Career Connect gets students job ready with community-based learning

Dear UNT community,

With the spring semester fully underway, I’m excited to announce that we are one step closer to the fall launch of the university’s new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) — UNT Career Connect: Connecting Your Experiences, Creating Your Future. The QEP is a five-year plan to enhance student learning.

UNT Career Connect is a collaborative plan that will enrich student learning and complement the classroom environment with experiential learning and hands-on activities in the community.

Our QEP leadership team chose the plan last fall following a thorough process that included significant student, faculty, staff and community input. We’re gearing up to put it in place this fall.

As you learn more about the plan, I hope you’ll help spread the word. UNT Career Connect builds on many excellent initiatives in place already, but it also expands the educational framework to better help students get involved and gain workforce-ready skills — critical thinking, teamwork and communication. Whether it be through internships, service learning projects, study abroad trips or community-based research, students will have opportunities to get real-world experience that will be reinforced in the classroom. Students will be more involved in the community. They will get valuable experience, gain important job skills and make powerful connections — all of which help them in the job market. The community will benefit from our students’ involvement.

Having a QEP is an important step in the university’s reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Our reaffirmation process includes a visit from the accreditation body and its appointed onsite review committee March 22–24. During that time, committee members may stop to talk with students, faculty and staff as they tour campus to learn more about UNT Career Connect, so don’t be surprised if you’re asked for input and feedback on how the plan impacts you.

Ahead of the visit, I hope you join our community events designed to continue the discussion on how UNT Career Connect benefits student learning:

  • Graffiti wall event with giveaways: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 3 at Library Mall

  • Mean Green report with social media interviews: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 21, The Syndicate in the UNT Union

  • Faculty and staff meetings across the university 

Stay tuned for more information in the coming months. And be sure to visit UNT’s QEP website to learn more about the next steps for UNT Career Connect and what it means for you. 

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk