September 10, 2015
15-214

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

VSU Selected as Member of NASPA’s Lead Initiative

During the spring semester, VSU’s Office of Career Opportunities and the Office of Volunteer Services developed The Experience: Where Services and Learning Meet. More than 80 local civic organizations and employers participated and provided students with information on creative ways to serve the community in the areas of education, student housing, health, and wellness.

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University was selected as a member of the 2015-2016 National Association of Student Personnel Administration (NASPA) Lead Initiative, which recognizes colleges and universities committed to encouraging and highlighting the work of student affairs in making civic learning and democratic engagement a part of every student’s college education.

It was Dr. Gerald A. Williams and his Office of Career Opportunities team who pursued this opportunity for the university.

“We feel a sense of accomplishment to be one of 74 institutions across the nation…to be selected for this initiative,” said Williams, director of Career Opportunities.

The Lead Initiative offers selected institutions unique professional development opportunities, targeted resources, networking, and recognition for their commitment to developing a partnership with on- and off-campus constituents to influence students’ ongoing commitment to civic learning and democratic engagement.

During the spring semester, VSU’s Office of Career Opportunities and the Office of Volunteer Services developed The Experience: Where Services and Learning Meet in order to maximize efforts to engage the student body and university in civic learning and democratic engagement. More than 80 local civic organizations and employers participated and provided students with information on creative ways to serve the community in the areas of education, student housing, health, and wellness.

Future initiatives include the restructuring of Cooperative Education 1100, a one-hour credit course designed to prepare students for immediate career readiness by focusing on areas of engagement that include government, elections, civic leadership, economic development, and career exploration, and the Spectrum Career Readiness Summit, an event implemented by the Office of Career Opportunities and the Office of Social Equity designed to address issues in planning a career in the workplace for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning community.

“Initiatives like these provide students the opportunity to gain skills and insight through experiential learning which is a proven method to ensure students are prepared for global employment and citizenship,” said Carla Jordan, assistant director of Career Opportunities.

Williams believes the positive outcome of maximizing efforts to engage the student body through career preparation, civil learning, and democratic engagement will result in the retention of students and the development of global citizens.

Contact Dr. Gerald A. Williams at (229) 333-5942 or gewilliams@valdosta.edu for more information.


Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.

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