DegreePlus is a unique extracurricular program offered only at WCU.
Students tend to think their skills for success are only attached to their academic experiences; however, research has shown that students can enhance their skills when they get involved in extracurricular experiences outside the classroom. DegreePlus is designed to give you opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities that can provide the transferable skills you need to reach your goals for employment, graduate school, professional school, and other post-graduate plans. Even more, Degree Plus focuses on skills which can enhance your self-awareness and interpersonal relationships for a lifetime.
DegreePlus is a 3-level voluntary experiential program which uses extracurricular activities to help you obtain one or more transferable skills (A transferable skill is a skill that can be used in any career, no matter what you choose to do). What's cool about DegreePlus is you can go at your own pace and complete as many levels and skills as you want.
So, here's how it works. You choose a Skill and begin Level 1.
The four DegreePlus skill areas are Leadership, Cultural Responsiveness, Teamwork, and Professionalism.
No, participation in DegreePlus is not required, but it is highly encouraged. WCU is focusing energy on this initiative because it can be of great value to you, so we want you to take advantage of it. If you start DegreePlus and don't complete the three levels, we know you still will have gained some valuable experience.
OK. We know you already have a lot to do at WCU. But, consider this --
WCU hopes that you see the value of doing DegreePlus for your future. But we also know that it would motivate you to accomplish each level if there was a "reward" at the end. In addition to the experiential transcript, WCU is exploring other ways to incentivize your participation, including a competitive opportunity for students who complete Level 3.
WCU is aware that students have unique obligations in their lives. You should always
balance your extracurricular involvement with your other priorities, especially academics.
One of the great things about getting involved with DegreePlus is that you can start
and stop at any time in the process, so you are in charge of the pace.
Regarding extra work, be sure to look at the list of the DegreePlus extracurricular activities for Level 1. Some of them might be sponsored by a department in your College or a student organization in which you already are involved. For Level 2, you commit to attend a DegreePlus Day event and then write a reflection paper. If you can't make the Day due to classes or work, you can schedule a make-up session with your DegreePlus mentor. DegreePlus is built to be flexible. When you reach Level 3, you have the option to "double dip" by creating a capstone project using an experience you already are doing for academic credit, research, an internship, etc. You would be getting twice the benefit of doing one project.
The most important factor in weighing the time commitment is that DegreePlus can help you stand out from the crowd as you reach for a job, graduate or professional school, a fellowship, etc. It can make the time you spend earning your degree even more valuable.
Yes, you can still participate in DegreePlus. There will be many opportunities at different days and times throughout each academic year. Additionally, DegreePlus is self-paced, so you can determine which events best fit into your schedule. If you have questions about how you can make it work with your schedule, contact the Associate Director of DegreePlus at email@example.com or 828-227-7133.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the top attributes employers look for on a candidate's resume are leadership, ability to work in a team, communication skills (verbal and written), problem-solving skills, strong work ethic, initiative, and analytic skills. While some of these can be developed in the classroom, they can certainly be enhanced through involvement in extracurricular experiences. When you speak to employers, you want to be able to verbalize the experiences you have had that make you a good candidate for the position in addition to your degree. Participating in DegreePlus can help you do just that!
While DegreePlus is available at any point throughout your time at WCU, we encourage
you to get involved during your first year. By starting early, you have the time to
develop your skill set and learn how to use it for your personal and professional
DegreePlus uses WCU ENGAGE to post events, track your progress, and manage your experiential transcript. WCU Engage is a new program that will be ready to use in Fall 2018. Until it goes live you can sign up with Marti Newbold, Associate Director of DegreePlus, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events or activities must go through an approval process to count toward DegreePlus. Those events or activities will have a DegreePlus tag so you can see which skill is addressed.
DegreePlus-tagged events are advertised on the DegreePlus webpage and will be posted in WCU Engage when it goes live in Fall 2018..
There is no cost to participate in DegreePlus, just your dedication. However, some events that are tagged as DegreePlus opportunities may have an associated charge (e.g. Etiquette Reception and Alternative Spring Break).