DegreePlus - Extracurricular Activities to Build Transferable Skills

Western Carolina is in the business of changing lives. We do that not simply by delivering degrees but by teaching, mentoring and inspiring students to discover their passions and their life paths. Our students learn more than just the content of their disciplines; they are taught to lead, to work in teams, to be professionals, and to respond appropriately to cultures different than their own.

DegreePlus is a holistic approach to education that sets out to strengthen our incredible work around leadership, cultural responsiveness, teamwork, and professionalism and to make it an intentional enhancement to the curricular and co-curricular experience at WCU. Participation prepares students for life after Western Carolina.

Calendar of Events

About DegreePlus

Degree Plus


Research has shown that students who are engaged tend to have greater academic success and are more likely to achieve their “next-step” goals (employment, graduate school, etc.). This success is partly due to their development of transferable skills, such as teamwork, leadership, verbal and written communication, etc. According to a survey of employers, these are skills they look for in recent graduates. However, students tend not to relate those skills to their university experiences. DegreePlus aims to educate students on the value of their experiences through the use of an experiential transcript that not only logs their extracurricular activities but also organizes them according to student learning outcomes associated with these professional skills.

A Call to Action

WCU is asking our community to get involved! Student participation in a variety of extracurricular activities, workshops, events, and organizations is a great way for them to gain the skills they will need to be successful at WCU and beyond. After participating in a variety of these tangible, skill-building experiences, students will have the opportunity to reflect on the skills they’ve gained and how these relate to their academic experiences and their future goals. We are asking our faculty and staff to support students by recommending their participation in DegreePlus and support them as they learn about each DegreePlus category: leadership, cultural responsiveness, teamwork, and professionalism. Additionally, faculty and staff can offer existing extracurricular opportunities or create new events that fit within the DegreePlus mission or they can provide support and feedback for the DegreePlus reflections and capstone projects.

Implementation Timeline

  • 2017 Fall & 2018 Spring (Pilot Year) Professionalism Skill events offered in Fall; Cultural Responsiveness Skill events added in Spring
  • 2018 Fall: Campus implementation for all four skills (Leadership, Cultural Responsiveness, Teamwork, Professionalism)
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