SWAAG – Students Working to Achieving Academic Greatness
Students at Edward Waters College need to be engaged and participate
in educational, social and leadership building experiences. It is important
that students from freshmen to seniors understand the importance of
Marketing themselves and having a strong personal Brand.
Marketing their abilities, developing talents, building skills and achieving
goals are planned strategies. EWC seniors if they have not done so in
their sophomore or junior years start entering the doors physically and
digitally of academic and career counselors. Seeking help in choosing
the direction of their career options before graduation.
HBCU SWAAG is not just style in clothes, footwear, hairstyles, or even
language, SWAAG is being prepared to academically compete in a highly
competitive and diverse world. Even the President of the United States
has a personal SWAAG skills set.
Skills should begin developing in the freshman year, maturity and the
seriousness of college does not begin for many until later. Every student
has a certain level of SWAG / SWAGGER / SWAGGNESS and SWAAG,
with any ability or talent this must be recognized, respected and developed.
HBCU’s like EWC students and their parents will make decisions that
have long lasting affects in their personal and professional lives;
decisions have to be made, allowing for financial stability, professional
growth and security that influences social and economic well being.
There are many things to consider and understand as a developing adult.
Marketing your SWAAG can be conducted in five ways:
1. connecting with people of similar abilities and interests using Social
Media and networking opportunities. Not just using social platforms like
FB to party, EWC students must participate in serious networking opportunities
in sites like LINKEDIN.COM to connect and collaborate with professionals.
2. avoiding people with self-imposed personal dramas, negativity and
rebellion for educational success and social/professional conformity. EWC
students that develop their SWAAG need to learn how to code switch.
Code–switching requires that students think about their own language
and translate in the language of their surroundings and the diversity of
others. This is not selling out, but adapting to the environment and scaling
the ladders of corporate success.
3. speaking with instructors and administrators for guidance and mentoring,
receiving wisdom and common sense suggestions. The “real world” will not be
kind nor forgiving like parents.
4. volunteering in service to the community to create a positive
personal Brand. Networking and volunteering have created careers where
there were none.
5. participating in activities that build academic strength,
social skills, leadership abilities and cultural exposure. HBCU students need
to know where they came from so they know their potential for greatness.
EWC students need to understand that their academic and social lives are
under digital scrutiny, people are watching their personal decisions, who they
are associated with; “guilt by association” and alliances. Strategically placing
themselves where they can network to increase their visibility to others
who have similar interests and goals.
Speaking to EWC students about their Social Media content and careers in
STEAM, their opportunity to make a good impression limited especially if
they are associated with negative people; first impressions are very important
even on digital platforms.
Teaching Educational Technology, I observe too many students are rebellious
to guidance and wisdom, too many are quick to be outspoken without all
the facts and refuse to apply themselves and challenge themselves.
SWAAG comes into play by participating in workshops, seminars, conferences,
panel discussions and symposiums, working to experience diversity, strategically
building strengths and skill sets.
EWC students should have been participating in One Spark and Ed Spark the
Crowd funding events to learn and apply new ways to learn and teach. They are
missing key pieces of collaboration that can build them.
The hope of this blog is to help HBCU students understand that their activities
and associations do matter. How they Market and Brand themselves can
earn scholarships, internships and employment. The criminal justice system
is not a place they should be associated with, this association will ruin lives
for years. Denying higher education, employment opportunities, and voting
rights. There sometimes are no second chances when entering the criminal
justice system. “To have once been a criminal is no disgrace. To remain a
criminal is the disgrace.” Malcolm X
HBCU student’s reputation is important so preserving it and keeping it
“clean” is important. EWC students are readily compared to UNF / JU and
FSCJ students in abilities. In this digital age people see before they meet.
Communication skills are very important, so EWC students need to judge
what they are communicating that people see and hear. Thought must go
into the building of content online. EWC students will be held accountable
for their actions from their posted information online and their actions in
their communities and academics.
SWAAG – Students Working to Achieve Academic Greatness is important
because competition is fierce in life.
Maya Angelou has an appropriate quote that can be shared with EWC students,
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you
did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
In this world of constant change, competitiveness and diversity EWC students
must leverage and utilize their greatest asset THEMSELVES!!!
Malcolm X stated simply, ” “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow
belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Speaker on Social Media, STEAM
National and International Blogger
Instructor with Edward Waters College