Jarrett Harrison, BES student and former BES Ambassador
Jarrett Harrison, a past graduate of St. Louis Florissant Valley Community College and a current Bachelor of Educational Studies (BES) student at UMSL, knows a thing or two about being a successful transfer student, as he was chosen as a BES Ambassador at UMSL to promote his program.
“I always stress to new students: get involved. Don’t get in your own head about not being equipped to take on leadership roles. Sometimes, I feel that people have a perception of what a community college student is. I can’t be put in that box. I always try to remind myself that I am equipped to do the same thing as a four year college student.” While at Florissant Valley, Jarrett began to curate his leadership skills in his role as the Chief Executive Officer for Student Government. “I just brought my skills from my experience at community college to the BES meetings.”
The Bachelor of Education Studies program prepares students for careers in informal education in Early Childhood, Youth and Adult Development, Exercise Science and Wellness, and Park and Museum Programs. Jarrett is finishing up his program in the Youth and Adult Development track. When asked about his career goals, Jarrett responds hopefully: “I want to help. I want to be resourceful to youth. Basically, I want to be what I needed when I was younger. How? I don’t know. I want to do it through education, but I don’t want to do it in the typical classroom. That’s why I picked the BES.”
In order to have a multitude of experiences, Jarett has expanded his identity as an informal educator in a variety of roles. “I have worked in after school programs, I have done student mentoring and tutoring. I even started subbing in public schools to provide myself an experience as an educator in a school system.”
The BES Ambassador was not only a way for Jarrett to get involved on a new campus but helped financially with a scholarship. Jarrett speaks of the many benefits of being involved in the BES club and on-campus events to promote his program: “UMSL Day was a great experience. I could use my voice with prospective students coming in to tell my own experience coming in from community college to a four year university. When we got some tracking data back from the day, we saw that our BES table was one of the most active tables there! UMSL Day also allowed me to meet with other departments within the College of Education and meet different department chairs. I felt proud that the faculty got to meet me and see my excitement for the program.”
At one point during UMSL Day, Jarrett ran into prospective students that he went to elementary school with. “I got to give them my personal testimony, instead of a script for recruiting students. I asked them, “What do you want to know?” A lot of people asked about UMSL being a commuter school. To that I tell them that you get what you put in. You are more likely to be successful when you are involved.”
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