Students in Classroom

Take Charge! Leadership Development

Take Charge is the University of New Haven’s leadership development program that provides experiential opportunities to explore concepts, develop skills and acquire knowledge. Students are challenged to become more critically, globally and socially aware community members through the incorporation of the six Competency Learning Experience (CLE) areas: Leadership, Teamwork, Critical Thinking, Global and Cultural Awareness, Resilience, and Communication.

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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 7, 2020.


The First Year Leadership Experience (FLEx) is a two and a half day off-campus retreat exclusively for first year students who want to get a jump start on their leadership skills. Through activities and workshops, students will 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 a combination of professional University staff members, outside speakers, and upper class students who serve as mentors to participants.


  • FLEx is August 18-20, 2019


  • Beautiful, off-campus retreat site
  • 4-hour facilitated low and high ropes course
  • Mentorship by upperclass student leaders
  • Opportunity to connect with new peers
  • Explore personal and professional leadership development topics


  • The application for FLEx 2019 is closed.
  • All applicants will be notified by noon on Wednesday, July 31 of their application status.

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) 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?

    FLEx takes place at Camp Cedarcrest in Orange, CT just minutes from the main West Haven campus. You will be transported to and from the property on buses with University staff after they check-in on campus. For the duration of the program, you will be housed in rustic cabins with other participants. The property includes facilities with flush toilets, showers, and electrical outlets.

  • How many students are selected to participate in FLEx?

    Up to 75 students will be selected to participate.

  • 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?

    You would move into your residence hall room on the morning of Sunday, August 18, 2019. You will have a limited timeframe to drop off your belongings and get settled into your room before FLEx commences. Families are welcome to help their students move in but will need to depart campus once FLEx starts. We encourage you to pack a separate suitcase or duffel with clothes and materials specifically for the retreat so you will not need to repack once you arrive to campus.

  • I am a commuter student, can I commute to the program each day?

    No, all participants will be transported on buses from the main campus in West Haven to Camp Cedarcrest and stay on site for the full duration of the program.

  • 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 and I know someone else who is attending, can we request to room together?

    Housing assignments for the two nights will be random based on gender with the intent to encourage students to get to know new people.

  • If selected, what do I pack for FLEx?

    If selected, you will receive a detailed packing list via your official University of New Haven email account that will include items such as a set of sheets (or a sleeping bag), bug spray, sun screen, comfortable clothes, flash light, athletic shoes, etc.

  • If I register for Charlie's Fast Pass, would I be able to move in the day before FLEx?

    No, students are welcome to register for Charlie's Fast Pass to have the opportunity to drop off their belongings early, but will not receive their keys nor have the option to stay overnight on Saturday if they are selected for FLEx. Students will need to make other arrangements for lodging and meals that evening. Resident students who are selected to participate in FLEx will be able to receive their keys and move in on Sunday morning.

  • 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 14, 2019 or else they will be ineligible to participate.

  • 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.