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February 17, 2014

As Students in LEAP Program Learn and Earn, ODU Offices Benefit as Well

morenews3-lgKimberley Moss morenews3-lgBSavannah Hall

The Career Management Center's LEAP program (Learn and Earn Advantage Program) has been growing by, well, leaps and bounds since it launched in spring 2011.

The LEAP 1 program allows first-year freshmen that are not eligible for Federal Work Study funds to work on campus 10-15 hours per week. Students are assigned positions in one of four categories: administrative assistant, event assistant, support services assistant or academic assistant. LEAP 1 students are required to attend UNIV 195, a one-credit-hour course focused on 21st-century workplace readiness skills.

This year 145 students participated in LEAP. Eighty-five LEAP employers and site supervisors attended orientation sessions and observed, monitored and provided feedback on the students' performance.

"Many ODU faculty and staff have taken advantage of the extra help in the office while providing freshmen with a learning environment that builds on their professional and personal growth," said Randy Shabro, CMC director for Employment Programs and liaison to the Darden College of Education.

After completing their first year at ODU, LEAP 1 "graduates" can join LEAP 2 as sophomores. The LEAP 2 program, which is more competitive, has similar goals as LEAP 1 but focuses on getting students jobs in pre-internship positions connected to their majors.

Savannah Hall and Kimberley Moss, two LEAP 1 students who work in the Honors College, recently wrote, edited and published the Honors College fall newsletter. In first-person accounts about the program, published in the newsletter (see below), they explained the benefits of the LEAP program to their personal and professional lives.

(For questions about the program or how to get involved, contact Grace Bryant, CMC student employment coordinator, at gmahin@odu.edu.)

Kimberley Moss:

"I am a freshman here at Old Dominion University. Like many students I was in search for a job. I was fortunate enough to become a part of the LEAP 1 program, which not only gave me a job that I love but gave me opportunities and experience that will forever help me in my career. Working in the Honors College as a media assistant has been really rewarding. I love writing, editing and designing the newsletter along with meeting new people. Being a media assistant did much more then give me a part-time job, it gave me a beginning to my career, and made me realize what I really want to do for the rest of my life. The people I work with feel like family and I could not ask for a better co-worker then Savannah Hall. I would highly recommend students to join Old Dominion's LEAP program and I would also encourage students to join the Honors College and make a difference."

Savannah Hall:

"I currently work for the Honors College as a student media assistant. I am a freshman and I am a part of the LEAP 1 program. I am in charge of making fliers for events and upcoming courses. Currently, I am writing the fall 2013 newsletter with the help of my lovely co-worker Kim. Working for the Honors College has been a great experience. I am learning lots of new things that deal with undergraduate research, new innovative courses and learning communities. Working for the Honors College has not only motivated me academically, but it has also helped me to achieve my academic goals. Even though my major is in nursing, I feel as though I am adequately prepared for my future career in nursing. Not only has the LEAP program helped me financially, but it has also helped me academically."

To read the Honors College newsletter, go to http://www.odu.edu/honors/about/newsletter.