Rising to the Occasion

CAFNR Strategic Plan outlines new signature experiences for students

We know CAFNR students always rise above the rest, but now – it’s official.

As part of the “CAFNR Strategic Plan, Drive to Distinction,” launched in April, all undergraduate students will take part in a “signature experience” during their time on campus. This is denoted as the “RISE” initiative: Research, International, Service learning, Experiential learning. (Of course, students don’t have to stop at one – students are welcome to participate in as many signature experiences they can fit into their college career!)

“RISE is another part of what we call ‘The CAFNR Experience,’” said Bryan Garton, Senior Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs. “We don’t just offer a degree in CAFNR – it’s the entire experience: a dedicated Career Services office; more than 40 CAFNR clubs and organizations; study abroad programs tailored to degree programs; and hands-on learning opportunities in on-campus research labs, out-state research centers and in our experiential learning labs like Tiger Garden, Buck’s Ice Cream and policy centers. RISE empowers CAFNR students to make the most of their time on campus and utilize CAFNR’s unique, tailored resources.”

Each degree program will develop and implement multiple RISE experiences for students. CAFNR students will document completion of the signature experience as part of their graduation plan. Degree programs are working now to incorporate various RISE experiences into their curricula.

“Many degree programs already have signature experiences in place, such as internship programs, study abroad opportunities, undergraduate research programs, and more,” Garton said. “However, in most programs, these experiences are offered, not required.”

RISE is part of the Ensuring Student Success strategic priority in the CAFNR Strategic Plan.

Examples of RISE offerings include, but are not limited to:

  • Research: Designing student-led research projects.
  • International: Creating study abroad programs tailored to the degree program, or an international research program.
  • Service Learning: Mentoring leaders of student clubs and organizations to excel in leadership roles through service to fellow students, CAFNR, Mizzou and the community.
  • Experiential Learning: Offering real-world learning experiences outside the classroom, through industry engagement, internship programs and learning laboratories such as the Mizzou Meat Market, policy centers, and the Culinary Cafe.

“It’s another piece of what sets a CAFNR education apart,” Garton said. “The RISE experiences will prepare students for the real-world by giving them opportunities outside the classroom to learn in different ways.”