Student groups offer an enriching experience beyond the classroom

Kate Martin | January 18, 2013

Student opportunities abound at Northwestern.

Roots-n-Shoots. Diversity. Military. Yoga. Hockey. Gait Analysis. Student Ambassador. Student Senate. These are just a few of the many opportunities that Northwestern students have to get involved at school.

“The evidence is very clear that involvement is one of the keys to success as a student,” says Kevin Wagner, Northwestern’s associate dean of student affairs. “I would say the vast majority of our students are involved outside the classroom in some way.”

Student involvement in extra-curricular activities fosters the concept of learning outside the classroom. Engaging outside of class is healthy, leading to deeper and more enriching connections with peers and others. Those connections, in turn, create an insight that makes for better collaboration. Wagner stresses that every aspect of a student’s time here is part of the learning experience.

“After graduating I will be launched into a service industry,” says Josh Carter, a chiropractic student and current Student Senate VP – Chiropractic. “I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my growth can be directly attributed to my involvement in the school as well as the community. The skills, varying from leadership, planning, coordination, speaking, budgeting, and many others, have obvious implications on my future clinic and business ventures.”

Northwestern has more than 40 student clubs and organizations, a robust selection for a school this size. Today’s students wisely look for opportunities to gain new experiences, or explore new interests. Students who missed the sign-ups in the foyer Jan. 15 can stop by the Student Affairs office for information on how to get involved. The University is always open to considering new student organizations. Excellent information and how-to's on Student Clubs and Organizatons can be found on the website.

Of course Wagner also emphasizes the importance of balance, noting that students’ first and foremost job while they’re here is to be a student. But this generation of students grew up being very active and involved. “We help them keep in mind the balance. Sometimes we need to reel them in, keep it real,” says Wagner. “Their education always comes first.”

Northwestern is proud to offer a vibrant student life experience. “Everything a student is involved with outside of the classroom helps foster positive experiences,” notes Wagner. “We hope they are creating lifelong connections with peers, and learning skills that will help prepare them to succeed as health care providers. And they are building connections to the University beyond graduation, so we develop a more engaged alumni community.”

Northwestern is committed to student success in and out of the classroom. With a great variety of clubs and organizations to choose from, supporting student involvement is a win-win for everyone.

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