Established in 1980, will has four decades of expertise in creating, implementing, and refining a transformative four-year educational program. Throughout their time in will, students experience all ten high-impact practices identified by the American Association of Colleges & Universities as critical to the success of college students.

A central tenet of the will program is to bridge the divide between theory and praxis, meaning that it strives to link what students learn in the classroom to what’s happening outside of it. Each year, we evaluate the effectiveness of this model through assessing the following categories of student learning: personal growth, the ability to apply theory to practice, inclusive leadership practices, skills building, development of tools to engage in social justice work, the ability to use an analytical WGSS lens, and community building.

Recent qualitative and quantitative data about the will program confirms the effectiveness of the will program model. Specifically, the research supports:

  • The effectiveness of the will model, which integrates the curricular and the co-curricular, enabling students to apply their learning.
  • The strong sense of community felt by will students.
  • The intellectual development of will students, specifically critical thinking and intersectional analysis.
  • The personal development of will students, including increased self-confidence and the ability to identify and live by one’s values.
  • The leadership development of will students, including understanding and implementing inclusive leadership practices.
  • The positive impact will has on its participants, namely the understanding that they can and will make a difference in the world.
  • The value of the will program in preparing students for their future, both personally and professionally.