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The Leadership Development Experience

A comprehensive program. A lifelong endeavor.

We develop students with a passion to grow in their service to North Carolina and beyond.

The Caldwell Fellows program is designed with experiences that build upon one another, progressively deepening students’ development by building a lifestyle of growth and service through experiential learning.

Shack-a-Thon 2019

The First-Year Experience

Immediately after selection into the program in late February, first-year students become part of the Caldwell Fellows and are launched into the expectations and opportunities that await them as Fellows. Students are encouraged to challenge themselves in their freshman summer by applying their first stipend to one of the Caldwell Fellows summer programs: Service NC, Service Mexico or the Wilderness Challenge.

Caldwell Wilderness

“Learn to Serve” – The Sophomore Experience

In the fall of the sophomore year, the Caldwell Fellows sophomore seminar grounds students in their foundational work in leadership development. The three-credit, honors course focuses on developing the self-aware leader grounded in Robert Greenleaf’s philosophy of servant leadership. Guided by one-on-one work with a personal executive coach, students write a unique Philosophy of Leadership and create a Personal Development Plan. For the service-learning portion of the seminar, Caldwell Fellows select a focal point for their leadership and service with one of the program’s community service partners. Students are mentored in their service-learning by upper-class Fellows. A global or undergraduate research experience are encouraged experiences for the summer after the sophomore year.

“Serve to Lead” – The Junior Experience

Junior and Senior Caldwell Fellows assume leadership roles in the Caldwell Fellows program, at NC State and in the broader Raleigh community. Upper-class students serve as Teaching Assistants and team leaders for the program’s service-learning partnerships, helping facilitate the sophomore seminar for incoming Fellows. Professional development is stressed in the junior year. Students are guided toward undergraduate research and internships and many are mentored by program alumni. As a junior or senior, Caldwell Fellows attend a three-day capstone leadership training at the Greensboro, NC campus of the internationally acclaimed Center for Creative Leadership. A summer experience focused on professional development is encouraged after the junior year.


“Lead to Serve” – The Senior Experience

Servant-leadership is a concept that infuses “service” into all aspects of life. “Service-living” in the realms of vocation, civic engagement, and a life of balance come together in the senior experience. The Caldwell Fellows provide support and guidance as seniors apply for jobs or graduate school. The Caldwell Fellows have brought considerable distinction to NC State through earning graduate fellowship awards and attaining senior leadership positions in organizations across the United States and world.