Life at KU, KU Academic Accelerator

CAP: Academic Learning as a KU Student

Academic Learning

One of the first dimensions of The Career Advancement Program (CAP) is the Academic Learning program. Academic Learning helps you connect your academics to a career in the real world by exploring the practice and process to becoming a successful professional. Using the T-shaped model is one way you can begin to develop that professionalism.

What is the T-shaped model?

The T-shaped model represents the concept that people should not only have specialized knowledge in one or two fields, but also bother interdisciplinary skills in order to fulfill the gaps between various skills. This specialized knowledge is represented vertically in the “T”, and the interdisciplinary skills in the horizontal part of the “T”. Why do we need this? Because this kind of individual, the T-shaped professional, will work more efficiently with individuals from other disciplines according to the article, Career Success Starts with a “T.”                                                                                                                                                                                          

The field I am studying is Computer Engineering which requires more specific skills. So far in Computer Engineering, I have learned skills that repesent the vertical part of the “T” model, such as programming and soldering skills which I learned in EECS 140 (Digital Logic Design) and EECS 168 (Programming I).Therefore, to develop breadth I have to go outside of my Engineering courses.Through origami, I have learned to practice patience, and in COMS 130 (Communication Studies) I have improved my communicating skills. These are the skills represented in the horizontal part of the “T”.

Some majors tend to develop more in one area of the “T” model than others one. For instance, my friend who is studying Georgraphy said, “I think my degree has given me experience in developing my communication skills, computer skills, strengthening my English, writing skills, and problem-solving skills.” These reflect the horziontal part of the “T” model. In order to develop skills in the vertical part of the “T” model, he should participate in internships so that his professionalism is well rounded.


My future plan

Through the Academic Learning program I have learned how to use tools, such as the “T” shaped model to develop myself for success as a student. The “T” shape model has taught me how to practice professionalism through the responsibilities that being a student carries. I have learned that by practicing professionalism in my current occupation, I am preparing myself for future success in a future occupation. The Academic Learning program has enlightened me on what areas I need to develop in personally, so that I can put myself in the best position to be successful in the real world.


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