Award-winning program empowers first-year students to reach their goals

The Flames Leadership Network takes a holistic approach for empowering first-year college students to reach their full potential and academic aspirations.

The program was honored with the John N Gardner Institutional Excellence for Students in Transition Award from the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition during the virtual 27th National Conference on Students in Transition Oct. 13-16.

“The Flames Leadership Network really answers the question: ‘What does it take to help a student so that they can succeed here at UIC?’” said Elizabeth Houlihan, director of the Office of First-Year Initiatives and interim director for the Academic Center for Excellence.

“This is a really critical moment of development, and we owe it to our students to help them navigate through that first year so that they can acclimate and feel that sense of belonging.”

The program, which is led by the Office of First-Year Initiatives in collaboration with Career Services and Academic Center for Excellence, provides holistic, one-on-one support to students, as well as other resources and opportunities.