Earlier this month UNCW graduated its largest class to date at the university’s 95th commencement ceremonies.
More than 2,200 undergraduates, 400-plus graduate students and 10 doctoral students earned their degrees. Over 1,300 College of Arts and Sciences students were among them.
UNCW is the fastest-growing university in The University of North Carolina System. Our enrollment has grown 28 percent since 2009 to over 16,000 students last year. As our college continues to expand, new opportunities for interdisciplinary research, applied learning and partnership emerge.
Students at UNCW have access to an abundance of experiential learning opportunities, including faculty-directed research, internships, service learning and study abroad. Applied learning has become the hallmark of a UNCW education. It gives students hands-on experience in their fields and sets our graduates apart as they enter the workforce or go on to pursue advanced degrees.
A recent graduate noted that applied learning increased her confidence in the workplace.
“I garnered a deep and foundational academic base of knowledge and have also obtained practical and professional experience within the digital field,” she said. “I am confident in my abilities.”
Another UNCW alumna cites her faculty-directed research experience as having helped determine her educational and long-term career goals.
“The lab is what got me interested in global health. Working in the lab definitely had a huge professional impact on me,” she noted. She will begin pursuing her Ph.D. in the fall.
UNCW graduates like these are uniquely prepared to hit the ground running. As students, they apply knowledge gleaned inside the classroom to real-world experiences. As graduates, they possess specialized skill sets that are assets to potential employers. They are well-trained to compete for highly sought-after positions here in the Cape Fear region, across the state and around the world.
Over 94 percent of UNCW graduates are employed or attending graduate school within six months of graduation and 75.7 percent are working in North Carolina. Our graduates consistently find employment in communications, education, government and nonprofits, finance, technology, pharma and biotech, and health and human services.
The university is committed to preparing students for post-graduate success and educating a trained workforce to meet the needs of our region and beyond. Experiential learning is critical to this endeavor. UNCW graduates possess the theoretical knowledge and the hands-on experience needed to get any job done. They are poised to become leaders in all fields and disciplines.
Aswani Volety, Ph.D., is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a professor in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology. Volety earned a Ph.D. in marine science from the College of William & Mary, and a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Andhra University. The College of Arts and Sciences is UNCW’s largest academic unit, employing over 450 full-time and 150 part-time faculty members and awarding approximately three quarters of the university’s academic credits. Volety serves as the chief academic, fiscal and administrative officer of the college, which is responsible for educating students across the arts, sciences, humanities and social sciences, and includes the UNCW Center for Marine Science. Volety is also the current president of the Southern Association of Marine Labs.To learn more about the UNCW College of Arts and Sciences, visit www.uncw.edu/cas. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].
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