The “Vice President’s Promise” at the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is a commitment that all undergraduate students have opportunities for immersive personal experiences outside the classroom.
Scott Angle, Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources at the UF/IFAS, initiated the promise to the 4,200 undergraduate students that they would have access to an experience that transcends the classroom.
“I always have a concern that while we open lots of doors for students, not all of them will walk through that door. We want to make sure students get a well-rounded education. Some of that occurs outside of the classroom; internships, study abroad, working in a Congress person’s office,” Angle said.
“But not all students do that. Some of them can’t afford it. Some of them have to work during the summer. What we have decided to do is begin a program that would help take away some of that uncertainty for students.”
These experiences include internships in research and Extension, study abroad, professional internships leadership development and competitive teams. It’s a promise that will open doors for students they might not have had otherwise.
“Two things; No. 1, we are trying to make sure there are many of these opportunities available to students. We’re reaching out to businesses, Congress people in Tallahassee, asking them to host interns. Secondly, like I said, since some students simply can’t afford to do this because they have to work in the summer or they’re hardship, financially, we’ve begun to raise some money to help offset some of the costs,” Angle said.
“It’s something that I’m the major contributor to it, myself, and I’ve asked others to go ahead and join me in helping provide opportunities for students through a pledge.”
Those wishing to donate to the Vice President’s Promise can click here.
“I was able to talk to a lot of students, not just here in Florida but in Georgia and other places. They weren’t able to do a lot of this because they had to work a summer job, or they had to go back to their parent’s farm. Students from rural areas often have less economic opportunity. They have more obligations. Because of that, this ability to get this outside of the classroom experience just wasn’t available to them,” Angle said.
“We at least wanted to take away finances as one of the limitations in doing this.”