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Unpack program helps students acclimate to college life

October 14, 2020 - 2:01pm
UNIBusiness Editor
Laura Lopez meeting with student on University of Northern Iowa campus

Students who enter UNI’s business college come from all kinds of backgrounds. They might be a first-generation student or from an underrepresented group. Whatever the case, UNI’s Unpack program for business students, provides a crucial resource to guide them through the college journey.

The program, which is designed to help transfer, first-generation and nontraditional students adjust to college life, provides a series of learning seminars and networking events throughout the semester, focusing on topics like financial aid, time management, stress management and more.  

“Supporting students through their college journey requires an on-going series of touchpoints,” said Denita Gadson, academic advisor of diversity and inclusion. “[This program] helps students to identify and build resources and networks that will enable them in their academic journey and beyond.”

Students in the program also get the chance to meet older business students and faculty, creating connections beyond the classroom. The networking also helps students realize they have more in common with others than they might have initially thought.

“Students seem to enjoy the exchanges with their peers, staff and faculty members the most,” Gadson said. “For example, we know that having conversations with a college professor can be scary. Through Unpack, we create opportunities for students to get to know them and interact with them outside of the classroom.”

If you’re interested in the program or want to find out more, click on this link. Gadson hopes the program will continue to grow and help students along the way.

“We will continue to provide students access to resources and connections, and promote an environment that fosters a sense of belonging to empower them to persist in completing their degree in business or another field of their choice,” Gadson said. “I hope that during their time at UNI, participants will reach back and pour into other students who will come after them.” 



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