First-Year Fellowship

The First-Year Fellowship is a year-long certificate program of events, workshops, and opportunities designed to transform first-year and transfer students into the next generation of campus leaders.

The First-Year Fellowship features a curriculum designed for emerging leaders to cultivate their skills and abilities to become the next generation of leaders on campus and beyond!

Since its inception, over 1,300 first-year and transfer students have completed the program. Fellows should take advantage of the opportunity to participate in an 8-week, 1.5-credit leadership course, during which they will learn and apply leadership skills, receive mentorship from an upperclass student, complete a team project, and attend greater involvement opportunities at Rutgers. Each year, only 100 students are accepted into the program so be sure to apply for consideration.

Previous leadership experience is NOT required to participate!

Students in the First-Year Fellowship will learn:

  • Teambuilding and Communication, finding styles of teamwork and communication.
  • Priority Management, clarifying priorities and internalizing strategies for completing daily tasks in alignment with priorities.
  • Leadership Styles, discovering personality spectrums and how it manifests completing tasks and working with others.
  • Multicultural Understanding, developing an understanding of identities and the cultures that inform them, and contextualizing identities and understanding how they affect group dynamics using the concepts of power and privilege.
  • Servant Leadership, learning about servant leadership in the context of leadership styles, the necessary traits of servant leaders, and how to be a servant leader.
  • Ethical Decision-making, developing an awareness of values and how they influence ethical views, and critically thinking about how ethics and morals contribute to decisions.
  • Storytelling, understanding the benefits and components of storytelling, and learning ways to incorporate storytelling in work.
  • Passion and Purpose, clarifying passions and purpose, and learning strategies to actualize those passions in order to find success in life. 

The First-Year Fellowship is designed for emerging leaders. Stay tuned for information on how to apply for the First-Year Fellowship.

Part 1: Events and Engagement

In an effort to maximize your introduction to leadership skills and opportunities on campus, we, in collaboration with a variety of campus partners, designed a diverse calendar of events to connect you with peers and current student leaders; expose you to different organizations and services on campus; and assist you in starting to create a toolbox of leadership skills for your own personal development.

In addition to attending events, participants are encouraged to attend a leadership advising session with one of our staff members. Events are open to any first-year or transfer student at any time.

To fully complete the certificate program, students will need to attain 10 or more points throughout the academic year by attending events listed in our master calendar and completing the 8-week cohort class experience and Activism Project.

Part 2: Cohort and Workshops

The second part of the Fellowship program is the 1.5 credit course that takes place in the Fall or Spring semesters. This 8-week curriculum works to prepare students for future leadership roles through a variety of interactive workshops covering topics such as goal setting, time management, public speaking, personality inventories, and ethical decision-making.

First-Year Fellowship participants will also be given priority to attend a variety of exclusive leadership retreats and immersive service trip experiences.

First-Year Fellowship Testimonials

“The First-Year Fellowship was a major reason as to why I enjoyed my first year at Rutgers so much. It offered SO MANY opportunities to get involved (some of which I would have never been exposed to if it weren’t for this program) and I am very excited to see what sophomore year will bring."

“I loved all the events, and this really made my first year at college. I made a lot of friends and learned so much, but most importantly I realized that how involved I get and how much I grow as a leader is 100% determined by my initiative to take advantage of experiences like this! I highly recommend it to every first-year next year."

“I enjoyed the Fellowship, and I have made friends that will extend past the program. I met people through the events that I just clicked with. I feel there is no better program to give first-years a true glimpse of what college can be."

Connect With the First-Year Fellowship

The first step is to connect with us and show up! Follow us on social media at @rutgersuSCA and be on the lookout for updates. Drop us an email. Check in to any event that you attend, bring friends along, and attend a leadership advising session to start working towards your certificate by the end of your first year at Rutgers.