Life Design Program

What could YOU do in life?

Don’t know?  Not sure?  Need answers?

At the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, we’ve created a program called “Life Design Program” that’s focused on helping students get more out of their college experience.  College is more than getting a college degree – it’s about creating a meaningful life.

Design Your Life is based on a process called SPARCK – Story, Purpose, Aspirations, Reflection, Connection, and Kick-Start – where we found these six principles the key to student success.  Here’s a simple diagram of the model:

design your life model (rev 1), 6-15-15

We offer two courses in the first-year that which uses SPARCK principles to provide students the opportunity to learn about self and create meaningful experiences that matter.  The courses are:

  • HHS125: Design Your Life I – What Could I Do With My Life (1 credit) – typically offered in the Fall Semester
  • HHS135: Design Your Life II – Redesign a Life You’ll Love (1 credit) – typically offered in the Spring Semester

In a nutshell, the HHS125 course helps students define their life story, identify their values and life purpose, define their meaningful work, and develop a plan – not only a plan for graduation, but a plan for the future.  Through this process, students will be able to identify potential career/vocation/calling options and their most heartfelt goals and dreams.  The HHS135 course provides students with strategies on how to live a meaningful life, in relation to their values, strengths, and meaningful work, as well as developed a more refined plan for the future.

Data shows that first-year students who’ve completed the HHS125 course (with a good grade) are likely to:

  • Earn better grades than students who do not take the course,
  • Are likely to come back for their sophomore year, and
  • Graduate at higher rates AND in a more timely fashion (which most likely means less student debt).

Student who take both the HHS125 AND HHS135 classes in concurrent semester are even MORE LIKELY to be successful in college!

In the Life Design Program, we don’t focus on choosing a major; we help you define your your values, your talents and gifts, your interests, and your audience, then define the meaningful work you’re here to do.  Once defined, then choose the majors/minors that would allow you to do this meaningful work best.  Here’s an illustration of the model below:

meaningful work diagram, 6-10-15

If you’re clear on your meaningful work, you’ll be clear on the direction of your future – and your life!

In addition to the two courses listed above, we also teach the following courses as a part of the program:

  • Meditation for Life (1 credit)
  • Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurship (3 credits)
  • Personal Branding in Life Design (3 credits)

Our goal is to have every student pursuing meaningful work and fulfilling dreams that matter.


To aid in the Life Design/Exploration process, here are a couple of links that might be useful:

Salary Information

Major Exploration

Career Exploration

And if you want a challenge to think about what you REALLY want for your life, answer these 10 Kick-Ass Questions About Life:

  1. What’s always on your mind? What do you think about a lot? If you were on the computer/internet, what would you spend your time reading or searching most?
  2. What positive things do people say about you? What do people thank you for most often?
  3. Who inspires you? Who would you most like to be like? Who are your heroes, your role models? Who do you envy most?
  4. What do you help with that seems natural or easy for you? What do people come to you for? When you’re at your best, what does it look like?
  5. What are you amazing at doing (can be work- or life-related)? What are you great at? What do you do particularly well?
  6. When do you feel powerful, passionate, free, incredibly useful, excited, and/or inspired?
  7. Who do you want to help? Who would you like to inspire? Whose lives would you like to change?
  8. If you had a chance to be known for something special or unique, what would it be? How do you feel you contribute (or could contribute) to society?
  9. How would you like to be seen, recognized, acknowledged, awarded, praised – now and/or in the future? What’s the legacy you want to leave behind? If you were to die tomorrow, what would you want people to say about you?
  10. What is your biggest fear? What’s the thing that scares you the most?

If you have any questions about the program, the courses, or the questions, please feel free to contact me (Bill Johnson) at 336-207-6795 or at whjohnso@uncg.edu (preferred).

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