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The NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP) is a mentoring program for undergraduate students wishing to explore and better understand the field of student affairs and/or higher education. Students and mentors apply as a pair and, if selected, are provided the foundation to establish a mentoring relationship at their institution. Students, once selected, are known as Fellows and are given the opportunity to attend a national conference, participate in paid internships, and participate in the Summer Leadership Institute.

NUFP Mission

The mission of the NUFP is to increase the number of persons of ethnic-minority, persons with disabilities, and/or persons who identify as LGBT in student affairs and higher education.

NUFP History

The NASPA Minority Undergraduate Fellows Program (MUFP) was initiated in 1989-90 under then NASPA President Doug Woodard. Concerned by the lack of persons of ethnic-minority in the student affairs profession, President Woodard sought to identify ways for members of those communities to become aware of and involved in the field and to continue in higher education. He asked Constance Rockingham, an at-large member of the NASPA Board of Directors, to develop a program that would identify and encourage undergraduate students of ethnic-minority to continue in higher education, and even more than that, encourage them to consider student affairs as a profession. Frederick Preston, a former at-large member of the NASPA Board, had given consideration to the same issues some years before. With the benefit of Preston's experience and Woodard's encouragement, Rockingham developed MUFP.

Nearly a decade after its founding, discussions began about including students with disabilities within the scope of MUFP. NASPA President Shannon Ellis, National MUFP Coordinator Saunie Taylor, and MUFP Advisory Board President Sarah Shumate worked together during the 2000-01 year to develop consensus for the broadening of the scope of MUFP's mission. They, along with Disability Concerns Network Coordinator Michael Shuttic, set in motion an outreach effort focused on students with disabilities. At the December 2003 meeting of the NASPA Board of Directors, the proposed recommendation were reviewed, discussed, and approved: "In recognition of changes in society, the Task Force for Undergraduate Mentoring Opportunities recommends designing and implementing a selective undergraduate fellows program to increase the numbers of underrepresented ethnic minorities, LGBT, and disabled professionals in the fields of student affairs and higher education. The mission of the program will be reviewed every five years with the first review to occur in July 2009." The MUFP Advisory Board, representatives from six NASPA knowledge communities, and others met in July 2005 in order to realign MUFP with NASPA's goals and vision, including the recent NASPA Board of Director decision to expand undergraduate mentoring opportunities to LGBT students. This planning group reviewed all aspects of the current program, the new program considerations, and redesigned the program to continue to support underrepresented students and address changing constituencies. In 2009, the review committee decided to add an additional learning outcome about the various institutional types and history of student affairs, as well as clarified the mission of the program as the following: "The mission of the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program is to increase the number of historically disenfranchised and underrepresented professionals in student affairs and/or higher education, including but not limited to those of racial and ethnic-minority background; those having a disability; and those identifying as LGBTQ." As a result, the NASPA MUFP program was renamed the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP).

In 2011, NUFP began a strategic planning process to address pathways for donations, assessment, fellow experiences, mentor experiences, and alumni connections. The strategic plan is scheduled to be completed by spring 2015 (in celebration of the 25th anniversary of NUFP).

NUFP at CI [top]

In the fall of 2014, CI became the 311th higher education institution to support a NUFP Fellow. The CI NUFP program consists of the following opportunities:

  • On-campus Fellowship with Mentor(s): Fellows and their Mentors participate in an ongoing exchange designed to provide the Fellow with a chance to develop a sense of what a career in student affairs or higher education might be like.
  • Conference Attendance: Fellows are provided the opportunity to apply for funding to attend NASPA’s annual conference and Undergraduate Pre-Conference.
  • Summer Internship: Fellows are offered the opportunity to apply for and participate in a paid summer internship in student affairs or higher education, at an institution other than their own, as a means of broadening their experience base and their perspective on student affairs and higher education.
  • Summer Leadership Institute: Fellows are invited to apply to and attend the Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), a four-day workshop focused on skill building and career development. The SLI provides not only an in-depth leadership development experience but also prepares Fellows for graduate work in student affairs/higher education, as well as training to develop cultural competence and networking skills. During the institute, Fellows have the opportunity to meet and interact with other Fellows and administrators from across the country, as well as student affairs administrators serving as institute faculty.

NUFP Learning Outcomes [top]

As a result of the program, NUFP fellows will develop:

  • writing, research and presentation skills;
  • ethical decision making skills;
  • cultural competency skills;
  • professional networking skills;
  • ability to define personal, academic and career goals;
  • an awareness and understanding of engaged citizenship and service;
  • an understanding of multiple relationships of power and privilege;
  • an understanding of the history, mission and purpose of student affairs and the various institutional types and structures within higher education; and
  • an understanding of NASPA’s organization and structure.

For additional information regarding the NUFP at CI, please contact Dottie Ayer, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs (

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