Clubs For Online Degree Programs Extend Learning
Students in online degree programs at Saint Leo University benefit academically by joining unique online clubs and associations.
If you've just started working toward a college degree, you may feel as if the finish line is nowhere in sight.
But before you know it, you'll be zipping up your gown, adjusting your cap and snapping family photos at commencement.
So it only makes sense to take advantage of every opportunity to soak up as much knowledge as possible during your limited time in college to prepare for the next step in your career.
Online clubs and associations at Saint Leo offer valuable learning and networking experiences you just can't get anywhere else.
And the best part is no travel is required. These clubs meet at your place.
Designed to accommodate the needs of busy, working adults, online student organizations offered through Saint Leo's Center for Online Learning (COL) are a unique opportunity for students enrolled in any of the university's online degree programs.
"While Saint Leo is a well-established, 125-year-old university, we are also cutting edge and offer unique features," says Zulie Mendoza, COL student services manager.
"Students who join our associations and clubs see it as a way to be more connected to the university, faculty and other students. As working adults, they see the professional networking benefit – the opportunity to engage with industry leaders – and they recognize the value of broadening their knowledge in their fields."
COL offers degree-specific associations and student clubs.
Associations focus on topics of interest to students who are majoring in those disciplines. Current associations are offered in: accounting, business, criminal justice, healthcare management, human resources management, psychology and sociology.
Two student clubs are available. The Student Peer Mentoring Club fosters mentoring relationships among new and more experienced students and alumni, and the Military and Families Club provides a forum for members to discuss issues related to the military lifestyle.
Clubs and associations meet either once or twice per month for approximately one hour via Blackboard Collaborate, a web conferencing service that enables meeting participants to interact in real time.
COL Student Life Specialist Ben Wagner communicates agendas, including speakers and topics, via social media well in advance.
Meetings begin promptly and focus on issues that relate to the association's specific field or to a general career or job search topic. Presenters may also discuss topics aimed at helping participants become stronger students such as test taking skills, library resources, and research papers.
Here are 11 reasons why you should consider getting involved in one of COL's online clubs or associations.
Meetings take place at night starting around 7 p.m. (EST) and lasting less than an hour.
Meetings are succinct and purposeful. Presentations provide useful information to help with your career or job search, make you a better student, or expand your knowledge.
Connect with other students with similar interests and faculty with experience in your field of study – and add them to your professional network on LinkedIn.
Industry experts are often guest speakers. You have the opportunity to hear their perspectives on important topics and to make yourself memorable by asking astute questions. Then you can reach out on LinkedIn with a request to add these experts to your network.
Membership in a student organization is a valuable differentiator on your resume. It shows you are committed to learning more about your field.
Being familiar with current trends and issues in your field can be useful during a job interview.
As a club or association member, you help choose the topics for future meetings. It's an opportunity learn more about what interests you most.
Save gas. Meetings can take place right at your kitchen table.
As an online student, you might be looking for opportunities for some face-to-face interaction. The virtual meeting room for associations and clubs has video and speaker capability.
Saint Leo faculty members are club advisors and guest speakers. If you are an active member, they can get to know you better outside the – a big plus when you're looking for letters of recommendation.
Become an officer in a club or association and develop your leadership skills. Or hone your technical and communications skills by making a presentation.
Still not convinced that joining an online club or association is a good idea? Here's a sampling of topics covered during past meetings.
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Image Credit: Anne Davis 773 on Flickr/Creative Commons