Set Apart (Undergraduate Academic Enrichment Program)

Written By: Erin Banister

How many times have you heard college is a time to experience new things, make new friends, and figure out what to do with your life? Blah blah blah.

But, during those years, where is the course teaching students how to set themselves apart?  It is never too early for undergraduates to consider how they will look in front of future employers once they receive that diploma.  The job hunt is difficult and students need more than a degree to stay above water in this competitive market.

The Undergraduate Academic Enrichment Program helps students look beyond the realm of classes and prepare for life outside of UNF.  This program is helping students find ways to distinguish themselves as productive individuals by strengthening their resume. This scholar program targets undergraduates to help them develop credentials, make valuable connections, and acquire resources. Building credentials involves internships, studying abroad, community-based learning opportunities, and mentoring. 

This program provides ways to help students obtain internships.  The skills students receive from their internships are highly valued in the job market. At the same time, this program can find local businesses and organizations that hire students.  Studying abroad is especially useful for students looking to work internationally. It’s important to note that graduate programs and professional programs look for those who already have field experience.

The connections students will gain through this program allow them to network with successful community leaders, scholars in their field, and national leaders. Career connections give students the chance to be recognized by certain individuals who will ultimately help further their goals.

The Undergraduate Academic Enrichment Program provides funding for these opportunities through travel grants, scholarships, and post-baccalaureate funding. This program will coach and edit students’ applications for scholarships to increase the likelihood of receiving funding.

Professor Marcia Ladendorff, a communications instructor, firmly believes in enhancing the educational experience through outside activities. She explained how working beyond the classroom is a powerful step in the learning process.  Applying real-world experience solidifies the skills learned in the classroom. She further stated that the classroom can’t produce the “unexpected.” Ladendorff said, “We don’t know what it’s like until we get out there.”

The Academic Enrichment Program prepares students for challenges in the workforce.  The classroom can’t coherently train students for unpredictable circumstances. Finding a job is extremely hard and employers are looking for those individuals who will easily understand the skills needed to perform. The only way for students to have an easy transition into the workforce is to gain experience outside the walls of UNF.  This university understands that a classroom setting can’t produce a real-world job setting. Therefore, UNF along with the Undergraduate Enrichment Program, is highly dedicated to making sure students receive ample opportunity to achieve life skills that will help them get a job after graduating.

This program amplifies the concept that students need to make themselves distinguishable from the thousands of other bright-eyed graduates looking for a job. The Undergraduate Academic Enrichment Program designs tools necessary to make students competitive in this impossible job market.

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