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Student-athletes often know how to recognize leadership, but struggle to master techniques to best exemplify leadership characteristics. In 2003, sport psychologist Jeff Janssen partnered with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Athletics Department to create a learning environment fostering leadership within the unique special population of student-athletes. The creation of the Carolina Leadership Academy (CLA), comprised of a three-tiered formal leadership development curriculum, set UNC apart as a leader in higher education and intercollegiate athletics leadership development programs by helping student-athletes, administrators and coaches understand and foster leadership best practices. This formal leadership curriculum begins with the Carolina CREED program completed by all first year student-athletes at UNC. The intent of this mandatory foundational program is to introduce freshmen to the importance of personal leadership development. Quantitative and qualitative analysis were used to analyze research questions and examine the relationship between gender and student-athletes' perceived effectiveness of the CREED program curriculum components. A survey including twelve five-point Likert-scale and four open-ended questions was electronically transmitted to 211 student-athletes who completed the CREED program in the Spring 2008 semester. Other large universities look to UNC as a model for future leadership programming options. Therefore, these research findings from the Carolina CREED program curriculum will enable other intercollegiate athletic departments nationwide to improve student-athlete first-year leadership development programming.