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Program Coordinator Works to Make UC’s Senior Year Experience the Very Best

UC’s Senior Year Experience Program helps students prepare for life after graduation.

Date: 1/22/2007
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover
UC ingot Meredith Smith proudly recalls marching at the University of Cincinnati’s Commencement Ceremony last spring, achieving her bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in African-American studies. As program coordinator for UC’s new Senior Year Experience Program, she’s now helping students near graduation plan for a world of possibilities after their own graduation.

Meredith Smith, right, with senior paralegal major Angie Hollenbeck
Meredith Smith, right, with senior paralegal major Angie Hollenbeck

The University of Cincinnati joins a growing trend across the country to create a program to help seniors continue on their pathway to success after graduation. While UC’s First Year Experience (FYE) programs focus on helping new students adjust to college and build vital UC connections in and out of the classroom for their success, Smith says the Senior Year Experience prepares students for what’s ahead after they’ve spent a good majority of their lives in school.

“I remember my own senior experience,” Smith says, “and just the anxiety of the unknown that was lying ahead. So as I’m developing this program, I’m hoping this will be an effort that will provide a ‘holding hands’ approach with seniors through the transition process,” she says.

That includes preparing seniors for job searches as well as graduate school. Partnerships with the Career Development Center help students design their resumes and explore job opportunities. Graduate school symposiums featuring Q&A sessions with UC college administrators inform students about tests, seeking recommendations and developing their personal statements. The Senior Year Experience Program also provides opportunities for potential students to take free practice exams for the GRE, GMAT, LSAT and MCAT.

With the help of Krystal Tipton, program coordinator for the McNair Scholars program, Meredith Smith fills candy bags to be given to students
With the help of Krystal Tipton, program coordinator for the McNair Scholars program, Meredith Smith fills candy bags to be given to students

In addition, the Senior Year Experience program coordinates with the UC Alumni Association to feature special chat sessions with alumni as well as how students can hang on to their connections with their college friends and their university. Chat sessions include information and personal experiences about careers, consolidating finances, relocation and graduate school.

Smith says she got a great deal out of her own UC college experience and she wants other students to feel the same. “One of the things I really liked about UC is that I felt that my professors were really determined to help me succeed. If I was struggling in a class, they were always there to support me.”

A graduate of Cincinnati Christian in Fairfield, Smith says she’s been a Bearcat fan all her life. She’s also exploring her own graduate school options at UC and is interested in exploring a peace studies focus toward a master’s degree in educational studies.

Those interested in learning more about the Senior Year Experience program can drop by the office, located in Swift Hall, Room 702. That’s where UC seniors can also pick up a “Senior Disco” card just for UC’s seniors. The card offers discounts along MainStreet and the Uptown.

Winter Quarter Senior Year Experience Events

For more information, call the Senior Year Experience Program at 513-556-2936

Graduate School Symposium – 1 p.m., Feb. 15, University Pavilion Multipurpose Room

Practice Exam Session – Feb. 17. Call 556-2936 to reserve your spot

Alumni Chat Session – 6 p.m., March 20, UC Alumni Center

Senior Year Experience Web Site

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