The UConn University Honors Leadership Experience consists of three phases. The graphic illustrates the steps within these phases, which are detailed below.
**Please note: The leadership experience must be done completely proactively. This means that your Leadership Action Plan must be approved by your coach, and you must meet with your GPS coach before starting any part of your leadership experience. Projects that have already been started in any way can not be accepted to count for your Leadership experience.
Phase I: Preparation and Planning
Step 1: Attend a GPS-Led Leadership Workshop
The first step in beginning your UHL Leadership Experience journey is to attend an Honors GPS Team-led workshop. At the Leadership Workshop, the GPS Team will help participants explore their own definitions of leadership, ask students to consider where the world may need their leadership, and provide an overview of the Leadership Experience. Times and locations of leadership workshops can be found on the UHL Leadership Experience overview page.
Note that leadership workshops are only available during the regular academic year. If you are a regional campus Honors student or have other extenuating circumstances that may make attending an in-person Leadership Workshop difficult, please contact the Honors GPS Team to explore alternate arrangements.
Step 2: Complete a Leadership Action Plan
The Leadership Action Plan will ask you to continue reflecting on your understanding of leadership while developing a feasible intervention to improve a community to which you belong. Your Honors GPS peer leadership coach will be assigned to you after you indicate your desire to proceed with completing a Leadership Action Plan. Templates and instructions on how to complete your Leadership Action Plan via Portfolium can be found here. You should submit a Leadership Action Plan to Portfolium no later than the end of Week 8 of the term prior to your anticipated graduation if you hope to complete the Leadership Experience as part of the UHL requirements.
Step 3: First Coaching Session with an Honors GPS
After any requested revisions, your Honors GPS Coach will meet with you one-on-one to explore your proposed Leadership Action Plan. Based on your document, you and your coach will identify strategies for maximizing change, overcoming potential obstacles, considering multiple stakeholders while engaging in the Leadership Experience. Meetings typically last a half-hour, though students are encouraged to reach out to their coach during the Leadership Experience with questions!
Phase II: Action
Step 4: Exercise Leadership!
Now that you've thoughtfully planned on how to improve your community, you're ready to enact whatever change you wish to see! Don't forget to use Portfolium during this step to document all of the amazing ways in which you transform the world for the better as you exercise leadership! Your Honors GPS coach can help you by answering questions or providing a listening ear during this step, too.
Phase III: Reflection
Step 5: Complete a Leadership Reflection on Portfolium
As your Action phase comes to an end, you'll want to indicate via Portfolium that you're ready to begin the Reflection to consider what you've learned and how you and your community have changed as a result of your leadership. Through text or video, you will be asked to critically engage with your time in the UHL Leadership Experience. Templates and instructions on how to complete the UHL Leadership Experience reflection can be found here. You should submit a completed Leadership Reflection no earlier than a month before you anticipate completion of your Action phase, but no later than three weeks before you plan to graduate with the UHL award.
Step 6: Second Coaching Session with an Honors GPS
Pending any revisions, your Honors GPS Coach will meet with you one last time. At this final meeting, you will share points of interest from your Leadership Reflection, and your coach will ask you powerful questions to further contribute to your learning and future exercise of leadership. Meetings typically last a half-hour and should be completed before finals week the term you hope to graduate with the UHL award. Following certification of your meeting, your Honors GPS Coach will indicate that you have completed the UHL Leadership Experience requirement on Portfolium -- congratulations!
Portfolium Submission Instructions
Instructions on how to submit the Leadership Experience through Portfolium can be found here.
How Long Will the Leadership Experience Take?
That depends on the change you wish to make! Some students complete their Leadership Experience in the bounds of a semester; others choose larger-scale forms of engagement that can span multiple years of their undergraduate career. Still others choose to complete their Leadership Experience on a smaller portion of a larger endeavor. What's most important to us is that your leadership improve your targeted community, that your goals be ambitious yet attainable, and that you learn through engaging in the Leadership Experience; your timeline should flow from your plan's adherence to these guidelines. Please note that we require that students submit their Leadership Action Plans (Step Two of Phase I above) via Portfolium no later than the end of the eighth week the term before they hope to graduate if they hope to complete the University Honors Laureate requirements! Your Honors GPS Coach or the rest of the Honors GPS Team would be happy to help you consider the scale of your Leadership Action Plan to select an appropriate timeframe.