Turning Students Into Workplace LeADERS
One of Old Dominion's new programs, which I highlighted in my recent State of the University address, will help strengthen our students' undergraduate experience as well as increase their competitiveness in the workplace.
It's called LeADERS, an acronym that suggests its varied components - from ePortfolios to research experiences.
For decades, Old Dominion has sought to give students an edge when they enter the workforce. In the '90s, we pioneered the Career Advantage program, which guaranteed qualified students an internship experience. LeADERS goes beyond that, fortifying their preparation for careers in the 21st century.
Here's what our LeADERS program stands for and includes:
Leadership courses or experiences.
ePortfolios, which challenge students to clearly communicate their skills and abilities to a diverse audience.
Academic internships at businesses, which provide students academic credit for their experiences.
Diversity, which can be achieved through taking classes on themes such as social injustice or studying abroad.
Entrepreneurship. ODU is offering more than 40 courses from which students can choose. In one innovative example, our civil engineering students are teaming with architecture students at Hampton University to design communities that are resistant to flooding.
Research. They will get hands-on experience, often in a senior or capstone project.
Service learning, connecting students with their communities. In a recent project, cybersecurity students created teaching materials for a local high school.
Students may participate in any or all of the facets of our LeADERS initiative. Those who are most active will be eligible for gold, silver or bronze medals. The program is overseen by Old Dominion's Center for High Impact Practices, led by Lisa Mayes, and the leadership team includes a new e-portfolio director.
If you want to find out more about the program and some of the participants, visit www.odu.edu/success/programs/leaders.
Hundreds of students have expressed interest, and we expect many more to follow. Their participation in LeADERS today will help prepare them for the work world of tomorrow.