Students in Classroom

Take Charge! Leadership Development

The University of New Haven’s Take Charge Leadership program mission is to provide experiential opportunities to explore concepts and develop skills in a co-curricular environment. Students are challenged to become more critically, globally and socially aware community members through the incorporation of the six Competency Learning Experience (CLE) areas into their collegiate experience: Leadership, Teamwork, Critical Thinking, Global and Cultural Awareness, Resilience and Communication. Due to COVID-19, our team is actively assessing and adapting program offerings to adhere to all University, local, state, and federal healthy and safety guidelines. Program offerings and dates are subject to change. Please contact our team for more information.

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Beginners' Understanding of Individual Leadership Development (BUILD) is a one-semester course that introduces first year students to leadership theory and concepts through interactive assignments, discussions and case studies. The class meets once a week for one hour and fifteen minutes. If you are interested in enrolling for the Fall or Spring, please email


The Certified Leader Program (CLP) is a curriculum-based experience that provides students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills through participation in a variety of activities, workshops, educational programs, speakers and by holding leadership roles on campus. There are six certificates available to earn based on the six areas of the Competency Learning Experience (CLE) that employers have identified as essential skills for prospective job seekers: Leadership, Teamwork, Critical Thinking, Global & Cultural Awareness, Resilience, and Communication. Students can get more information and enroll by contacting

Leadership Day

One day on-campus conference style experience developed by the Student Leadership Interns for students to explore various facets of leadership focused on a specific theme. Leadership Day is Friday, February 19, 2021.


The First Year Leadership Experience (FLEx) is a two and a half day program exclusively for first year undergraduate students who want to get a jump start on their leadership skills. Through activities and workshops, participants will build friendships with other new students, develop skills, and explore concepts pertaining to the six Competency Learning Experience (CLE) areas: Leadership, Teamwork, Critical Thinking, Global and Cultural Awareness, Resilience, and Communication. The experience is facilitated by professional University faculty and staff, outside speakers, and upper class students who serve as mentors to participants in small groups. Interested students may apply to one of two distinct cohorts, each with a unique theme: FLEx Adventure or FLEx Connections.

  • FLEx Adventure: FLEx Adventure is designed to help incoming first year students with a shared interest for pursing leadership opportunities such as student government, clubs and organizations, athletics, etc. develop essential skills to lead at the University and beyond. The program includes a half-day trip to an outdoor adventure course, tentatively scheduled for Spring 2021, pending COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.
  • FLEx Connections: FLEx Connections is designed for students from underserved or underrepresented communities (Black or African American, Latinx, Asian, Native/Indigenous American, Pacific Islander, LGBTQI, DACAmented or Undocumented, or first-generation). Students will meet with faculty, staff, and student leaders to engage in discussions, build community, and learn how to be an ally at the University while also developing the necessary skills for success.


  • FLEx is August 18-20, 2020


  • Mentorship by upperclass student leaders
  • Opportunity to connect with new peers
  • Explore personal and professional leadership development topics
  • Hybrid large group sessions and small in-person (10 students or less) sessions on campus


  • Log into the MyCharger Portal, then click here to access the application
  • Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. (eastern time) Wednesday, July 29
  • All applicants will be notified by 5:00 p.m. (eastern time) on Monday, August 3, of their application status via their University of New Haven email account

If you have questions about FLEx or the application, please contact the Center for Student Engagement, Leadership and Orientation (CSELO) by calling 203-479-4582 or emailing the Leadership account at

FLEx - Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why should I apply for FLEx?

    FLEx is a truly unique experience for University of New Haven students and is only available to incoming first years. Since it was created in 2015, FLEx has quickly become one of the most popular, talked-about programs on campus. Past participants consistency cite FLEx as the reason they got involved on campus in one of our 160 Recognized Student Organizations, the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA), Greek Life, etc. FLEx creates the opportunity for students to explore and understand what leadership means to them, and how to improve skills that employers are looking for in new professionals. Participants will be mentored by upper class students who have previously participated in FLEx with the intent to support their own goals and aspirations.

  • How much does it cost to participate in FLEx?

    FLEx is free for all student participants. The Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) and a member of the University’s Board of Governors pays for the experience so there is no cost for students. If a student is selected to participate in the program, accepts, and does not attend, their student account will be billed $250 for the full cost of one participant.

  • Are meals included?

    Yes, all meals are included for the duration of the FLEx program. If you have dietary restrictions, please specify on the application to ensure the food service provider is prepared to accommodate your needs. Contact our office with any questions or concerns

  • Where does FLEx take place?

    Due to COVID-19, FLEx 2020 will occur on main campus at the University of New Haven or virtually, depending on University and state of Connecticut guidelines. Participants will be randomly pre-assigned into groups of 9 or less new students with an upper class student leader to serve as their mentor for the duration of the program. FLEx will consist of both large virtual and small in-person or virtual group activities and discussions.

  • How many students are selected to participate in FLEx?

    FLEx consists of two cohorts: FLEx Adventure will admit up to 70 students, and FLEx Success will admit up to 30 students.

  • If I am interested in both FLEx programs, can I apply to both?

    Yes! You may apply to both FLEx programs by indicating on the application if you are interested in just one program, or both. However, if you are selected to participate, you will only be assigned to one program based on eligibility and availability.

  • How will participating in FLEx impact my Opening Day or Welcome Week experience?

    FLEx occurs before Opening Day and Welcome Week, so students will not miss out on any of the on campus activities.

  • I am a fall sport athlete, in Marching Band, participating in Dream, or another pre-Charge In program.

    FLEx occurs parallel to pre-season training for many fall athletic teams, Marching Band training, DREAM Orientation, ROTC, as well as training for many on campus jobs. If you are involved in any of the listed experiences, or another pre-Charge In experience, we encourage you to check with your coaches or directors BEFORE applying to confirm scheduling conflicts.

  • I am a resident student, when would I move to campus?

    Resident students admitted to FLEx will move into their fall assignment on the morning of Tuesday, August 18. Specific times will be communicated via students University of New Haven email.

  • I am a commuter student, how would I participate in FLEx?

    Commuter students admitted to FLEx would commute to main campus each day of the program and follow all health and safety guidelines.

  • If I register for Charlie’s Fast Pass, would that interfere with FLEx?

    No, Charlie’s Fast Pass occurs prior to FLEx’s scheduled move-in date. Resident students may also register and participate in Charlie’s Fast Pass.

  • I am under 18, what type of permission do I need from a parent/guardian to participate?

    All participants will be required to complete a standard waiver of liability for participation in FLEx. Students under the age of 18 will also need the signature of a parent/guardian presented at check in.

  • What is the drug, alcohol and smoking policy for FLEx?

    FLEx is a 100% drug, alcohol, and smoke-free experience. If you violate this policy while participating in FLEx, you will go through the University’s conduct system and may be removed from the program depending on the circumstances. A copy of the University’s drug and smoke-free commitment can be reviewed here.

  • If selected, when do I need to clear all health or bursary holds from my account by?

    All “holds” must be cleared from a student's account (health and bursary) no later than 12:00 PM (noon) on Wednesday, August 12. Students admitted to participate should contact the Financial Aid and Health Services offices to verify all holds are cleared before traveling to campus.

  • What is the application/selection process for FLEx?

    Students interested in FLEx must submit an application using the link above. The application requires general information about the student (name, student ID number, email, whether they are a resident or commuter student for the fall, etc.) in addition to several short answer questions to address their interest and eligibility for the program. A committee of professional University staff members will review each application, and determine eligibility for the experience. Please note: each year the committee receives more applications than space is available, so students are encouraged to provide thoughtful, honest, and complete responses to each question prompt. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • What are the health and safety guidelines for program participants?

    FLEx participants will receive a detailed email outlining health and safety guidelines for the program including, but not limited to: social distancing, mask and/or appropriate PPE (provided) requirements, health screenings, sanitation protocols, etc. as directed by University, local, state, and federal leadership. Healthy and safety guidelines are subject to change at any time, and any student selected to participate in FLEx will receive consistent communication regarding any changes. Click here for current health and safety guidelines for the University’s re-opening.