The goal of the University of California's new Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees (UC LEADS) program is to educate California's future leaders by preparing promising students for advanced education in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM). The program is designed to identify upper-division undergraduate students with the potential to succeed in these disciplines, but who have experienced situations or conditions that have adversely impacted their advancement in their field of study.
Once chosen as UC LEADS Scholars, the students embark upon a two-year program of scientific research and graduate school preparation guided by individual Faculty Mentors. Scholars are provided with an excellent opportunity to explore their discipline, experience a research environment, and improve their opportunities for future study in their chosen field. The Scholars gain valuable educational experience from the University, and are better prepared and more diverse graduate applicant pool, and the State, well-educated future leaders. Each Scholar is mentored by a member of UC, the faculty and advised by a UC LEADS Staff, which assists the student in designing a plan of research and enrichment activities fitted to the individual interests and academic goals of the Scholar. The "Action Plan" includes:
- Academic year research
- Paid summer research experience
- Participation in the University-wide UC LEADS Symposium
- Attendance at professional or scientific society meetings
- Professional Development and Leadership Opportunities
- Academic enrichment activities, including preparation for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)