CALS Class of 2014: Workforce-Ready

Thursday, May 22, 2014

At the University of Arizona, students aren't simply learning the skills they need to head into the working world. They're also getting the opportunity to put those lessons to work through hands-on experiences that build a foundation for the day they leave the UA and begin their careers.

Thousands of new graduates, the members of the Class of 2014, moved their tassels on Saturday. Some will enter the workforce while other will continue on to pursue advanced degrees. Whatever their next step, numerous UA programs have helped prepare them for whatever happens next.

Readying students to meet statewide and national demands for a highly skilled workforce is one of the goals of Never Settle, the UA's strategic plan.

Under an effort called 100% Engagement, the UA aims to ensure that future graduates of all disciplines get the experiences they need – through internships, research, community service and on-campus jobs – so they can hit the ground running in their first jobs.

"We are in the process of building out the 100% Engagement initiative over several years. We are capitalizing on the fact that many of our majors, and many of our students, already participate in these activities," said UA Provost Andrew Comrie.

Actively involving students in knowledge creation and allowing them to develop work-related skills well in advance of earning a degree is important for several reasons, Comrie said.

"Students learn more when they integrate their classroom learning with real-world experience. They discover their own interests and talents while developing important subject skills parallel to professional skills and they are better prepared for the working world after college," he said. "And employees favor students who can demonstrate all of these things."

Read the rest of this May 2014 UANews article at the link below. Bryanda Acuna, a graduating senior majoring in family studies and human development is featured in the story.

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