Revamping Campus-wide Co-Curriculum

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The divisions of Enrollment and Student Success and Diversity and Inclusion have tasked a committee with articulating a vision and implementation plan for revamping the campus-wide co-curriculum. This vision will intentionally include collaborative touch points between the curricular and co-curricular and complement existing institutional initiatives. As part of its deliverables, the committee will review/revise the Columns of Learning and Development, develop an implementation plan, and provide recommendations for institutionalizing this work.This initiative is being co-led by Lisa Kratz, Director of Markee Pioneer Student Center, and Victoria Livingston, Coordinator of Co-Curricular Assessment and Program Review.

69% of students choose UW-Platteville for academic reasons

The Campus-Wide Co-Curriculum Committee is currently being formed and is expected to begin its work in April/May 2017. The committee will consider the following questions:

  • How might a more robust campus-wide co-curriculum be helpful at UW-Platteville? What would it help us accomplish as an institution? How would it connect to the strategic priorities?
  • What would be the difficulties in implementing a campus-wide co-curriculum? What would the roadblocks include?
  • How would a campus-wide co-curriculum complement existing campus efforts, such as EAB-SSC implementation, campus climate work led by Diversity and Inclusion, general education learning outcomes, etc.? How would it overlap?
  • Given our unique student population, are the Columns of Learning and Development the best articulation of what we want students to learn in the co-curriculum? Is there alternative language that would better resonate with our students?
  • What would a “visual brand” for a campus-wide co-curriculum look like? What would it include? How would it be implemented?
  • Once the work group concludes its tasks, how is this effort institutionalized? What additional partners may need to be brought in? Is there a version of the work group which continues forward?


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a co-curriculum?

Co-curricular activities can be initiated by faculty or staff and pertain to activities happening outside the classroom which meaningfully contribute to the academic learning experience. They provide students with the opportunity to learn, develop, and practice skills through intentional, active participation and reflection.

A 2016 study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) showed that intentionally planned participation in internships, co-curricular experiences, and student employment improved student development of key skills sought by employers.1 Students have the best opportunity to understand why they are participating in certain activities, to learn from those situations, and to be able to connect that learning to their academic experience and/or career readiness when campus educators – both inside and outside the classroom – intentionally connect the curricular with the co-curricular.2

1Peck, A., Hall, D., Cramp, C., Lawhead, J., Fehring, K., Simpeon, T. (February, 2016). The co-curricular connection: The impact of experiences beyond the classroom on soft skills, Journal of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 76 (3). Available at:
2Manning, K., Kinzie, J., & Schuh, J. (2006). One size does not fit all: Traditional and innovative models of student affairs practice. New York: Routledge.

What are the benefits of having a campus-wide co-curriculum?

Campus-wide co-curriculums can be leveraged in a variety of powerful ways. They can:
  • Help students understand why involvement is important to academic success and career readiness – particularly important when working with first generation students. It provides a tool for documenting activities and reflection, and guiding students in accessing the assistance they may need.
  • Provide a springboard and common language for encouraging collaboration with academics. A co-curriculum would help staff better capitalize on the Columns of Learning & Development and make connections between educational opportunities inside and outside the classroom. It provides a structure for intentionally delivering programs, activities and interventions.
  • Serve as a useful recruitment tool. A co-curriculum helps articulate what makes UW-Platteville distinct from other institutions, and shows student how they can be successful here.
  • “Re-package” co-curricular opportunities and present them in a fresh way. This can help a campus better leverage already strong programs without significant investment of money in new/bigger/different programming. It can also provide an opportunity to identify and retire programming which is no longer demonstrating a high impact.

Where can I learn more? (Co-Curriculum Resources)

Presentation on this project, Revamping the Campus-Wide Co-Curriculum at UW-Platteville (February 2017)

Case study on Connecting Students with Co-Curricular Experiences (March 2016, University of Washington)

Peck, A., Hall, D., Cramp, C., Lawhead, J., Fehring, K., Simpeon, T. (February, 2016). The co-curricular connection: The impact of experiences beyond the classroom on soft skills, Journal of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 76 (3).

From the faculty perspective, an Inside Higher Ed blog on "The Curricular and the Co-Curricular" (October 2016)

Campus Labs' webinar co-presented with Brock University on Conceptualizing a Campus-Wide Co-Curriculum

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