Life Skills


Continued recognition as the national leader in Life Skills serving all prospective, current, and former student-athletes. 

Mission Statement

To provide proactive education fostering the acclimation to the University of Nebraska, promote total person development best preparing student-athletes for life after sport, and serve as a powerful recruiting resource for each team. 

Student-Athlete Support Services

Complementing Academic Support Services is the comprehensive Life Skills program, continually recognized as a model of service to prospective, current and former student-athletes. The Athletic Department provides Life Skills programming for every student-athlete, first to acclimate them to the University of Nebraksa, and then to promote their total-person development. 

Led by a dedicated senior administrator, Keith Zimmer, a staff of five professionals develop and provide programming in individual and team settings to assist with total-person development of all student-athletes. Areas of emphasis include proactive life skills education, community involvement, career planning, effective communications, healthy relationships, leadership development, alcohol and drug education, domestic violence awareness and money management. 

The Athletic Department supports a comprehensive Community Service Program, refelcted during the 2022-23 academic year with more than the 400 individual student-athlete outreach projects impacting approximately 30,000 people throughout the state of Nebraska and beyond.

Staff members remain committed to total-person development even after a student-athlete's graduation. All letterwinners receive lifetime membership in the N Club, which provides ongoing engagement and connection to Nebraska, special events, reunions and ticket offers. 

History of the Program

Nebraska has long been considered a leader and pioneer in Life Skills programming and resources within college athletics. Nebraska Life Skills was initiated in 1987 and has been recognized by the NCAA, National Consortium for Academics and Sport and the Division IA Athletic Directors Association for having one of the most innovative and complete Life Skills program in the country. In 2008, Athletic Director Tom Osborne expanded the program making Life Skills its own department. Five professional staff members execute all daily responsibilities within the Life Skills program. 

Important Dates

1989    Nebraska wins inaugural Life Skills Program of Excellence Award. 
1999– 2009    Nebraska honored by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports for leaders in community service initiatives.
2006    Keith Zimmer named Champs/Life Skills Administration of the Year.
2008    Life Skills now recognized as its own department.
2010    Abbott Life Skills Center grand opening within the Student Life Complex.
2011    Life Skills adds full-time permanent Life Skills Coordinator joining, Associate Athletic Director and two Life Skills Assistants.
2012     Five professionals work in Husker Life Skills. Three full-time permanent employees along with two 5th year students courtesy of a diversity grant provided by the Big Ten Conference.
2013   Nebraska Life Skills selected by NCAA to present at National Life Skills Symposium on "Maximizing Community Outreach through Creativity and Collaboration."
2014   Nebraska Athletics collaborates with the Center for Civic engagement to implement an annual service abroad trip to Guatemala in May 2015. Trip will include current student-athletes, Letterwinner Alumni, and athletic department staff.
2015   4th Life Skills Coordinator hired to oversee new initiative providing Post-Eligibility Opportunities to letterwinner graduates effective December 2015 and beyond.
2016   Inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Summit attended by all student-athletes and staff featuring presenters who promote messages of respect, acceptance and unity. 
2017   Nebraska's Post-Eligibility Opportunities Program wins 2017 NACE Chevron Award being recognized as the most innovative career services program in the nation. 
2018   Life Skills staff grows to six full-time employees as a Diversity and Inclusion Director is added. 
2018   4-year tiered programming model implemented to meet student-athletes where they are in their personal and professional development based upon year in school.
2018   The N-Volved leadership group is added, joining SAAC and Inner Circle as the three student-athlete centered leadership groups offered through Life Skills.
2019   N-Vest, a mentoring program to assist in the adjustment, retention, and development of female, international, and student-athletes of color was added, becoming the fourth leadership group within the Life Skills program.
2020   Nebraska Diversity and Inclusion program honored by the NCAA with the Minority Opportunities Athletics Association Award for Diversity and Inclusion at the annual convention. 
2020   Nebraska Life Skills Diversity and Inclusion celebrates 5th annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit reaching nearly 5,000 total student-athletes and staff since the inception of the summit in 2016.
2020   The annual A Night at the Lied ceremony celebrates its 30th year as the program is presented virtually for the first time ever due to COVID-19.
2020   Husker Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) adds Social Justice officer to leadership team to better advocate for equality while celebrating diversity and practicing inclusion.
2021      The Husker Advantage NIL Education program is added to Life Skills programming for all student-athletes as a result of NCAA legislation allowing student-athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness.
2022   The Husker PEO program surpasses $2.5 million in scholarship funding awarded, assisting 374 Nebraska student-athlete graduates in their career development and marketability in the program's 7-year history.
2023   No Filter service abroad program returns following a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sending 20 student-athlete leaders to Panama for a week long service trip.

Student Life Complex

The Abbott Life Skills Center is located in the $8.7 million Student Life Complex which opened in June 2010. A state of the art facility, student-athlete leaders were actively involved in the design phase of the 50,000 square foot facility which also features the Compliance Center, Academic Center, Technology Center and Enrichment Center. The Student Life Complex is the comfortable home away from home enjoyed by over 600 Husker student-athletes day in and day out. The Student Life Complex is conveniently located in West Memorial Stadium just steps away from campus allowing student-athletes to best manage their multiple daily commitments.