Why Be Better?

The University that Prepares Leaders

The Be Better initiative will position the University of Iowa as the university that creates leaders who leverage their strengths and leadership competencies to contribute to their communities now and in the future. Effective leaders are critical to many aspects of our world, including the workplace. Since 2007, conversations about the best way to support student leadership development have been a priority at the University of Iowa. For more history of the initiative, click here.

The Be Better initiative is a leadership framework for connecting students with high-impact practices to help them develop as leaders and be more successful while at the University of Iowa and after they graduate. There are many departments and divisions throughout the UI campus community providing meaningful, deeply engaging leadership development experiences. The versatility of the many opportunities (some listed here) provides the perfect opportunity for every Hawkeye to have a meaningful leadership experience through the use of the CliftonStrengths assessment and specific student leadership competencies.

Be Better helps create a seamless environment that not only transforms the student experience, but also makes our students more employable, competitive, and marketable in the job market and to graduate schools.  

Benefits for students

Be Better helps undergraduate students develop as students, leaders, citizens, and employees by supporting their personal pathway to leadership and success. The initiative is intentionally designed to help students: 

  • better articulate what is learned from their classes, their major(s), and co-curricular experiences
  • practice transferring learning across contexts
  • gain self-awareness and reflect on their learning
  • develop and improve the knowledge and skills employers are seeking from new and recent graduates

Benefits for Faculty and Staff

The Be Better initiative is a leadership framework for connecting students with high-impact practices to help them develop as leaders and be more successful while at the University of Iowa and after they graduate. Be Better assists students in articulating what they learn at the University of Iowa using an evidence-based common language. Using the CliftonStrengths online assessment and Student Leadership Competencies will support this specific goal. In addition the initiative may:

  • help students know the value of what is learned from a class/major/experience
  • increase enrollment in affiliated classes and participation in specific co-curricular experiences
  • increase number of declared majors for departments based on their connection to competency development
  • help students articulate what they gain from their major/minor/certificate

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