Thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, the George Mason University School of Management’s Plan for Academic and Career Excellence (PACE) website received a much-needed upgrade before the 2012 fall semester.
“We would not have been able to do this upgrade without the help and support of Walmart,” says Barbara Moorman, academic advisor in the School of Management’s Office of Academic and Career Services. “We’re excited to launch the new PACE program to current and prospective students this fall.”
PACE is designed to keep the school’s students on track with academic and career goals. The program has been in place since 2005 but needed a technology overhaul to better serve students. The grant will assist with upgrades by an external vendor that will allow for more interactivity, including the ability for students to view their individual progress toward goals, use interactive checklists, and post accomplished goals to their social media profiles.
Many of the school’s students are first-generation college attendees, and the program is designed to serve their needs and answer questions about progressing through academia. Moorman says the upgraded system will focus on getting students involved as underclassmen, encouraging them to select a major and explore the school’s resources. As they progress, students are urged to consider study abroad, seek out internships, and prepare for graduation. The program culminates with their degree and becoming involved in the Alumni Association.
In addition to the PACE upgrade, $5,000 of the Walmart gift was used to support the School of Management’s annual diversity conference, held in June. Alex Barron, Walmart’s regional general manager for Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia, says the foundation was proud to support PACE and the conference.
“Walmart has a commitment to giving back to communities where we conduct business, as well as a commitment to higher education,” he says. “Attaining career, educational, or personal goals results in a life-long achievement that can never be taken away.”