Members of LEAD participate in an activity while on a retreat

Leadership and Services

Leadership Programs

The Office of Student Involvement offers the following cohort (group) and retreat based Leadership Development opportunities. We are also in the process of developing additional opportunities that will be able to be completed by individual students based on interests or as part of a larger comprehensive leadership program.

To get involved with any of the programs listed below please contact the Office of Student Involvement at 864-503-5122 or by email.

FLEX (Freshman Leadership Experience)

In the FLEX program, freshman students come together to participate in training and activities that focus on leadership and personal development. Students will discover their own values and beliefs and learn about such leadership topics as Communication for Leaders, Goal-setting and Planning, Leadership Styles, and Teambuilding and Motivation.

Students will participate in a two-day off-campus retreat and bi-monthly leadership education sessions. Each student will also be paired with an upperclass mentor who exemplifies leadership, service, and academic excellence. Students who are interested in developing leadership and career-related skills and who wish to engage in leadership roles on campus should apply to participate in the program. Applications will be available in the summer and are due in August.

WiLD (Women in Leadership Development)

The Women in Leadership Development (WiLD) program is a cohort-based, year-long program for upper-class undergraduate women at USC Upstate. Based on the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, WilD emphasizes the value of all types of leadership and encourages service, action and the development of personal skills, while creating a supportive community within the cohort of participants that empowers women to find their “leadership voice.” It is the goal of this program for graduates to serve as mentors to future participants, in addition, to pursue formal or informal leadership roles at USC Upstate or in their local community.

Application Criteria and Participant Expectations:

  • Applicants do NOT have to currently serve in a formal leadership role on campus
  • Completion of at least 30 credit hours (Sophomore status or higher)
  • 2.5 Minimum Cumulative GPA
  • Must attend all mandatory WiLD events
Leadership N.O.W.

No Opportunities Wasted. As a leader, one must make the most of every opportunity.

Each August, student leaders are invited to participate in an off-campus, 2-day retreat that focuses on issues and topics related to leadership. Applications for this program are available in the Spring Semester.

Coming Soon!

We’re excited about announcing the development of a new Leadership Certificate program for students.  Although details are currently being finalized, we hope to have a new program to roll out to students in the fall of 2021.  Stay tuned!

Service Programs and Opportunities

The Office of Student Involvement provides a wide variety of opportunities to get involved in volunteering in the community. Whether you need to complete hours for a student organization or you simply enjoy giving back to your community, there are many ways to get involved through our campus.

To inquire about service opportunities or get involved with any of the programs listed below please contact Dr. Deb Kladivko with the Office of Student Involvement at 864-503-5106 or by email

Community Engagement Agency Volunteer Needs

There are hundreds of agencies and organizations in the Upstate that are looking for volunteers. We have compiled a list of volunteer agencies (University login required) with several dozen of these groups who welcome student volunteers, but this list is not all-inclusive. It may however be a starting place as you think about the type of service that you are interested in. The United Way of the Piedmont also provides a connection to many agencies that are seeking volunteers. Access volunteer needs.


IMPACT is a student-led service organization that connects students with the Upstate community through bi-monthly service projects that address local issues. IMPACT offers its members the opportunity to participate in direct service, explore diverse societal needs, and develop leadership skills.

IMPACT has served at a variety of agencies in Spartanburg and the surrounding community. Past projects have included assembling hygiene bags for the homeless, creating sock puppets to go with children’s books that were donated to an after-school program, conducting a lake sweep at Lake Bowen, assisting at the Salvation Army Thrift store, and playing games with residents of a nursing home. If you are interested in learning more about or getting involved in IMPACT, send an email to

Alternative Breaks

The Alternative Break (AB) program provides USC Upstate students with an opportunity to participate in volunteer and educational trips to culturally diverse and economically disadvantaged communities throughout the United States. Alternative Break groups travel to locations all across the United States. They provide service-learning opportunities working with important issues such as the environment, education, immigration, poverty and other unmet human needs. The AB program exposes students to communities and immersion experiences that cannot be replicated on the USC Upstate campus.

We currently offer Alternative Fall Break (AFB) and Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trips. Trips are open to all USC Upstate students and are student-led! For more information about the AB program and how to get involved, contact the Alternative Break Board at

Service Learning Courses

Students can also gain valuable experience working with community agencies by enrolling in service-learning courses.  More information visit The Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement (OSLCE)