Opportunities to thrive

Opportunities to thrive

Apr 28
Marla Todd, Associate Director of Advancement Communications

The education one gains in the classrooms of the College of ACES is top-notch However, it’s coupling that classroom instruction with experiences outside the classroom that prepare ACES students to truly thrive after graduation.

Last month during Explore ACES, several panelists shared their perspectives on how taking advantage of individualized advising, experiential learning, and professional development opportunities can best position students for exciting and dynamic careers in food and agriculture. Tom Frey, professor emeritus of agricultural and consumer economics (ACE), and alumnus Dave Shockey were members of the panel that encouraged potential Department of ACE students to choose ACES for the value of education both in-and-outside of the classroom.

Individualized advising
“Students appreciate a trusting and sharing relationship, focused on someone listening to them,” Frey said. When Frey served as an advisor, he encouraged students to identify their goals, and then choose courses to accomplish those goals. It is important for advisors to help students get excited about job and career options, and guide them toward opportunities to explore their interests, he explained. This approach requires advisors specially trained and dedicated to providing one-on-one advising.

Experiential learning
As a student, Shockey was involved in organizing spring break trips to the financial center in New York and Washington, D.C. “There is a world out there that can impact your perspective,” he said. “The college was giving an education beyond the classroom.” Frey added that the prestige of the University of Illinois often opens doors to allow students experiences that would otherwise not be available.

Professional development
“Student clubs provide students a chance to meet and interact with individuals from the real world, often recent graduates who are especially understanding of their challenges of bridging the gap from college to career, “ Frey noted. Students also build leadership skills and learn from guest speakers on campus.

Individualized advising, experiential learning and professional development opportunities require financial support. The Department of ACE Student Advising and Enrichment (SAEC) fund supports these four purposes to distinguish ACE as a leader in student service. Additionally, those who benefitted from Frey’s guidance, along with Frey and his wife Bev, have formed the Tom Frey fund, which furthers the SAEC. To learn more about supporting the ACE Student Advising and Enrichment Center or Tom Frey fund, visit http://advancement.aces.illinois.edu/focus/students.

Panel in ACE