a blue head silouette with gears inside

Strategy 1 : Essential Skills

Improve student development of essential skills

Overview

To succeed in an ever-changing, interconnected future, more than ever, students need to develop and learn to apply discipline-crossing essential skills, such as agility, collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, and leadership. As emphasized in findings from the National Academies of Sciences, the future will require educational opportunities that “increasingly emphasize creativity, adaptability, and interpersonal skills” to offer students the fullest opportunity to pursue their professional and personal ambitions in a dynamic world, throughout a lifetime.

At UGA, Student Affairs provides students with wideranging learning opportunities and coaching beyond the space of the classroom.

With this plan, Student Affairs aims to build on those time-tested strengths. In sharpening and sequencing existing programming and creating new opportunities for student skill development and experiential learning, Student Affairs can ensure even more students find meaningful, practical experiences to build and test critical skills outside the classroom, receive personal guidance and support, and graduate ready to articulate and demonstrate their skills in any setting.

Student Affairs-wide Essential Skill Development and Experiential Learning

With this plan, Student Affairs will launch an initiative to:

  • Join in University-wide efforts to increase student awareness and focus on essential skill development
  • Enhance the availability and effectiveness of student coaching
  • Grow new and improve existing skill development and experiential learning opportunities across Student Affairs
  • Develop new sequences of programming to lead students to higher levels of skill development
  • Provide a new technology solution to help students track and articulate essential skill development
  • Develop and implement a new Student Affairs curriculum
  • Dedicate Student Affairs staff to student skill development, including liaisons within each Student Affairs area

Measures of Success for Strategy 1

Some ways that Student Affairs will measure success of this strategy include continued gains in:

  • Students participating in and the availability of essential skills programming and sequenced programming through Student Affairs
  • Students participating in and the availability of University transcript-eligible Experiential Learning opportunities through Student Affairs
  • Students participating in essential skills coaching
  • Student scores from an identified assessment of skills acquisition
  • Scores from an identified assessment of recent UGA graduates related to essential skills
View the Essential Skills KPIs

How it Happens

On behalf of the Vice President, Assistant to the Vice President for Learning Strategy Kara Fresk is leading this initiative, working with directors and staff across Student Affairs, the University Experiential Learning office, and many others to ensure that even more students find meaningful, practical experiences to build and test critical skills outside the classroom, receive personal guidance and support, and graduate ready to articulate and demonstrate their skills in any setting.

As the initiative develops, each department in Student Affairs will dedicate a student skill development liaison, who will be trained and work directly with Kara and colleagues. Additionally, dedicated student coaches will be added to the team to work with students across Student Affairs programs. These coaching positions will come either from future refocus of existing roles or vacant positions, and report through Kara, as Assistant to the VP.

This initiative will also include a critical review, update, and sequencing of Student Affairs programming to maximize opportunities for essential skill development and connection to the University’s Experiential Learning initiative.

Click here to see the OVPSA Org Chart Click here to view the SA Leadership Team org chart