Truman students have achieved academic success by utilizing skills acquired from out-of-class experiences.
The following
are testimonials from current Truman State students.

Rob Miller - Graduated
Communication Science Minor: Military Science

City, State: Burlington, IA

Out-of-class experiences:
University Swingers, ROTC, ODK

Image of Robert MillerIf I could have changed anything about my out-of-class involvement I would have gotten more involved with the community. There are so many wonderful things that this town has to offer and I passed up on a lot of those activities while I was here.

The out-of-class experience that helped me support my liberal arts education the most was when I joined the University Swingers my sophomore year. I learned to not only swing dance but also do other Latin dances.

Since I am going into the Army after school I look at my minor more as my major and
vice-versa. This means that the out-of-class experience that has been most helpful to my Military Science minor has been every year I do Ranger Challenge, which is like a sport for the Army ROTC. It has built my skills, strength, and most importantly my confidence.

I feel very prepared for life after graduation. This is because I know that by taking on roles in out-of-class experiences like president, captain, or chair, I am able to gain valuable leadership skills that you can't learn in the classroom. I have also gained friends and memories that I will never forget, giving me a very positive Truman experience.

Always get involved with as much as you can. But be very careful to not overload yourself. Just remember, you are a student first, and a member second. Before joining something, think about how much time it is going to take and if you have to put that organization off for a while, then that is what you have to do.

Kristen Johnson - Graduated
Health Science major Pre-Med

City, State: Jefferson City, MO

Out-of-class experiences:
Delta Zeta, Alpha Phi Omega, Greek Christian Alliance, AMSA (intermittently), Bacchus & Gamma, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Omicron Delta Kappa, Student Ambassador, Swingers, Homecoming Committee, Detours magazine.

Picture of Kristen JohnsonWhat factors determined your decisions about your out-of-class involvements?
The main factors that determined my out-of-class involvement was my personal interests...I enjoy many different activities that are not offered as classes. In order to participate in these activities, I joined several organizations that would suffice my interests. For example, I enjoy leading, organizing, service, religion, etc.

If you go back in time and change anything about your out-of-class involvements, what would you change?
I would have gotten involved in organizations as a freshman rather than waiting until I was a sophomore. I feel I have missed out on some experiences because I waited a year before becoming involved.

What out-of-class experiences were most helpful in supporting your liberal arts education?
All of my organizations have helped support my liberal arts education. The purpose of a liberal arts education is to become more well-rounded; by joining a variety of organizations I have not only had many different experiences, I have also met a variety of people, all of which has helped me to become a more well-rounded individual and able to handle more situations effectively.

What out-of-class experiences were most helpful in supporting your education in your major?
AMSA, the medical student association, has helped support my education as a pre-med major by bringing in various doctors to speak, arranging MCAT sessions and giving many opportunities to talk one-on-one with doctors and medical students from around Missouri. (I was never an actual member b/c I never paid dues, but I did attend various meetings and workshops).

How do you believe out-of-class experiences have prepared you for your life after graduation (job, graduate school)?

I have had several opportunities to work with many different types of people, which will definitely help me in future careers--not everyone thinks like me or reacts as I do in situations. Knowing that and how to work with, rather than against, others is an invaluable tool. Also, the various projects I have helped with and/or planned has allowed me to gain experience with small and large activities (ie, homecoming committee, roundtable for DZ, recruitment party chair, etc.)

In what other ways do you believe your out-of-class involvements enhanced your undergraduate experience?
While some think that college is merely to gain an education, I believe otherwise. College is a time in your life where you get to experience things for the first time, in the classroom and out. By being involved in out-of-class experiences, I have had many valuable experiences that I would not have within the classroom. I have had hands-on experience with planning major events for the University as well as smaller events for individual organizations. This experience is not something that can be taught out of a textbook or in a lecture. I have knowledge and ability to plan, work and carryout many different types of events and to me, that's more important than being able to calculate math problems.

What advice would you give first-year-students at Truman regarding out-of-class experiences?
Even if it's only a one time event, get out of your dorm room and get involved in something, anything that will give you a place and a purpose on this campus. Being involved not only serves your interests, but it is also a way to relieve stress and get to know several new people.

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The Cocurricular Planning Map is a tool designed to help students make informed and intentional decisions about their out-of-class experiences while at Truman State University.

Planning your education outside the classroom

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