Students in the College of Agriculture will have access to a leadership program that will prepare them for their future careers, thanks to a grant of nearly $290,000 from the Department of Agriculture’s Hispanic-Serving Institution National Program.
The College of Agriculture is creating Focus on The Future, a program that will give its more than 500 Hispanic students the chance to enhance their leadership skills, as well as prepare them for career success. The program will teach students “soft” skills, such as leadership, communication and critical thinking, that are often not formally taught in the classroom.
“Employers are continually expressing exasperation about the difficulty of hiring graduates that have ‘soft’ skills,” says Ronald Heimler, program director and college lecturer. “They learn technology skills in the classroom, but they also need the soft skills to succeed in their careers. With this program, they should have everything they need.”
Focus on The Future aims to recruit 40 Hispanic students into four 10-student cohorts over three years. Participants will receive professional development education designed to run in parallel with their degree programs to develop the skills they will need, and to assure their success in their chosen degree.
All books and materials are provided to participants at no cost, including an iPad2. The iPad is an important learning tool that will support them in their studies, Heimler says. The program will also assist students with internships and future employment in agriculture-centered jobs and will offer a $37,800 scholarship for a student to undertake graduate studies.
To learn more about the program or to contact a program leader, visit www.cpp.edu/~amm/realworld/focus-on-your-future.shtml.