CORE Application Information

Please read below for more information regarding the application process.

Applications can be submitted at any time. Cohorts begin in September of each year.

Applications submitted between May 1 and August 31 can choose to be placed on the waitlist for consideration in the upcoming cohort and/or the following cohort year.

Submissions between September 1 and April 30 will be considered for the following cohort. 

Once submission requirements are reviewed, please click the link at the bottom of this page to begin the application. 

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact, or call (301) 881-3333.

CORE Participation Info

While there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to program acceptance, CORE participants are usually at the height of their career and typically possess the following:

  • Years of professional experience: 10 years +
  • Example Job Title(s): C-Suite, VP, Managing/Executive Director, Partner, Owner, Chief/Assistant Chief, Superintendent/Associate Superintendent.
  • Organizational responsibilities: Decision-making, personnel, and budgetary oversight for departments/ division

Application Requirements

In order to be considered for acceptance, an applicant must:

  1. Currently serve in a senior executive role in the public, private, or nonprofit sector
  2. Either live or work in Montgomery County, MD
  3. Have the full support AND expressed permission to apply from the organization for whom the participant works
  4. Complete and submit an application for the CORE Program
  5. Submit two (2) letters of recommendation

Reference Letters

You will be required to submit 2 reference letters along with your application. Reference letters may come from your supervisor, client, colleague or any non-relative who can speak to your leadership experience and character.

Please start thinking about who you will ask to write your reference letters early, so they have ample time to submit their letters and not delay the submission of your application. Please ask the people you have chosen to send their reference letters to you. You will then upload them directly to your CORE application. There is no reference letter form or template to fill out.

Session Dates

September 19-20*
October 10
November 20- Joint Session Day with Emerging Leaders and Encore
December 12
January 9, 2025
February 13, 2025
March 13, 2025
April 10, 2025
May 8-9, 2025*

*Overnight retreats. Opening and closing retreats are mandatory. 

Other Key Dates

Cohort Meet & Greet
Wednesday, August 21

Tuesday, October 1

Friday, May 30, 2025 

Attendance Policy

No more than 17 hours of excused absences are permitted in case of a substantiated emergency or serious illness.  Any participant who has an unexcused absence or who misses more than 17 hours for whatever reason will be asked to withdraw from the program. Attendance at the Opening and Closing Retreats is mandatory. If you know in advance that you are likely to miss more than 2 of the session dates listed below, you should consider postponing your application until a future year.

Application Fees

There is a $200 fee to apply to the CORE Program.
If you’ve applied for the CORE Program in the past, the fee is $75.
Participants will submit their fees with their application

Application fees are non-refundable. 

Financial Aid

Tuition assistance is available on a sliding scale based on personal income level. If you are interested in applying for tuition assistance, please complete the form below and submit (along with supporting tax documents) at the time of your application.

Tuition assistance applications received after the application is submitted will not be considered.

Your request for tuition assistance in no way influences the selection process and is totally confidential. Each request will be reviewed independently of the selection process and will have no effect on selection.

Tuition Assistance Applications can be found in the program application and below. Forms must be submitted with your application.

Download Tuition Assistance Form

Application Components and Info

The CORE application is comprised of the following components:

  • Basic Contact Information
  • Demographic Information
  • Employment & Education Information (alternative option to upload resume)
  • Special Awards/Honors
  • Community Service Activities
  • Open-Ended Questions
  • Letters of Reference Upload (2 required)
  • Tuition Assistance Form and Supporting Documents(optional)
  • Signature for Statement of Commitment
  • Application Fee Payment

The time to complete the application can take 30-90 minutes, depending on the resume and open-ended question preparedness. Applications do not need to be completed in one sitting. There is an option to save your progress and return later to complete/submit.

Ready to apply?

Start CORE application

CORE Application FAQs

All applicants will be notified whether or not they have been accepted by the end of June.

Yes, but you must hit “save and continue later” at the bottom of the page, otherwise your work will not be saved. The form does NOT auto-save.

Once you hit “save and continue later”, you will be emailed a link to come back to your application. You will want to save the link as this is your only entry to your partially completed application.