DegreePlus is uniquely designed as a holistic approach that incorporates the entire campus, not just faculty and students. It is a call to action for the entire community to help students find extracurricular experiences that enable them to develop the transferable skills they need to be successful beyond their years at Western Carolina.
DegreePlus is designed to capitalize on existing campus activities and events. For example, a speaker series related to professional development could qualify as a Professionalism event, the annual International Festival could be an enjoyable way for students to be introduced to the Cultural Responsiveness skill, and an Alternative Spring Break service learning trip could be used to develop the Leadership or Teamwork skills. Faculty and staff are encouraged to examine their current extracurricular offerings to see if they satisfy one or more of the designated student learning outcomes for a DegreePlus skill. Over time, they might want to create new events that advance programmatic goals for the department and concurrently meet DegreePlus criteria.
Faculty and staff who want to be more actively involved may apply to be a paid DegreePlus Mentor. Mentors guide students through Level 2 and Level 3 as students plan their DegreePlus Level 3 Experiences, reflections, and presentations.
Face-to-face attendance is tracked using hands-free scanners that connect the student's CATCard ID with the individual event. Online live events are tracked through participation lists. Recorded events are tracked through the completion of verification forms. Attendance rosters are available in a Microsoft Teams DegreePlus site. To request access to the attendance lists, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DegreePlus is a voluntary three-level experiential program. Students advance through
one to three levels with incentives for completion at each level.
DP1 - Experience and Exposure
Students attend five in-person or online DegreePlus-designated events of their choice in one skill.
DP2 - Integration & Application
Students who complete Level 1 can level up to attend DegreePlus Day or a makeup session in the Spring or Fall Semester. At DegreePlus Day, staff and faculty DegreePlus Mentors lead small group discussions to guide students to reflect on the events they attended, deepen their understanding of the skills and learning outcomes as they apply to their academic and professional journeys, and encourage them to begin planning their DP3 Experience (formerly the DegreePlus capstone). Additionally, students and DegreePlus mentors in attendance listen to interactive poster presentations from DP3 students who have completed their DP3 Experiences. Following DegreePlus Day, students submit their DP3 Plans of Action to their DegreePlus Mentors for review and recommendations for improvement. Students complete DP2 when their plan is approved.
DP3 - Reflection & Articulation
In DP3, students apply the learning outcomes of the skills in an experience of their choice. A DP3 Experience can be something they already plan to do or an experience they create uniquely for DegreePlus. Examples include an internship, academic capstone assignment, research, study abroad, senior showcase, volunteer or paid work project, leadership role, or anything that helps students further explore the skill areas they selected. Following the completion of their DP3 Experiences, students reflect on how they applied the five learning outcomes and use these create poster presentations. The poster presentations are shared at DegreePlus Day or other approved venue. They are evaluated as Pass/Redo. Students complete DP3 when they receive a passing evaluation. Students can choose to complete one or all four skills in their DegreePlus participation.
Listed below are the rubrics for the four DegreePlus skills. The rubrics provide a framework for skill development through the three levels of DegreePlus.
Students who participate in DegreePlus are likely to receive the following benefits:
Faculty and staff involvement is essential to the success of DegreePlus! The following are ways in which faculty and staff can bolster student interest and participation or become more directly involved in the DegreePlus program:
Get Your Students Involved
Host an Activity
Become a Paid DegreePlus Mentor
Information about DegreePlus mentoring is in the next section.
DegreePlus Mentors are faculty and exempt staff who receive training to guide students through DP2 and DP3 in a skill. The stipend is $600 for two semesters or one academic year. An overview of the position responsibilities and projected time commitments can be found here: DegreePlus Mentor Position
How to Apply
Faculty and exempt staff are eligible to apply. If you are interested in learning more about the DegreePlus Mentor position, contact Marti Newbold, Associate Director of Degree Plus, email@example.com; 828-227-3884.
DegreePlus in-person and online events can be found in WCU Engage, WCU's student engagement platform. After signing in, search for DegreePlus; for online-only events, search for DegreePlus-Digital. Events are updated as they are submitted and approved. If you would like to receive a weekly calendar of events to share with your students, please contact the Associate Director of DegreePlus at firstname.lastname@example.org. Membership is not required for students to receive credit for attending DegreePlus designated events; however, they must join Degreeplus to receive weekly calendars, track their DegreePlus progress, manage their co-curricular transcripts, and advance through the DegreePlus levels.
To be designated as a DegreePlus activity or event, the program must meet the following criteria:
To submit an event for DegreePlus use this Qualtrics form DEGREEPLUS EVENT REQUEST FORM. All event requests are approved by the Associate Director of DegreePlus. Events that are submitted less than two weeks prior to the event are not guaranteed to be accepted for DegreePlus consideration due to the volume of requests.
For questions about qualifying your DegreePlus event, contact Associate Director of DegreePlus Marti Newbold at email@example.com / 828-227-3884 or CCPD/DegreePlus Administrative Support Associate Nikki Ratcliffe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Membership is not required for students to attend DegreePlus-designated events. Students join DegreePlus if they want to receive a weekly calendar, track their DegreePlus progress, manage their co-curricular transcripts, or advance in the program. Students are encouraged to get involved during their first year at WCU, though they may sign up at any time. To join DegreePlus, students go to WCU Engage, WCU's student engagement platform, search for the DegreePlus page, and request to join.