May 13th, 2019, 06:31 PM

GPS: the Future of AUP Education

By Jackson Vann
Image Credit: AUP Engage 
Following the launch of the Global Professional Skills program, what can students expect to get out of it?

The Global Professional Skills (GPS) program is a new program offered at AUP, with all students being able to take part in it.  This co-curricular program aids in the developing of "a range of global skills and earning a GPS certificate" (Darcee Caron). The four categories that students must fulfill are professional skills, personal skills, leadership skills, and cultural fluency skills. These categories are then broken down into smaller sub-categories like internships and volunteering.

Image Credit: AUP

How do I participate?

All AUP students are already signed up for this program. All they have to do is log on to AUP Engage and begin filling out the requirements. Many students will be pleased to find out that they have already completed some, if not many of the requirements, all of which can be retroactively applied. This program is also extremely personal and modifiable, with many options for a single requirement. For leadership skills, there are 11 options to choose from to complete just one of the core items. 

To qualify for the GPS certificate, students must complete all five paths, the final being the capstone, and give a final presentation on their experiences with the GPS program. They will then be entered into the Presidential Panel Award, where a winner will be chosen and be given a cash prize. All students will also be given a GPS certificate and a personalized co-curricular record.  

Why should I participate?

In the words of Darcee Caron, the director of the GPS program, "the GPS program is not just a stamp on a piece of paper, but a learning experience that teaches students different skills and is the real reason students should participate. The GPS program teaches students how to market [themselves] and pushes [them] to try new things that they normally wouldn't." In terms of employment and grad school application, the GPS program also helps students stand out from the herd of applicants. With the increasingly competitive job market and grad school applications, it is more important than ever to show what makes you different and your accomplishments. The GPS and co-curricular record are both there to aid students in pursuing future employment and improving applications, not just through the stamp, but through the experience as well. 

How do students feel about the program?

Sandra Lefaure, an AUP student, is happy about the program, saying, "I am happy that the program forces me to try new things and go to events that I wouldn't normally go and get out of my major and comfort zone." When asked about how the GPS program will affect future employment and grad school application, Sandra said, "I'm not really sure if it will help me in the future, I am really just doing the GPS for myself. I am not sure if grad schools or employers are really looking for a program like this, but I am happy to take part." 

The AUP Global Professional Skills Program

Additional Information 

The GPS program takes 2-3 years to finish and can start whenever you log on. Many students will find that they have already completed some of the requirements and are on their way to completing others. If you have any questions you can see Darcee Caron, the Director of Experiential Learning. She is located on the 3rd floor of the Quai building.