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The JCPenney Leadership Program

Message from the Director

The JCPenney Leadership Program at the Price College of Business, rooted in a rich tradition of excellence, strives to build leaders that fulfill the purpose of Price and are prepared for the diverse and global opportunities presented in the 21st century. The program provides high performing undergraduate business students with opportunities to develop their leadership potential through a variety of learning and networking experiences. Promoting personal and professional growth, the program broadens students’ perspectives, strengthens business skills, and creates leaders in industries and communities across the nation and around the world.


Breea Clark, J.D.
Director of JCPenney Leadership Center

The JCPenney Leadership Program in the Price College of Business offers students learning experiences designed to bridge the gap between collegiate and professional lives.

Ou program is built and modeled upon our 6 leadership pillars.

  • Scholarship: academics are important to the associates in the program and displays the individual discipline, drive, and focus of our leaders.
  • Professionalism: this program is a bridge for college students to enter into the professional world, helping develop skills necessary for the work environment.
  • Philanthropy: a good leader is sensitive to the needs of others. The leadership program provides opportunities for associates to internalize the need for and reward from participation in service.
  • Networking: associates learn to cultivate important professional relationships with different companies, industries, and c-level executives throughout their tenure.
  • Fellowship: the leadership program continuously seeks to expand interaction between the associates, alumni, leaders, and members of local and state business communities, as well as faculty and staff of the OU Price College of Business.
  • Diversity: have a basic understanding of other cultures and an openness towards them, allowing students to adapt effectively in the global business environment.

Upon completion of the program, students will have demonstrated that they:

  • Gained awareness of personal strengths and areas for improvement
  • Increased their knowledge and understanding of what makes a great leader
  • Understand the responsibilities of the leadership role
  • Gained direct experience as a leader
  • Increased capacities and confidence in a variety of soft-skill areas
  • Understand the significance of networking and establishing relationships
  • Internalized the importance of philanthropy

Thank you for your interest in the JCPenney Leadership Program! This program is designed for high achieving students that demonstrate or show potential for leadership. This program is devoted to cultivating students' leadership qualities and therefore requires a commitment of 5-10 hours from each associate every month with a larger commitment during the Candidate Associate process. Please be sure you can commit your time to this program before applying.

Eligibility criteria in order to apply

  • Applicants MUST attend a Prospective Associate Information Session. These sessions will be offered both at the end of the Spring semester and beginning of the Fall semester. RSVP for an info session by clicking here
  • Applicants must have attended college two full semesters or have earned at least 30 hours of credit with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher.  (You must have sophomore standing within Price College at OU)
  • Applicants must be enrolled full-time (12 hours) and maintain status as a Price College undergraduate major.

Applicants must have no less than four full semesters remaining before earning an undergraduate degree. (Students graduating prior to May 2026 are not eligible to apply).


There are two essay questions on the application. Please draft your answers prior to beginning the application as you must fully complete the application when you begin filling it out.  Responses are to be between 300-500 words in length, about 600-1000 characters. The questions are:

Essay Question #1- What is the most crucial issue facing the business world today and why?

Essay Question #2- What non-fiction book have you RECENTLY read that has taught you an important leadership lesson? What is the lesson that you learned from this book and why is this lesson important to you?

Applications close on at 5pm on Wednesday, September 4. Applications submitted after this deadline will not be accepted.

Letters of Recommendation

Students must submit two letters of recommendation. Ask your two references to submit their letters through our online recommendation form found at the following link:

  • Your letters of recommendation must be received by the application deadline of 5pm on Wednesday, September 4, 2024.
  • Your recommendation letters should attest to your good character as well as to your leadership ability and/or other qualities that indicate acceptability for admission to the program. Letters should be from individuals who have personal knowledge of your character and ability and should attest to the extent that you are a high-potential, high-performance business student and leader in the tradition of the Leadership Program
  • Sophomores: one letter must be from OU faculty (any)
  • Juniors: one letter must be from Price College faculty
  • Transfer students: one letter must come from a faculty member at your previous college
  • Failure to submit two (2) letters of recommendation will disqualify you from consideration

General Advice on Selecting Recommenders

  • We are unmoved by generic letters from people with recognizable names. A well-written letter with specifics from an Associate Professor is always better than a letter from a big-name tenured professor who only saw you in a large introductory class setting.
  • Letters do not need to all come from faculty members or be written in an academic style.  It is quite welcome, and often preferred, to have non-university personnel write letters to discuss a candidate's leadership or service. These letters should help us see different aspects of your leadership or service ability.
  • Recommenders should have had recent contact with the student. Letters from high school are rarely persuasive, and letters written for college admission are not appropriate.
  • Provide recommenders with draft copies of the relevant essays. If that is not possible, please provide recommenders a resume. Make sure the letter writer understands the main points you want them to convey.  It is always disappointing when a letter fails to mention things that are clearly significant to the applicant.
  • Request the letter as early as possible and be clear about when the letter is needed and to whom it should be sent. Don't forget to send them the submission link.


If you are selected to move on in the application process, you will be contacted to come into the JCPenney office and sign up for an interview time. 

  • Not every applicant will be invited to interview. 
  • Interview dress is business professional.
  • Interviews are conducted with a panel of interviewers that consist of the Director of the JCPenney Leadership Program, a faculty or staff member, and a JCPenney associate who serves on the internal leadership team.

If you are admitted into the program:

  • Successful applicants are REQUIRED to attend a New Member Kick-Off after being accepted. This event is scheduled for Friday, September 297th from 2-7pm.
  • Fully inducted new associates are responsible for the $100.00 membership dues; however, scholarships are available for students who need financial assistance.
DateEvent Description
November 22, 2024Women in Business Leadership Conference
 Parker Leadership Conference
 Alumni Career Conference

Contact Us:

We are located in the:
Price College of Business
Adams Hall, Suite 106
Phone: (405) 325-2501

Mailing Address:
JCPenney Leadership Center
307 W. Brooks
Suite 106
Norman, OK  73019

Breea Clark, J.D.

Melia Alderman
Office Manager