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Why is Outside the Classroom Curriculum Important?

Forward thinking universities across the United States are starting to realize that students actually spend more time outside of the classroom than inside, and that they need to add value to their student learning experience by implementing Outside the Classroom Curriculums (OCC). OCC programs leverage their existing staff and outside the classroom resources to develop students into well-rounded, better prepared graduates. Successful OCC programs increase student engagement & retention, while also capturing real time student engagement metrics.


Schools can benefit in many ways by offering their students an Outside the Classroom Curriculum. Immediate benefits include:


  1. Increased student engagement
  2. Automated Co-curricular data collection that can be used for accreditation
  3. Freshman-to-Sophomore student retention


Despite these benefits, OCC programs can run into the following challenges:


  1. It is hard to communicate the importance of OCC activities
  2. It is difficult to get employer alignment and engagement
  3. There is no easy way to capture co-curricular data for accreditation & AoL


For a student to see value in an Outside the Classroom Curriculum they need to know the answer to an important question: “How is this going to help me get into a job or a graduate school of choice once I graduate?” Successful OCC programs answer this question by offering students the big picture from day one. Students realize value when they see the end goal and believe that it’s achievable. This will retain student interest and also promote increased OCC engagement.


Another important component of a successful OCC program is activity collaboration and friendly competition. Since activities are created across multiple sources (career services, employers, student life, etc.) schools need to find a way to let these different stakeholders work together on OCC content. In addition to activity collaboration, students respond well to recognition and validation, so clearly showing students in real-time where they stand against their peers is critical. Students know that they will be competing against their peers for the same jobs and graduate schools when they graduate, so showing them who is ahead increases motivation and drives OCC program participation.


To learn more about how Suitable is helping schools realize OCC benefits and making it easy to overcome OCC challenges register for our webinar on March 17th at 11 am EST or reach out via email at team@suitable.co.



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