Think, Create, Discover
Students in CHAS don’t just show up for class; they get involved. We pride ourselves on valuable experiential learning opportunities, combining classroom work with real world applications such as internships and participation in student organizations. In CHAS alone, we have over 50 student organizations across our 70 majors that provide students extra enrichment in their area of passion and a chance to make lasting connections with their peers. There are clubs for art, microbiology, philosophy and speech-pathology, and societies for printmaking, percussive arts and professional journalists. From day one, these interactions across our diverse student population expand the college experience and prepare students for the dynamic world outside of college.
Beyond organizational involvement, students are given ample opportunity to put their knowledge and skills into useful practice. Many students have the chance to present their projects at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research; in 2016, 13 students traveled to North Carolina and shared their research via oral presentations and posters. Communication Sciences and Disorders majors gain experience working at the Roy Eblen Speech & Hearing Clinic by providing assessment and therapeutic services. STEM students work on undergraduate research and design projects, some of which are published in peer-reviewed journals or presented to various audiences.
Majors in creative fields are provided outlets for expression and practical experience as well. Student-run operations such as the KULT radio station, UNI-TV and the Grafx Club give undergrads a place to get real-world experience. Both majors and non-majors can perform in a wide variety of arts activities available on campus. The UNI School of Music boasts more than 20 music ensembles and the Department of Theatre’s large-scale productions are open to anyone. Art majors work with nationally-renowned faculty, produce creations in their chosen media and apply their skills through client-based work and design-related internships.
CHAS goes beyond simply teaching and creates opportunities to engage students and prepare them to become active, contributing members of society. As part of our goal to be a comprehensive university with a diversified approach to active student involvement, we aim to build and strengthen mutually beneficial relationships with businesses, organizations and institutions throughout the Cedar Valley and Iowa. Programs like The Tiny House Project, started by the technology department, help both students and the community. Each semester, students gain experience designing and constructing a tiny house while solving problems with creativity and innovation. At the end of the project, the tiny house is donated to a community organization that will use it to help people in need.
Other initiatives, such as the collaboration between an environmental literature class and the local Soil and Water Conservation District, provide a voice to populations that aren’t always heard. Students worked to compile poems, essays and interviews from Black Hawk County residents about their relationship with the land. Works were published in the book “Beauty Outside Our Doors,” creating a legacy for the community and experience in interviewing, editing and publishing for students. Community engagement is integral to educating students in the evolving world and allowing for meaningful connections through a variety of outreach programs. We encourage intellectual, social and civic development to create well-rounded graduates ready to succeed at their chosen careers and at life.