How it works

Top 10 Things You Need To Know about Take the LEAD


1. It’s free. Take the LEAD is a completely free online program. It was developed specifically for the families and communities of the GEAR UP Kentucky program, but is available to all Kentucky adults at no cost. There’s no registration fees, no textbooks, and no tuition ever!


2. It’s on your schedule. Take the LEAD is designed to fit into the busy schedule of today’s families. Classes don’t have set start and end dates – they are self-paced so you begin when you are ready. You control how much you do on any given day, and when and where you do it.


3. It’s about college and career readiness. Whether your student already has a future job or dream college in mind, wants to join the military, or hasn’t thought about anything past lunch, you’ll find a topic in Take the LEAD to help you better advise them about their plans after high school. We cover things like the importance of being involved in your child’s education, what they need for healthy development, online tools to help you keep track of how they are doing in school, different ways to pay for college, and much more!


4. It’s about supporting students. “LEAD” stands for Local Education Advocate Diploma. While not an official certification, earning a diploma lets others in your community know – especially your student – that you are ready to take the lead in guiding them to a successful future!


5. It’s part of the Digital Driver’s License website.  The Take the LEAD Diploma is part of the Digital Drivers License website hosted by the University of Kentucky’s College of Education. Lots of Kentucky schools already use the Digital Citizenship License also available on this site to help their students learn how to behave appropriately online.


6. It’s organized by grade level. The education-related topics are organized into three levels appropriate to the grade level of your student so you can focus on what’s important NOW.

  • Middle School (7th & 8th )
  • High School (9th & 10th)
  • College and Career Savvy (11th, 12th, and beyond)


7. It’s flexible. Within each of the three levels, some topics are core, and others are electives. Just like in high school, core topics are required, while electives are optional but also important to supporting your student. Some core topics span more than one level, however you only need to take the topic once. To earn the Local Education Advocate Diploma, complete all the core classes in a level.


8. It’s in bite-size pieces. Each topic takes approximately 20 – 45 minutes to complete from beginning to end, but content is provided in 5 – 10 minute segments. Whether you have an hour or only 10 minutes, you’ll be able to fit in time for Take the LEAD.


9. It’s not boring. This isn’t the social studies lecture class you may remember from your high school years! Take the LEAD uses a variety of learning tools like videos, infographics, interactive slideshows, audio interviews, and surveys so that you get the information you need without feeling overwhelmed or losing interest.


10. It’s stress-free. You choose whether to earn a LEAD diploma or not. You can take as many or as few classes as you like. You can also skip around and select what you’d like to learn on any given day. While each topic does include a “Prove-It” assessment at the end, there are no grades or tests. Most questions focus on what you can do as a result of what you have learned. Prove-Its can be retaken multiple times with no penalties.