“Being able to list more than your college degree on your résumé upon graduation is a point of emphasis at UNK.”
You don’t have to look very far to see progress at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Several areas of the beautiful campus are, or soon will be, under construction. Most notable are the all-new Village Flats apartments, Nebraskan Student Union renovations and the much-anticipated new STEM building on west campus.
However, none of these top the list of most important building projects at UNK. That top honor is reserved for student résumés.
Building student résumés has always been a top priority at UNK. This isn’t accomplished with heavy machinery and construction blueprints, rather, it’s through a combination of quality education and experiential learning. These details don’t show up on a campus map, and they don’t match the visual appeal of the bell tower at sunset. But, those bullet points that show up on paper under the header of “Skills and Experience” will have the biggest impact on a student’s future success.
Being able to list more than your college degree on your résumé upon graduation is a point of emphasis at UNK. First, students work closely with faculty in a variety of ways.
In science, students conduct laboratory and field research and publish their significant discoveries. In business, students are connected with local businesses for internships. They also participate in classes specifically designed with hands-on learning in mind – such as Daniel Chaffin’s entrepreneurship class or Heather Meyer’s advertising class.
In the College of Education, UNK students are connected with local school systems for field experiences. They interact with students at the elementary, middle school or high school level. They create lesson plans and practice their craft in a real-life setting through student teaching. In Fine Arts, students gain experience on stage and behind the scenes through a variety of performing arts opportunities, including vocal and instrumental performance, theatrical set design, costume design and sound and lights.
It starts with faculty encouraging students to take on challenges. To show what they know and can do.
“Experiential learning can be defined in a variety of ways,” said UNK’s Kyle Luthans, chair of the Business Management Department. “We want students to get involved with student organizations. We want students to get involved with summer research programs. We certainly want them and encourage them to get involved with internship opportunities.
“And we’d like them to take courses that are designated as experiential learning, so they’re working with outside clients and investors. We want them to have a diverse portfolio and a broad mix when it comes to experiential learning.”
Being able to take the principles they learn in the classroom and apply them in more active, real-life scenarios is very valuable. Students gain confidence in their knowledge and abilities.
“It’s not just about building a résumé, it’s about building character and preparing for experiences that we take on in the real world,” said UNK senior biology major Joe Haag. “So when we go to an interview, we actually have the knowledge base and the skillset that an employer is looking for. I think that’s an excellent opportunity that UNK provides for students.”
That’s a benefit of learning at a smaller university. Faculty can help each student connect with hands-on learning opportunities. In many ways, it’s a customizable experience for students.
If you want to explore research related to human immunity, UNK does that. If you want to learn what it’s like to start a business, UNK does that. If you want to work with kids and inspire a lifelong love of reading in them, UNK does that. And if you want to stand on stage in the spotlight and perform in front of a packed house, UNK does that.
If you want to stand out among a competitive field of candidates when you apply for your first job out of college, UNK does that. They offer the blueprints for success. It’s a matter of connecting the dots and putting pieces together with each hands-on learning opportunity you receive.
UNK is building for the future. Your future.
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