NUFP Program Elements

The following are the four main components of the NUFP. Fellows who successfully complete all four components of the program will achieve all of the learning outcomes

  • On-Campus Mentorship

    At the heart of NUFP is the ongiong exchange between the Fellow and mentor to develop a sense of what a career in students affairs and higher education might be like. Mentors serve a critical role in executing the goals and objectives of NUFP by engaging Fellows in mentoring and networking experiences, providing Fellows with knowledge, insight, and understanding of the professional opportunities available in student affairs and higher education, and creating experiences that the Fellows would otherwise not have.

    Fellows and Mentors should meet in a formal advising session at least once a month. One of the first tasks for the two to accomplish is the development of goals for the year, as well as expectations for one another. How often will meetings occur? Are there publications or books that you would like to read and discuss? Is there a particular project to accomplish? Alone? Together? Put the answers to these questions in writing so that there is clarity about the direction for the year. Then, get started.

    A research project completed by an alumna of the program indicates that the mentoring relationship is the greatest predictor of whether Fellows ultimately choose Student Affairs as their career path. Fellows should take full advantage of the opportunity to explore the profession with a well-experienced guide, the mentor.

    Please see the NUFP Resources website for more specific information, including a goal setting worksheet.

  • Regional and Annual Conference Programming
    Fellows are provided specific programming at NASPA's annual conference, as well as many regional conferences. Various scholarships are available to help defray the cost of attendance. 
  • Summer Internships
    Fellows are offered the opportunity to apply 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.

    More information can be found on the Summer Internships webpage.
  • Dungy Leadership Institute
    Fellows are invited to apply to and attend the Dungy Leadership Institute (DLI), a five-day workshop focused on skill building and career development. Formerly known as the Summer Leadership Institute and renamed after Executive Director Emeritus Gwendolyn Dungy in 2012, 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, at this event.


  • Who is eligible to participate in NUFP?
    Undergraduate students carrying full-time enrollment (as defined by their institution) who identify as being a racial or ethnic minority, or individuals with a documented disability, are eligible to participate in NUFP. Annual application procedures and deadlines are noted on the NASPA website.
  • I am a full-time graduate student interested in NUFP. Am I eligible to apply?
    NUFP is a program specifically for undergraduate students. NASPA supports a Knowledge Community for Graduate Students and New Professionals, which strives to meet the differing needs of graduate students.
  • How much does it cost to participate in NUFP?
    There is no direct required cost to the student or the institution in order to participate in NUFP. The program does require the senior student affairs office (SSAO) of the institution to approve of the fellow and mentor participating in the program, in light of the time staff members spend mentoring Fellows. Many schools also provide some funds for Fellows to attend professional development programs, such as the annual NASPA conference. However, this is not a requirement to participate in NUFP.


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 Wooodard's encouragement, Constance 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, and they along with Disability Concerns Network Coordinator Michael Shuttic set in motion the outreach effort.

At the December 2003 meeting of the NASPA Board of Directors, the proposed recommendation was 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 at all aspects of the current program, the new program considerations and redesigned the program to continue to support underrepresented students and address changing constituencies.