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Competency Learning Experience

Riley Knebes

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The University of New Haven is adding to its current competency program, or CLE for Competency Learning Experience, started by the Division of Student Affairs in 2014.

The official CLE logo

The official CLE logo

Two years ago, UNH kicked off the CLE to compliment the University’s experiential education learning experience.

Learning core values and education in the classroom is one thing, but UNH decided that employers were searching for something more.

In order to expand the program, Matt Caporale, Director of Career Services, and Vice President of Student Affairs, Rebecca Johnson, met with the deans of the colleges and looked at what national surveys were saying that employers want.

After evaluating other schools with similar programs and researching qualities that employers search for while interviewing potential workers, UNH came up with six competencies to focus on. Leadership, teamwork, global and cultural awareness, critical thinking, communication, and resilience all made the list.

Resilience was a special competency that the UNH staff knew was necessary to implement. According to Rebecca Johnson, resilience is something that all students will need to have because they will always be faced with challenges in the workforce, which is why UNH needs to teach and promote this skill.

Pilot groups on campus, including the Rec Center staff, Diversity Peer Educators, Orientation Leaders, and Student Leadership groups, are being used to implement and assess how students are learning these competencies.

Greg Overend, Director of Student Activities, said this program is “helping students identify what they are learning outside of the classroom…people think that learning only occurs in the classroom, but it also occurs in the things you do outside the classroom.”

It is Overend’s job to market this program and to promote its spread throughout the campus, making sure that not only the students involved with these pilot groups receive word, but also the remainder of the student body.

The ultimate goal is to teach students skills that will help jumpstart their career after graduation.

Keira Mezei, building supervisor at the Rec Center, said “Competency programs are showing us how to better address those problems, and then I guess the competency programs also give us more of a push.”

“It makes you feel a little bit better and a little more confident,” Mezei also said.

The program is a work in progress and will continue to grow and change in order to benefit the students of UNH.

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
Competency Learning Experience