In the bustling heart of the metropolitan St. Louis region, an educational beacon shines brightly, offering boundless opportunities for those seeking to shape their futures. This beacon is none other than Harris-Stowe State University, an esteemed institution with a purpose deeply ingrained in its very foundation. Envisioned through the lens of Senate Bill 153, the university stands as a testament to its commitment to addressing the higher education needs of the community it proudly serves.
Amid the evolving landscape of education, Harris-Stowe State University has embarked on a remarkable journey, embracing innovation and adaptability to meet the demands of the modern world. In a world where knowledge is no longer confined by physical borders, the university has taken a bold step forward by establishing itself as a hub for E-Learning Providers, bridging the gap between virtual education and tangible career outcomes.
Nurturing this visionary initiative is a team of dedicated individuals, each contributing their expertise to foster an environment of growth and excellence. Harris-Stowe State University’s E-Learning Provider initiative has blossomed into a collaborative ecosystem where academic institutions, industry partners and learners converge in pursuit of knowledge and skill enhancement.
In the realm of E-Learning Providers, Harris-Stowe State University stands as a testament to the potential of merging education with technology to drive economic growth and social advancement. With a legacy built on addressing the higher education needs of the metropolitan St. Louis region, the university continues to evolve, providing innovative learning solutions and shaping a brighter future for all.
As the journey continues, Harris-Stowe State University’s E-Learning Provider initiative remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering learners, bridging gaps and fostering meaningful connections in the dynamic landscape of education and beyond.
Let’s delve into the intercepts of these educational realms!
Briefly describe your mission and vision regarding student success and career growth.
Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) places students at the front and center of all decision-making, aims to make college affordable and accessible and produces workforce-ready graduates. We offer 63 majors and certificate program options in business, education, arts, sciences, humanities, and STEM.
In alignment with our strategic plan, our culture of student achievement and academic accomplishment is at the top of our 6 key priorities. 78% of our students graduate with jobs, internships, or acceptance into graduate schools to continue their education.
Could you highlight some of the university’s most innovative programs or initiatives aimed at enhancing student success and career growth?
There are several innovative programs and initiatives that HSSU has created in order to enhance student success and career growth. The Anheuser-Busch School of Business (ABSB), it allows students to participate in national industry-related competitions in order to compete and connect with industry professionals.
“Scholars develop presentation skills, learn more deeply about the industry they are pursuing and increase their confidence,” ABSB Assistant Dean Dr. Shelitha ‘Lisa’ Peppers said.
Those examples include ABSB students’ participation, placing and winning in the HBCU Stock Market Challenge and the HBCU Advertising Case Competition. ABSB also has several classes that offer internship and externship opportunities such as Global Entrepreneurship Ventures where students were able to see entrepreneurship outside the country in Paris, France and Ghana.
In the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, STEM programs are growing, exploring the launch of HSSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Provost of Academic Affairs Dr. Dimitri Horner said, “The College of STEM will be an innovative and impactful addition to the workforce development ecosphere and prepare individuals who tend to remain in the St. Louis region for careers, career advancement and other post-baccalaureate opportunities.”
Furthermore, the College of Education will launch an accelerated pathway to certification for practicing para-educators called The ACT Program. This program not only supports students who may have had to pause their educational pursuits due to circumstances outside of the classroom but also addresses the local and national call for more highly qualified individuals to serve public schools as teacher leaders.
Dean of the College of Education Dr. Marrix Seymore said this of the college’s programs, “The CoE employs several High Impact Practices (HIPS) to engage students during their academic journeys. One of those practices is through collaborative research and presentation on various education-specific topics. Such activities not only retain students but expose future educators to information and experiences that undergird instruction that takes place in our teaching labs.”
Also, the Office of Career Engagement and Experiential Learning has proven to be a great asset to the institution and its students. Executive Director of Career Engagement and Experiential Learning Dr. Victoria Harris speaks about the office’s involvement with each college within the University.
“Our curriculum requires students to participate in an experiential learning course before graduating from HSSU,” she said. “This course allows students to achieve up to 240 work hours of student-teaching (practicum) or internship that closely defines their future career endeavors. It encourages students to apply their classroom knowledge to their designated assignments effectively and create a rapport with other interns, mentors and supervisors.
She also said, “Engaging in experiential learning opportunities and making meaningful connections with community members before graduation will also help students further understand their interests and help develop experiences to include on their resumes as they prepare for their next endeavor. Whether working in a Fortune 500 company, government entity, nonprofit, or a small business, internships are a vital opportunity to begin building one’s professional network.”
How does the educational establishment assist students in identifying career paths and securing internships or job opportunities?
One of HSSU’s main focuses is getting its students career-ready after graduation, whether that is graduate school, completing internships, or going right into the workforce after graduation. HSSU’s Office of Career Engagement and Experiential Learning prepares students for life after school. Dr. Harris heads the office and creates avenues for students to prepare for the workforce. Dr. Harris explains what offers.
“Currently, we offer YouScience, an online assessment tool for students to discover their natural aptitudes to correlate to career exploration,” she said. “No assessment can determine one’s career goals; however, I believe this resource can be an excellent way for students to explore areas and gather ideas about what they are interested in pursuing as a career. We also utilize the Handshake platform, which connects scholars with local and global employers to find internships, leadership, virtual and in-person job fairs and career opportunities. This platform is available to all enrolled and graduates at HSSU.”
TRiO Executive Director Dr. Jasmine Lewis also speaks to career engagement’s work for the students.
“Career Engagement collaborates with students to explore their interests, skills and aspirations, offering personalized guidance to help them make informed decisions about their future careers,” Dr. Lewis said. “Additionally, we maintain strong partnerships with local businesses and organizations, which allows us to connect students with internship and job opportunities relevant to their fields of study.”
ABSB also takes part in creating career-ready students. The college has built partnerships with various corporations such as Wells Fargo, Kemper, PNC, Momentum, and Accenture. Many of these serve as subject matter experts, and they come to the classrooms to speak to the students. Corporate partnerships create career paths for our scholars by including scholarships, internships, immersive experience opportunities and mentorships.
How does your educational institute promote mentorship and guidance for students throughout their academic journey?
When speaking of mentorships, HSSU understands that they are imperative to student success. TRiO Student Support Services Mentorship program connects students with experienced faculty, staff, or peer mentors who provide invaluable support through their college experience.
“These mentors serve as role models, offering advice encouragement and sharing their own experiences to help students navigate challenges and achieve their goals,” Dr. Lewis said. “Regular mentoring sessions, workshops and networking events are organized to foster meaningful connections and a supportive learning community that empowers our students to thrive academically and personally.”
ABSB hosts business meetings each semester to share plans and resources for the school year, which the students are required to attend. This allows students to have a vested stake in not only their education but the education of their peers as well.
HSSU also incorporates professional development for faculty and staff in order to equip them with the knowledge and skills to continue to reach and teach students inside and outside of the classroom.
How do you engage students in research projects and industry-specific initiatives to enhance their practical knowledge and skills?
HSSU establishes courses, certificates and increasing credentials as a means to catalyze student pursuit of practical knowledge and skills. HSSU is increasing research capacity and capability, institutionally and through strategic partnerships with neighboring institutions of higher education, to accommodate a larger number of student interest and placement within meaningful experiential activities and, increasingly, is securing funding for these opportunities so that socioeconomic will not be a barrier for any student.