Hartsville, S.C. – Jan. 16, 2016 – Coker College is the proud recipient of a $41,000 program development grant from the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), which strives to enrich vocational exploration in undergraduate education.
The NetVUE program development grant, the largest grant award given to Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) NetVUE members, is an initiative that is administered by CIC and funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.
The grant money will be used over the next two years to help Coker College better identify what vocation means for its students, faculty and staff and align that vision with the institution’s mission and history. The goal is to help students discover their gifts, skills and passions, along with an understanding of how to use these after college.
“I often tell students that one of my greatest hopes for them is that they will find the place where their skills and passions meet, because that is where they will find a sense of purpose and direction,” said Tracy Parkinson, provost of Coker College. “This has always been central to what we do at Coker, and this grant will allow us to develop ways to do it even more effectively. I am very grateful to the Council of Independent Colleges and the Lilly Endowment for their support of Coker College.”
Coker College’s proposal includes the following measures:
- Implementing faculty and staff retreats to develop a crafted mission statement dedicated to vocation;
- Revitalizing the first-year seminar so that new students are exposed to more discussions about and reflections on vocation;
- Revitalizing the Sophomore SKILLS conference (See more, Know more, Inspire more, Learn more, Lead more, Sophomore) by making it part of “Welcome Week” (the first week of the school year) and increasing the conference’s attendance; and
- Implementing a peer mentoring program where upperclassmen mentor first- and second-year students.
“The NetVUE grant will allow us to create brand new infrastructure for our first year seminar course, Coker College 101,” said Brandi Blake, assistant director of residence life and first year experience. “The course will be devoted to the overall theme of vocation, which will include self-evaluation and a host of other tools to identify strengths, passions and skills for freshman students.”
“We are looking to revamp many staple programs on campus, including the SKILLS conference for sophomore students,” continued Blake. “It is our hope to link the vocation focus from the first year to the second year. Everyone on the committee is excited about the refreshing changes that will be made to better prepare our students for life beyond graduation.”
The first use of the funds will take place in the fall of 2016 with the Sophomore SKILLS conference.
For more information on the grant, please click here.