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Leadership Programs

Students at Whee Takeover

Students at Whee Takeover

Cat Camp

Cat Camp Leadership Exploration is a week-long retreat that assists new freshmen with their transition to WCU. Each Cat Camper is assigned with a counselor who is a current student at WCU. Returning students can give back to the WCU community and develop leadership skills by serving as a Cat Camp counselor. Students do not need to have attended Cat Camp to serve as a counselor. Applications are available during the Fall and Spring semesters for the next summer. Email Leslie Cavin for more information

Cat Camp

Cat Camp

Freshmen Leadership Initiative   

The Freshmen Leadership Initiative (FLI) is a prestigious living-learning community that prepares new first year students for success at WCU by offering a variety of leadership opportunities and serving as a home away-from-home during the transition to college. During FLI, new students interact with peers and upperclassmen, making friendships that will carry them throughout their college experience. As a member of FLI, students will have the opportunity to self-reflect on who they are as a person and leader, join in on community service, develop their leadership skills, and plan large scale campus events.

FLI is a 3-tiered program focused on 
Living, Learning, and Leading

LIVE: FLI participants will be housed on the 4th floor of Allen Hall. Living together allows participants to take leadership skills developed in and out of the classroom to their everyday experiences among their peers. Students may choose their roommate to live with them on the 4th floor or participate in our matching program. You are not required to live in Allen Hall to be involved with FLI but it is recommended.

LEARN: As part of the Leadership Minor, FLI students will see a direct connection between their transition to college and their development as a leader. The LEAD 140 and LEAD 180 classes introduce students to leadership development and, by declaring leadership as a minor, FLI students will continue to develop their leadership abilities throughout their college career.

LEAD: FLI provides students with hands on opportunities to put what they learn in the classroom to work on campus. The FLI student organization allows students to put their leadership skills into action by organizing retreats, conferences, community service, fundraising, and other events and activities. 

Learn more about the Leadership Living-Learning Communities 


Learn more about our campus partners

Project CARE aims to improve academic performance and the retention of underrepresented students at Western Carolina University. In an effort to apply theory to practice, Intercultural Affairs has designed this program as a proactive measure to address the academic challenges underrepresented students face at Predominately White Institutions (PWIs).

This program pairs first year and transfer student participants with student leaders who serve as peer counselors who help them to adjust to college life academically, culturally, and socially. Learn more!

The First Ascent wilderness orientation program gives you the chance to make new friends and discover the beautiful region that surrounds WCU. Whether you want to simply dip your toe in and spend an afternoon rafting on the Nantahala River or want to immerse yourself in an experience that will take you beyond civilization and deep into the mountains, First Ascent has a trip for you. You’ll return with lasting memories and friends for future adventures. Learn more!

The Ripple Effect is a Learning Community (LC) which aims to provide educational experiences that will prepare you to identify what you truly love about the world (Hermann Hesse) and ultimately be the change you want to see in it (Mohandas Gandhi). By examining historical and current cases and theories of change, movements, and transformation. Learn more!

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