By Stephanie Swensrude
Over 2,000 campus events happen every year at NAIT, and students can now get rewarded for participating. NAITSA is launching two new platforms to incentivize new students to participate in campus life. One is called Student Pathways, and the other is Milestones, both which will be rolling out in September but any student can participate at any point in their education.
This program is designed to give students a well-rounded first year at NAIT. Each student will create their own New Student Experience (NSE) by participating in different incentives throughout the school year.
Jen Sieben, Campus Life Director at NAITSA, said that a common piece of feedback from graduating students was that it was difficult to find things to do on campus. “We hear from students in their final year at NAIT that they have a lot of regrets about their first year,” Sieben said. “Oftentimes students don’t get really involved in the campus until their second, third or fourth year.” The Student Pathways program is designed to make it easier for students to know how to get involved in order to get the most out of their time at NAIT. There are 11 themes, listed below, and students must complete two initiatives from each theme. After completion, the student will be entered in a monthly draw. The prizes for the draws include a VIP night at The Nest (NAIT’s on campus pub) for six, a year-end celebration package at Ernest’s, a trip to the Caribbean for NAITSA’s Flee the Freeze trip in April, and more.
The 11 themes are:
- NAIT Spirit
- Career Planning
- Personal & Professional Development
- Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
- Environmental Sustainability
- Campus Tour
Each student who completes their own NSE through the Pathways program will receive an exclusive swag bag. To get started, head to ookslife.ca and sign up. Space is limited: NAITSA is opening 300 spots for the first year, so if you’re interested, sign up sooner rather than later.
The other program launching this semester is a new way for NAIT students to stand out to future employers called Milestones. It is an online platform that helps a student build skills, a portfolio and showcase their extracurricular activities.
“Students can build this online showcase of their work showing off their credentials … [and] share it with a potential future employer,” said Seiben. “The future employer can go in and take a look and see the student’s work samples and what and how they were involved on campus.”
NAIT students can first go on Milestones and identify the type of career they want. The platform then generates different positions using the Indeed platform that align with that career. For example, if one chose a marketing career, the different options would include communications, digital media, and social media.
The software identifies skills needed for those positions and creates goals for the student to work toward. In time, students can upload “artifacts” or work samples related to these goals. Sieben compared the online badges to earning skins in online video games. “It’s a way to gamify the student experience.”