First-year experience programs has been shown to improve Freshman retention rates. These classes bring together smaller groups of students with caring faculty to improve student success while studying an interesting subject. It allows students to bond closely with a faculty member as well as their peers and to integrate more successfully into college. This aids students in understanding the new environment and gives opportunities to ask about issues, which reduces a student’s anxieties in this new, more rigorous environment.
Undergraduate Research and Creative Projects
Students do intensive and self-directed projects in an area of their interest, while being mentored by a faculty member. These students are able to produce scholarly papers or projects that help them grow academically and mature. Many times these works are displayed on campus or the student is given the chance to present them in a professional setting off campus.
Small Interactive Classes
Lectures can be very beneficial, but having the chance to speak in class, present findings, and have an opinion is even more important. We want students to think for themselves rather than just repeat what they learn. College is a fabulous place to better understand yourself and flourish because your opinion is listened to and respected by peers and professors.
It is incredibly important for students to have the opportunity to try a career that they think might interest them before they spend years pursuing it academically. Internships not only give students a chance to learn about an industry or academic area, but also give them the ability to make their resume much stronger when they are ready to get a job or continue to graduate school. Applying your learning to the real world allows it to have more depth and meaning. Sometimes internships are conducted with close supervision of the school or through summer jobs. Schools should have strong career departments that can set students up with numerous internship opportunities.
Our world is fascinating, take advantage of this opportunity. College is the perfect time to experience the nuances of different cultures and immerse students in new and foreign environments. Studying abroad allows students the chance to mature and view the world differently.
Strong Writing Programs
We still communicate extensively through writing, so one’s ability to do so coherently can make the difference between a successful or mediocre career. Writing is important not just in business, but in personal interactions outside of the business world. Curricula that emphasize writing through mandatory classes and insist on competence are high on my list.
Senior Capstone Project
In these projects, students’ education culminates in the creation of a project that integrates what they have learned over four years in an area of interest that they want to pursue. The choice of the project and how it is presented is up to the student and their mentor. It can be a performance, a scholarly paper, a thesis, art work etc. These allow students the chance to shine and be fully responsible for the project’s outcome.
Helping others not only improves your self-worth but creates a connection that strengthens who you are. Getting involved in service learning can improve your experiences and give you new people to connect with. What you learn can also add value in the classroom and in work settings: a new way to do something, unmet needs you were unaware of, opportunities for new businesses ventures – the list goes on and on.