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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Never Settle progresses across UA

Courtesy+of+University+of+ArizonaNever+Settle%2C+the+UAs+strategic+plan%2C+includes+four+priorities%3A+engaging%2C+innovating%2C+partnerships+and+synergy.+A+significant+part+of+the+Never+Settle+plan+is+100+percent+engagement+to+get+students+outside+of+the+classroom+and+prepared+for+the+real+world.

Courtesy of University of Arizona

“Never Settle,” the UA’s strategic plan, includes four priorities: engaging, innovating, partnerships and synergy. A significant part of the Never Settle plan is 100 percent engagement to get students outside of the classroom and prepared for the real world.

When President Ann Weaver Hart unveiled Never Settle last fall, its main goal was 100 percent engagement, and the UA has continued working toward that goal this year.

According to the Never Settle website, one of the plan’s major goals is the 100 percent engagement plan, which is to make sure 100 percent of the students at UA receive opportunities and apply their knowledge through real-world experiences.

Barbara Bryson, vice president for strategic planning and analysis, said in an email interview that Never Settle is a road map and a decision map to help move the UA forward efficiently and with collaboration.

Melissa Vito, the senior vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and senior vice provost for Academic Initiatives and Student Success, is a leader in the engagement area of Never Settle and the 100 percent plan.

“Our overall goal is to make sure that our students have an experience that is distinctive at the [UA],” Vito said, “and that gives them a way to translate what you are learning in the classroom in practical experiences, so that you either learn that this is exactly what you want to do when you leave or you learn things that maybe help lead you to a different career path.”

The kind of students that employers are looking for are students who have practical experiences through internships or other types of engagement pieces, Vito said, which is another part of the Never Settle plan.

Vito said Never Settle would increase the ability of UA students to get jobs after graduation because of their 100 percent engagement experiences.

Jennifer Barton, the associate vice president for research and a biomedical engineering professor, said in order to achieve the research goals set forth by the Arizona Board of Regents in the Never Settle plan, the UA was told it needed to double its research expenditures. It responded by developing seven areas with the potential to double research expenditures.

These seven areas are space and optics, defense and security, water and the arid environment, translational medicine, precision medicine, neuroscience and population health.

“One of the main things we are really interested in is making sure that there [are] opportunities for [all]students who want to get engaged in research or scholarly activity [and] have an opportunity to do so,” Barton said. “So I think the more external funding we can bring, the more opportunities there are for both undergraduate and graduate students.”

Issac Ortega, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, said Never Settle is setting the UA on a course for the future and allows students to get hands-on experience in the real world.

The biggest piece about the plan, Ortega said, is encouraging students to get outside of the classroom and create new experiences in the field they choose.

“I think that’s the whole point of the 100 percent engagement piece, to no longer stay within the confines of the classroom,” Ortega said.

Never Settle and the 100 percent engagement plan are still new, and Ortega said a lot of it is still in the planning process, but what has been implemented has been successful so far.

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Follow Alyssa Schlitzer on Twitter.

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