The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Wildfire Program Offers Professional Growth Opportunities to Early-Career Professionals

For the higher ed HR community to thrive there must be a pipeline of early-career professionals waiting in the wings, and one way CUPA-HR equips early-career pros to grow in their role and take steps toward their career goals is through the Wildfire program. The program, sponsored in part by HigherEdJobs, is a 12-month immersive experience that connects a small, select group of early-career higher ed HR professionals to key association leaders, enabling them to experience a variety of learning opportunities.

Says Rob Keel, 2019-20 Wildfire program participant, “Wildfire helped open my eyes to the possibilities within higher education HR. The program affirmed my talents while providing effective strategies to grow and learn with an amazing group of professionals. The network I have gained through my involvement with Wildfire has provided so much support as I navigate my career. If you want to develop relationships that have the power to transform, Wildfire has the power to do just that.”

Over the course of the program, participants complete a project that will help them grow in one of the areas identified for development. Project formats range from a blog post or magazine article to a CUPA-HR conference presentation or e-learning content.

Here are some of the projects members of the 2018-19 Wildfire cohort have completed:

If you’re an early-career professional who’s ready to enhance your higher ed HR competencies and grow professionally and personally, consider applying for the Wildfire program. The application deadline is February 28, and those selected for the program will be notified by April 17.


The CUPA-HR office will be closed Fridays through August 20.