Completing your undergraduate degree is a major milestone in every student’s life, but are you prepared for what’s next?
Beyond graduation a range of opportunities and experiences await you, but gaining access to these opportunities requires more than just your degree. Successful graduates are those who are able to make connections between experiences both inside and outside the classroom and to apply what they have learned to new contexts. The Knights of Distinction program is designed to help you do just that.
The Knights of Distinction program encourages students to do three things in the pursuit of their goals: PLAN, CONNECT, REFLECT.
Students who earn the designation Knight of Distinction demonstrate that they are able to make connections between theory and practice and that they possess valuable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, time-management, and communication that employers and graduate schools prize. The title Knight of Distinction recognizes students’ academic accomplishments as well as their professional and civic achievements in the world beyond the classroom.
Student Profile: Keyonnia
Students in the Knights of Distinction program must stay enrolled in a 0-credit online course which will guide them through the program as they complete a series of five milestone categories.
You must be actively enrolled (full- or part-time) in the fall and spring semesters and maintain a 3.0 UCF GPA. A student whose UCF GPA drops below 3.0 will be placed in a probationary status for one semester, during which they will remain in Knights of Distinction and will have the opportunity to raise their GPA.
A student whose UCF GPA remains below 3.0 for more than a semester will be removed from the program, though they may apply for readmission at a later date
All current and incoming UCF students are eligible for the Knights of Distinction program, regardless of whether you are full time or part time, if you started at UCF as a first-year student, or if you are a transfer student entering with pre-existing credit hours.
To be eligible students must maintain a 3.0 UCF GPA and be actively enrolled in at least 1 credit hour of coursework in the fall and spring semesters as they advance through their degree programs.
Students must complete at least 60 hours of coursework at UCF by the time of graduation to complete the Knights of Distinction Program.
Students will complete a total of 225 points in five milestone categories. Knights of Distinction is a flexible program designed to allow students to build their own personalized pathways to distinction.
Students must complete a minimum number of points in each of the five milestone categories, with optional flex points that you can use to help you complete each milestone. There is no minimum number of points that must be maintained in any given semester.
In other words, it is up to you to decide when and how you want to earn your points.
In many cases, you will find you are already engaged in activities that will count toward your milestones.
Did you talk with your advisor this semester? That’s a point toward Planning & Self-Assessment.
Have you taken a service-learning class or completed an internship? Those count toward the High-Impact Learning Milestone.
Many students have completed a considerable number of their points at the start of the program and find that many more of the points can be earned along the way simply by completing their majors and being active in the UCF community.
Activities completed prior to enrolling in the Knights of Distinction program may, with appropriate documentation and approval, be counted toward the milestones. To verify activities that you complete during the program, you should fill out an “activity verification form” available in the online course.
By the time students complete all the points in the five Knights of Distinction Milestone categories, they will have gained a truly diverse and meaningful range of experiences and skills!
Set yourself up for success by establishing academic and personal goals and taking advantage of campus resources to attain those goals. Earn credit toward this milestone by visiting your academic advisor or career services, taking a class at the health center, seeing a tutor, or other similar activities.
This milestone showcases your campus involvement outside of academics. Volunteering on campus or attending club meetings, performances, or lectures fulfills this milestone. You can meet the requirements for this milestone by participating in the variety of events our campus has to offer.
Developing leadership skills is an important part of your career and academic successes. Become a leader by serving as an officer in a club, organizing events, or assuming a managerial role at your job. Additional responsibilities now translate to marketable skills later!
High-impact experiences allow you to develop and hone the skills that will set you apart from the competition. Internships, research, study abroad, and even some coursework such as Service-Learning, Integrative-Learning, or Research-Intensive courses may count toward this milestone.
This milestone centers on real-world experiences that reach beyond UCF. Service projects, employment, or other significant responsibilities outside of school not only help you gain job skills but also help you contribute to your community.
Student Profile: Sean
ePortfolio: Putting the Pieces Together
As you approach graduation and have completed your points in the five milestone categories, you will then need to start putting the pieces together to be able to articulate your experiences to others.
How did your study abroad, part-time job, internship, and/or classroom experiences work together to make you who you are? What skills did you learn that make you stand out in the crowd?
As a capstone to the program, students develop an ePortfolio that will answer these questions.