6 Non-Academic Lessons Taught at Schools
Early on, college can seem like just another chore. When I was a student and was done with my work, I would put my notes on my desk and never thought about them until test day. When your mind is constantly being fed new information that you are expected to retain, time for reflection often becomes lost. It took a few years of working for me to finally realize just how much my professors had taught me. To save you from that trouble, here is a list of common non-academic lessons you may not realize you’re being taught in schools.
- Have Patience
When you’re in the thick of a degree hunt, waiting is the hardest part. Everything is about planning for the future at this point — in two years I’ll have a job; in four years I’ll get a promotion, etc. Learning to be patient will greatly influence how you go about your career. Most employers see drive and enthusiasm as good traits, but too much of either can be detrimental to finding a mobile path.
- Learn to Love Learning
Education doesn’t end once you’ve gotten your degree. Once you learn to love learning, you will have a skill that can create opportunities for a lifetime. Learning doesn’t mean studying your biology notes for years after you’ve graduated. It can be as simple as making a mistake, owning that mistake, and knowing how to do better next time.
- Know That You Don’t Know
This is the inevitable paradox of education—the more you know, the more you see what you don’t know. Being cognizant of what you still need to learn will drastically improve how you approach your future.
- Embrace the Art of Multitasking
It’s the middle of the semester, and you see that you have two tests and two essays due on the same day. It seems like a cruel game, right? Pure evil. But, these kind of days prepare you for real world experiences. Learning to balance time and energy effectively are skills that many employers find attractive.
- Appreciate the Small Things
You don’t have to win the lottery every day for your day to be a success. Finding victories in things like arriving to work on time, or eating a healthy breakfast can go a long way in improving your self-esteem and outlook.
- Figure Out How to Push Yourself
It doesn’t take a football coach kind of mentality to push yourself. Everyone is different. Everyone responds differently to motivation. Yelling, cursing, and screaming doesn’t always wake the warrior inside. Learn what motivates you and exploit it. Some students are motivated by breaking a big goal into small tasks. Others get stuff done when they can look forward to a reward. This is a very personal, yet profound journey you must take.
It may take time to learn these lessons for yourself, but once you do, you’ll really start to appreciate the education you received rather than just the degree.
Building and Benefiting from a Diverse Campus
CU Denver prides itself on being one of the most diverse campuses in the University of Colorado school system. Doing so gives our students a much better chance to succeed both in the classroom and in post-collegiate endeavors.
Why Diversity Matters in Education
The reason we still talk about diversity and inclusion on campuses nationwide is because of the Coleman Report. Commissioned in 1966 by the U.S. Office of Education, the report detailed how diversity positively affects education in general. The study considered both the characteristics of schools and faculty members in its discoveries.
These findings were groundbreaking, to say the least.
Bringing together students from different backgrounds improves students’ cognitive abilities and opens students up to new ideas about the world that would otherwise be untouched.
Students who study at diverse campuses learn to navigate an increasingly diverse world, something that employers find very attractive.
Simply stated, diversity improves the way people think about a multitude of ideas like race, gender, sexual orientation/identity, etc.
Diversity at CU Denver
At #201 in national diversity rankings, CU Denver is leaps and bounds ahead of the national average.
Over half of our undergraduate students and faculty members are female, with nearly even splits among age groups. According to collegefactual.com, the undergraduate population at CU Denver mirrors this distribution, with approx. 6,254 males and 7,255 females.
30% of CU Denver’s students are in the traditional 18-22 year-old demographic, nearly half of the national average. The remaining 70% are 22 years old or older, giving the younger students a chance to learn from people who decided to gain work experience before returning to college later in life.
CU Denver hosts monthly cultural events that emphasize supporting students of all cultural backgrounds on campus. They are both creative and academic based events for all students, faculty, family and friends to attend. 41% of students at CU Denver indentify as being students of color and the campus is hope to 7% international students.
An Introduction to Veteran & Military Student Programs
Here at CU Denver, we take pride in providing our military men and women with a quality education catered toward their distinct needs. Our mission is to create a positive transition and support programs for student service members, veterans, and their families in order to support their transition into academics, increase their graduation success rate, and assist them in achieving placement in their chosen career field following graduation.
“The Veteran & Military Student Services (VMSS) office is there to help veteran students transition from military to college, and succeed in whatever path that individual takes.” explained Junior Biology/Pre-med major, Kevin Bolser. “If a person is active in the office or associated programs it allows them to help other veterans succeed but it also gives them different experiences, friends, and perspectives that they otherwise may not have.”
CU Denver has appeared on the G.I. Jobs “Military Friendly Schools” List multiple times, ranking well because of its focus on employment support, transition and redeployment assistance, counseling referrals, and educational benefit certification. For example, Michael Chadwick is pursuing his second master’s degree at CU Denver and initially chose the school because of its culture and welcoming veteran environment.
The Principles of Excellence program is an agreement by the school to follow guidelines pertaining to student veteran issues in order to make things easier for veterans to navigate and complete their education. CU Denver also follows the eight keys to veterans’ success.
CU Denver’s Boots to Suits program ensures a smooth transition from military service to the classroom and then to the workforce. Chadwick explains that, “The program includes training, mentorship, and professional development [and] numerous networking opportunities as well.”
The PAVE program partners each incoming student with a veteran student who has already navigated the specific challenges of education after service. The program also offers tutoring, mental wellness resources, professional development workshops, and scholarships specifically for veteran students.
Adrian Toca, a junior studying Psychology, was one of the first mentors for the PAVE program and has significantly benefited from the services offered by the Office of Veteran Military Services. He said, “The office’s tutoring program has definitely helped a lot because it was an extra resource outside the CU Denver Learning Resource Center that was able to easily work around my hectic schedule.”
The university is also home to the CU Heroes Clinic, a dental clinic operated by the School of Dental Medicine, that serves honorably discharged veterans enrolled at CU Denver and select other Colorado schools. The clinic’s goal is to help bridge the gap for veterans who often do not have dental coverage when they leave military service by providing quality care at no cost.
Nationwide, veterans who have been discharged within the last 4 years are eligible for in state tuition at public schools across all 50 states. This means that veterans and their dependents no longer face residency requirements or higher non-resident tuition charges. There are exceptions, of course, but this is a significant benefit for a large portion of veterans.
Toca said, “I definitely would [recommend visiting the office] if they have time. There are many benefits to it.” Chadwick agrees, ” Having a successful transition from service to civilian cannot be done without resources. This office can directly connect you with a number of resources to help you along during your time of transition.”
6 Benefits of Studying in a Small Class
CU Denver has a faculty to student ratio of 16:1. Over 1/3 of the classes at CU Denver have 20 or less students. Small classes give you more access to the professors and more opportunity to discuss and participate. CU Denver gives you the benefits of a state school and a small school at the same time.
- Better Relationships with Classmates – When you’re one in twenty instead of one in fifty or even one hundred, you’ll be able to get to know your classmates and their views on the subject. Personal discussion with classmates can improve your own understanding of the material and simply make the class more fun and interesting.
- More One-On-One Time – Professors are able and willing to stay after class or extend their office hours when there are less students for them to make contact with. Besides the time you make for out-of-class conversations, you’ll also be able to converse more directly during class and allow your professor to get to know you in a way they couldn’t in a larger class. Professors aren’t dependent on teaching assistants when they only have twenty students.
- More Focused Conversations – In a smaller class, professors are free to stray from the class outline and fit the material to their specific class and students. Your professor is sure to have a better read on the class and will feel comfortable spending another day or two on material your class wants to learn more in-depth while not hammering in a point that you already understand.
- Tailored Education – Vanilla syllabi and PowerPoint presentations are few and far between in smaller classes. Your professor will get to know you as an individual and will be able to teach to your needs and interests. You won’t feel like you’re sitting in on a lecture meant for hundreds of students when discussion and questions can flow freely.
- Higher Program Involvement – Whether you’re taking a class within your major or just want to become more involved in the department, you’ll be able to make genuine connections with your professor and peers which will in turn strengthen your ties with the program. When you have connections in a department, professors are more likely to know you by name, develop a personal relationship with you, and think of you when opportunities arise.
- Immersive Experience – No one has ever been more immersed in a lecture hall than a small group discussion. Within a smaller class, you’ll be free to ask questions, let the discussion veer towards what your specific class is interested in, and bond with your professor and peers. Your education is in your hands in a way it couldn’t be when you cannot participate fully.
Though CU Denver’s overall enrollment is large, we keep most of our classes small. We pride ourselves in the benefits our students receive as a result of more attention and opportunity. If you’re interested in attending a university with benefits of a state school and small school all in one, or want to know anything else about our school, visit our website to request more information.