St. Cloud State University students connect with faculty and staff in a new, innovative way to help students explore their majors and their passion through curricular, co-curricular and real-world experiences.
HuskiesAdvance is a new campus-wide program of St. Cloud State’s It’s Time initiative. Students work with a faculty or staff mentor to create a personalized plan to align their goals and interests with courses and other experiences. Through HuskiesAdvance, students are able to build their professional network, create a professional portfolio and earn a digital credential. By exploring concepts in the classroom, engaging in projects and activities, and reflecting on how theory meets practice and life in general, students are able to show the world what they can do.
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Students are connected with a faculty or staff mentor while creating a personalized track plan to align their goals and interests. Through HuskiesAdvance, students are able to build their professional network, create a professional portfolio and earn a digital credential.
One example of the student and faculty partnership has come in St. Cloud State’s Community Garden, where student mentee Jade Antecino has worked closely with her faculty mentor Dr. Tracy Ore, professor of Sociology and Community Garden Coordinator. Antecino and Dr. Ore regularly meet to work in the garden, exploring how it is a vital part of the community and how it has become a focal point for gatherings, strengthening community connections among its neighbors, and providing nutrition for local families.
“HuskiesAdvance is built on the best of what St. Cloud State University already offers; outstanding courses, an array of co-curricular experiences, student-centered faculty and staff, and a commitment to helping students receive individualized student support towards their personal and professional goals,” said Peggy Sarnicki, Interim Director of HuskiesAdvance. “The program is unique in that it combines these elements in a way that students receive a high impact, personalized experience which enables them to show the world what they can do.”
To figure out which interest area best meets the goals of St. Cloud State students, they choose from the following HuskiesAdvance Tracks to get connected with a mentor and start developing a personalized plan to support their area of study:
- Environmental Sustainability – Support the health and welfare of current and future ecological systems and build a sustainable planet.
- Social Justice – Address inequalities in wealth, privilege, and access based on differences in identity.
- International Engagement – Understand our world and expand your knowledge of countries and cultures.
- Entrepreneurship – Create, invent, and determine your economic future as you develop innovative solutions.
- Leadership – Inspire and effect positive change in organizations and communities.
- Civic Engagement – Participate and lead in public life to create positive change.
Upon partnering with a mentor, that faculty or staff member assists in connecting students to various events, faculty, students, alumni and community members while connecting what they’ve learned through each experience in alignment with their goals.
As a component to the It’s Time initiative, HuskiesAdvance is not only connecting students with faculty and staff mentors, but it’s another avenue for students to gain hands-on experiences while growing their portfolios, networking abilities and giving them a jumpstart to their careers after completing their education.