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Great Plains National Security Consortium

The Freshman Program 


A career in Intelligence is a challenging path that requires the development of certain skills and strengths. IC professionals choose a lifestyle that is consistent with their security clearances, and they develop an area of expertise valuable to the nation. Pursuing this career path takes dedication and years of preparation.

In order to cultivate an early interest in the Intelligence Community (IC), GP NSEC has formed an advising program exclusively for UNL freshmen. We invite freshmen to explore the IC and its potential career paths through the GP NSEC Freshman Program before applying and committing to the IC Scholar program in their sophomore year.

Actions for freshmen

Freshmen will take the following actions to explore their interest in the field:


  • Find and major in a field you are passionate about.
  • Consider the Global Security Studies minor.
  • If interest is strong, consider fulfilling general education requirements with IC-relevant courses, such as the ones listed in the Global Securities minor.
  • Take classes that enhance writing and analytical skills.
  • Choose rigorous courses over easier courses.
  • Seriously consider and plan for studying abroad and learning a critical language (critical languages are defined as:  Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish and Urdu).
  • Understand the research opportunities UCARE provides for UNL students starting in their sophomore or junior years.

Freshman Program

  • Attend program events with IC speakers and IC simulation activities.
  • Maintain a GPA of at least 3.25 to be eligible for the IC Scholar program.
  • Use the IC Library (located in Seaton Hall, 203) to read about IC career paths and explore the field.
  • Maintain contact with your IC mentor and ask them any academic or IC-related questions you may have.
  • If interest remains strong, meet with the Freshman Program advisor to discuss your academic and career path.
  • Take a strengths assessment to understand your true strengths, and whether or not your strengths match up with those needed for an intelligence career (Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath is a reputable strengths assessment resource).

Role of IC Mentors

IC Scholars will serve as mentors to students in the Freshman Program. Students should feel free to contact their mentor with questions about their academic path, the Intelligence Community, or anything regarding the transition to life as a college student.


  • Listen to speakers from the IC talk about their career paths and substantive issues, followed by food and networking with the speaker and IC scholars.
  • Attend the Google Earth simulation activity
  • Attend the GP NSEC colloquium to further explore your interest in the field. 

How to apply

Freshmen interested in the program can express their interest by writing a short paragraph about themselves and their potential career goals to the program advisor, Tyler White (  If you have any questions about the program, please contact Lindsay Priefert (