advocate on Capitol Hill. DELPers are among the hardest working, visible members of the association community.
Myth #3 – The selection process is not competitive.
Reality – Those applying to the program must submit an application which includes a statement of support from your ED or President; a resume; two letters of recommendation and responses to three essay questions. The process is so competitive, many current scholars had to apply multiple times before finally gaining acceptance into the program (myself included).
Myth #4 – DELP Scholars do not get the CAE.
Reality – 45% of DELP scholars have their CAE.
So what should you know about DELP? DELP is an initiative to promote individuals within the association community. DELP scholars are professionals looking to make their mark in this industry. They are intelligent, motivated and successful. They want to set an example for our younger and more seasoned colleagues. They do give back.