Hawk Leadership Institute

Students gathered in front of the UHCL letters


The Hawk Leadership Institute (HLI) is a unique learner-focused learning community for incoming first-year students at UHCL. Through exciting and interactive workshops, retreats, and supportive peer teams, you can gain hands-on experience in a learner-focused environment to learn how to implement exemplary leadership. Guided activities help you recognize and/or clarify your values and better understand how you interact within diverse contexts; creating inclusive community and well-rounded individuals who contribute to our global society.

You will also learn about your strengths, effective teamwork, and how to succeed in and outside of the classroom and in your future career. Through networking with other leaders on and off campus, you have access to campus leadership roles and opportunities to positively influence your community; helping to build a community of trusted individuals who foster the growth and well-being of the communities they serve. As an HLI student, you’ll gain the leadership edge to help you succeed in college and beyond as continue on your leadership path as an agent of change in your field.


Year One

Year one explores the following concepts:

  • Foundations of leadership
  • The changing nature of leadership
  • The relational leadership model
  • Potential for leadership—understanding yourself, understanding others, and leading with integrity

Year Two

Year two explores the following concepts:

  • Practicing leadership in communities
  • Interacting in teams and groups
  • Understanding and renewing complex organizations
  • Using leadership positions to make a difference—understanding the importance of change and implementing strategies of change.


Students at a student org fairThe Hawk Leadership Institute is a one-year program for first-year freshman students with the option to continue into the second year of the program.  

  • Maintain a 2.5 grade point average.
  • Engage in 30 community service hours a year.  (15 in the fall semester, 15 in the spring semester).
    • Fall Service Requirements: UHCL Cares Day, HLI Day of Service
    • Spring Service Requirements: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, The Big Event, HLI Day of Service
  • Engage in leadership experiences each year.
    • Fall Leadership Experience Requirements: Two UHCL campus leadership workshops, Annual Student Etiquette Dinner, Annual Student Leadership and Career Development Conference, HLI Leadership Luncheon
    • Spring Leadership Experience Requirements: Two UHCL campus leadership workshops, HLI Credo Presentations
  • Join and maintain one (1) registered student organization

Hawk Leadership Credo Presentations

Each Spring semester, the Hawk Leadership Institute participants showcase their growth over the past year through a credo presentation showcase.   

First year students present on their growth as leaders through their first year; highlighting their leadership strengths and the program’s impact on their leadership development.  

Second year students showcase their year-long leadership capstone experience,and highlighting a community issue they were passionate about addressing.  Topics can range from food insecurity impacting the greater Houston area to poverty and homelessness.  The students present on their coordinated efforts to tackle the issue through service projects and other methods. Lastly, students discuss their growth throughout the HLI experience.

Alumni Testimonials

"The Hawk Leadership Institute [...] helped me find and build connections around campus and to get involved with an amazing group of peers." - Areeba Imran, Hawk Leadership Institute Participant

"Through the Hawk Leadership Institute, I discovered the knowledge and self-confidence that I needed to be a leader. Through my involvement in this leadership program, I made a family away from home.

"Had I not joined the Hawk Leadership Institute, I do not think I would have been very involved or have a memorable experience during my college career." - Sam Alexander, Hawk Leadership Institute Participant


  • Student Involvement and Leadership

    Phone: 281-283-2560
    Fax: 281-283-2566
    Email: getinvolved@uhcl.edu

    SSCB 1204
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 198
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

    Regular office hours:
    Mon. - Thurs., 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Fri. - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Please call ahead during holidays and semester breaks.