Student success—there’s a course for that!

Guest post by Carly Grabher

It’s December, that time of year where we’re looking at our My Page calendars and trying to figure out what to do next term. There are so many choices for courses!

Through social media, posters and word of mouth, I’ve heard a lot about the Student Success Series —a series of credited courses for undergraduate students to learn how to become:

  • more effective at studying and acing exams (this one’s called ED-D 101)
  • engaging with hands-on learning opportunities (this one’s called ED-D 302)

I mean, how awesome would it be to get credit for learning how to become a better student?!

Selecting the right course for you (they’re both great!)

As a keener, I went straight to the website to learn more about both courses. I’m pretty far into my degree so I feel like I’ve got a good grasp on studying techniques that work for me, so I was particularly drawn to ED-D 302 (for those who are still developing their studying habits, ED-D 101 is super valuable).

So what’s ED-D 302 all about?

Allison Benner

The website says that students will “learn how to make the most of hands-on learning opportunities, describe your strengths to others (including employers), set career goals and contribute effectively and respectively to diverse contexts.” But, what does all of that mean?

To answer this, I went straight to the source: I met with Allison Benner, the ED-D 302 course instructor who also happens to be my co-op coordinator. Here’s what Allison had to say:

Q: Why should we take this course?

This is a chance for you to learn about all kinds of experiential learning opportunities like entrepreneurship, community-based research, and more. You’ll learn how to improve your résumé and cover letter, how to do interviews and how to network. Plus it’s a chance for you to reflect on what you might want to do next at UVic and how that might relate to your plans after graduation.

This course could also be in lieu of the co-op prep course (with the permission of your co-op coordinator) because all of the prep course material will be covered, except that you’d get academic credit for it. So, if you’re thinking of applying for co-op next semester, this is a way to get ahead.

Q: What are the highlights?

You can look forward to:

  • An in-class Indigenous Cultural Acumen Training
  • A couple of classes devoted to intercultural competencies and inclusion in the workplace
  • Students and professionals as guest lecturers/panelists who work in different forms of hands-on learning
  • Lessons on how to tailor applications towards the job of your choice
  • The opportunity to develop a career action plan
  • Lots of discussions, guest panels and speakers, and in-class activities
  • And more!

Q: It sounds like there will be some guest speakers. Could you give a sneak peek about who students might expect to hear from in their lectures?

Some of the guest speakers include:

  • Rob Hancock from the First Peoples House
  • Mami Schouten, who is the international co-op coordinator
  • Crystal Tremblay, whose expertise is in community-based research
  • Rhianna Nagel, who is the experiential learning coordinator for UVic
  • Career educators, who will talk about networking and exploring the labour market,
  • And more!

Q: What type of projects will we work on in ED-D 302? How will they be tested?

Right from the beginning of the class, you’re going to do a reflective journal and you’ll pick three competencies to focus on over the term. You’ll also develop your résumé and cover letter for a mock interview clinic based on a job that interests you. This all builds into the career action plan, which is your final assignment.

Q: What real-world experience or preparation can we gain from this course that we might not get from just any university class?

The networking opportunities, with all of the different guest speakers and in-class events, will give you the opportunity to practice engaging directly with people who work in fields that you’re interested in. Being able to describe your interests and qualifications will help you access career opportunities at university and beyond. It’s that really hands-on practice in being able to explain what your skills are to future employers and more.

Q: Why is this course valuable? How it will it add to our UVic experience?

The challenge that a lot of students have, especially when they are in disciplines that don’t have an obvious career path, is to discover how their skills from class translate into a career and how they can describe this to employers. ED-D 302 is the perfect bridge from UVic to your next step.

Registration deadline is this Friday, December 14—register today to save your spot!

Learn more about the Student Success Series.

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