BadgerCETE Leadership Program

A cete is defined as a group of badgers, and in this case, also stands for Creating Exceptional Transfer Experiences. BadgerCETE is a student-led program designed for first-year transfer students to explore holistic leadership approaches. Groups meet weekly which allows students to build community organically, critically analyze complex problems with diverse perspectives, and explore their own identities and transitions among a group of peers in a safe space.

Why Apply? 
  •  Participating in BadgerCETE counts towards required hours for  the Leadership Certificate (more information below)
  • Participants meet weekly, expanding your UW community and meet new people
  • The application process is SIMPLE
  • Oh, and did we mention? We serve a hot meal before every session?
  • Preview a syllabus.

Monday Cohort beings September 26th

Tuesday Cohort begins September 27th

Application for Fall 2022 is now open!

What you should expect when applying to BadgerCETE:

  • The BadgerCETE application should take ~20-30 minutes to complete (15 minute video, 5-10 minutes to complete application).
  • There is one 1 short essay questions; the video response mentioned above.
  • No letters of recommendation, transcripts, or resumes necessary!

The Leadership Certificate program reinforces the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s commitment to developing student leadership capacity through intentional reflection and engagement in learning, both inside and outside the classroom, for the purpose of meaningful change.

Leadership Philosophy

BadgerCETE uses the UW Leadership Framework to guide our program and activities. This framework is the foundation of the Leadership Certificate and several other leadership programs on campus. BadgerCETE was developed in order to create a pipeline to leadership opportunities for transfer students in their first-year at UW.

Principles of UW Leadership Framework:
  • Leadership is an action-oriented endeavor not based on position or level of authority.
  • Context matters and each situation requires unique engagement.
  • The act of leadership is the phenomenon of positive change in an individual, group, or community’s beliefs, values, or behaviors.

Leadership Certificate Information

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How do I get started?

  1. Attend in person or view an online Informational Session (see presentation below)
  2. Complete the Leadership Competencies Activity (Requires feedback from 5 people besides yourself. Give yourself at least 2 weeks to complete this before your appointment.)
  3. Set up an advising appointment with Leadership Certificate Staff through scheduling assistant.  Topics to be discussed during the CfLI advising appointment:
    • Review the Leadership Certificate requirements and answer questions
    • Explore how your past experiences may be used to meet Leadership Certificate requirements
    • Be ready to discuss the results from your completed Leadership Competencies Activity
    • Discuss potential reflection partner. You should leave having an individual or list of individuals to contact for possible reflection partner.  Letter to Reflection Partner
    • Review steps to submitting your materials on Canvas
    • Discuss the review process
    • Finally, you will receive an enrollment invitation

Contact Leadership Specialist


Leadership Development Specialist
Center for Leadership & Involvement
3rd floor, Red Gym
Phone: (608) 262-2421
More info:

Program Components



Completion of 100 hours divided between the 3 areas of:

  • Civic Engagement (Min: 30 hours)
  • Organizational/Group Leadership (Min: 30 hours)
  • Trainings & Workshops (Min: 10 hours)
    • BadgerCETE fulfills the training and workshops requirement.


At the beginning of the Leadership Certificate program, we encourage you to identify a reflection partner with whom you are comfortable sharing your leadership journey and campus experiences. Your self-chosen reflection partner will help facilitate your progress through the Certificate, providing an objective opinion to help guide you in your own leadership growth.”


Academic Course: Complete one academic course with a B or above, either in Leadership Studies OR Global and Cultural Competence, from the approved list (see below).

Online Modules: Complete three of five online modules and write reflection essays for each.


Competencies Reflection: Write one three-part essay reflecting on the seven UW-Madison Leadership competencies and develop an action plan for future growth.

Leadership for Change Capstone: This can be done as an essay or presentation.

How is BadgerCETE applied to the Leadership Certificate?

Answer: BadgerCETE fulfills the trainings and workshops requirement. Depending on your attendance, BadgerCETE would earn you 10.5 – 13.5 training and workshop hours.

When using BadgerCETE as a part of your Leadership Certificate requirements, please cite Shelby Knuth, as the reference/supervisor.

Can I use leadership experiences from my previous school?

Answer: Yes. Transfer students are eligible to receive the Leadership Certificate and can use past leadership experiences from their previous school.

You may also use a course from a different institution to fulfill the course requirement. You will need to submit a syllabus from the course as well as your transcript to the Leadership Certificate Staff.

“Context matters and each situation requires unique engagement.”

UW Leadership Framework

What Our Students Say

“BadgerCETE was awesome and really helped me with my transition. It felt kind of silly at first but it ended up being a really great space where I felt super comfortable and ended up meeting really good friends.”

“BadgerCETE exceeded my expectations and I’m grateful to have been a part of it!”

“BadgerCETE helped me cultivate a sense of community on campus. It was refreshing and de-stressing to come to CETE every week, knowing I’d be connecting to other transfer students while working towards my certificate in leadership. My first semester was really overwhelming, so having the opportunity to get involved and develop skills in a safe space made all the difference.”

BadgerCETE Cohort
BadgerCETE Cohort