ULN Four-Year Plan

The University Leadership Network has a four-year plan for students to guide their journey both inside and outside the classroom. Simply put, ULN students should use their words to highlight their matriculation from orientation to graduation: plan, prepare, implement, and execute. This is a concise way to express what we want students to focus on and accomplish each year. Each year, the programming focuses its content on student development and career development theories to complement the overall student experience.


Year 1: Plan

Year 1 is focused on helping students transition to college and developing the skills they need to succeed at a top-tier research university. To support their transition, first-year students participate in bi-monthly leadership speaker series, reflection assignments, and peer group meetings facilitated by trained peer mentors who are also ULN students. Programming highlights the university’s core values and Schlossberg’s Transition Theory.

ULN expects students’ progress toward degree to be at 25% by the end of their first year.


Year 2: Prepare

Year 2 is focused on getting students acclimated to their first experiential learning opportunities. Experiential learning happens when students participate in learning experiences outside of the classroom that help to develop transferable skills. Examples of experiential learning opportunities include studying abroad, conducting undergraduate research, or participating in an on- or off-campus internship. Students learn more about how to navigate a professional work environment through their experiential learning, leadership speaker series, and reflection assignments. Programming highlights Tuckman’s Group Identity Development Theory.

ULN expects students’ progress toward degree to be at 50% by the end of their second year.


Year 3: Implement

Year 3 is focused on networking and career exploration, which is highlighted by the annual Networking by Design event. Networking by Design guides students and participating Campus Partners through a series of experiences engineered to spark transformative moments of connection. The goal of the event is for students leave with more confidence in their ability to network and to form prospective professional connections that will last beyond the event. Students are encouraged to find career-focused experiential learning opportunities off campus to maximize their networking skills. Programming highlights Chickering’s 7 Vectors of Identity Development Theory.

ULN expects students’ progress toward degree to be at 75% by the end of their third year.


Year 4: Execute

Year 4 is focused on graduation and next steps to prepare students for their next adventure as they start their career, go to graduate school, or work in a service-related industry. In addition to the leadership speaker series, reflection assignments, and experiential learning opportunities, fourth-year students participate in the Senior Showcase in the fall semester, where they prepare, practice, and present their “ULN story,” which covers their academic experience, experiential learning opportunities, and what their next steps are after graduation. Programming highlights Social Cognitive Career Development Theory.

ULN expects students’ progress toward degree to be at 100% in order to graduate at end of their fourth year.