Hamline Initiative for Professional and Academic Liaisons
Professional development program
The Hamline Initiative for Professional and Academic Liaisons (HIPAL) is a four-year professional development program for students seeking Bachelor of Art or Bachelor of Science degrees in the natural sciences, designed to help them be “first day career ready” for graduate or professional school and careers. Majors in the natural sciences include biology, biochemistry, chemistry, environmental studies, exercise science, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, computational sciences, and public health sciences.
What characteristics does HIPAL look for?
The characteristics of a strong HIPAL candidate include:
- Student shows commitment and dedication as proven by participation in other co-curricular activities. Students do not receive formal credit, and for that reason there is no cost to the student to be a part of the program. Instead, students gain valuable skills and experiences to help them reach their professional goals. In exchange, students are asked to commit to the program, attending all seminars and workshops and completing independent study activities.
- Student exhibits a strong work ethic. We want students that are self-starters and driven individuals. We are looking for students that are not afraid of hard work and independent learning.
- Student exhibits passion and enthusiasm for their work and academic life.
- Student is strong academically and exhibits strong technical skills and intellectual curiosity. The minimum GPA requirement for the program is 3.0.
*Each HIPAL cohort has approximately 24 students. Students in their sophomore, junior, or senior year, including transfer students, can apply to join the cohort in their respective year if there is availability.
How do I apply?
To join the program, you must complete an application and secure a recommendation from a Hamline faculty member.
First-year and sophomore cohorts: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with prior permission from the HIPAL interim director. Interested students should contact the interim director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Junior and senior cohorts: Limited availability, interested students should contact the interim director at email@example.com.
Information for current HIPAL students
The HIPAL program is designed with the employers' valued characteristics of graduates (outlined below) in mind. Outside of regularly scheduled meetings, you should engage in other academic and professional endeavors during your four years at Hamline to help you develop these desired skills.
All HIPAL meetings take place on Tuesdays or Thursdays during convo hour or early evening. All HIPAL students make a commitment to the program, and as such, they are expected to attend all HIPAL meetings. If a student cannot make a meeting, they are expected to contact the HIPAL director in advance. Students with excessive absences may be put on a one-semester probation or asked to leave the program.
Study away and study abroad experiences
The global marketplace requires employees to be culturally competent. One way to develop skills in this area while in college is through study away and study abroad experiences. HIPAL students are highly encouraged to seek out one of the many study abroad experiences offered through Hamline’s Global Engagement Center (GEC).
Your coursework and GPA
Every HIPAL student will have different courses they must take to meet their major/minor requirements. All students need to take courses outside their major to satisfy their general education requirements, both breadth of study and the Hamline Plan.
Academic strength is valued by employers. The minimum GPA for the HIPAL program is 3.0. A student with a cumulative GPA less than 3.0 will be put on a one-semester probation to bring up their grades. After this one-semester probation, if the student has not improved their cumulative GPA to a 3.0 or greater, they will be asked to leave the program.
Hamline’s Career Development Center (CDC) hosts a number of events, workshops, job fairs, and professional development resources on their website, including access to Handshake, an online tool and app for students designed to make finding and posting jobs and internships easy.
HIPAL (Hamline Initiative for Professional and Academic Liaisons) is a growing program at Hamline University aiming to provide interdisciplinary liaisons between Hamline students, faculty, staff, alumni, and workplace partners to strengthen educational and professional development, cooperative research, and service.
It is a four-year professional development program for students seeking BS or BA degrees in the natural sciences, designed to help them be “first day ready” for professional school and careers. HIPAL prepares students with weekly seminars, short courses, chances to network, international study, volunteer experiences, and other activities to help them understand opportunities, responsibilities, and attitudes of professional life. The ultimate goal is for all HIPAL members to be accepted to graduate/professional school or professional positions of their choice before graduation.
HIPAL accepted its first cohort of students in spring 2013. However, the concept of HIPAL was formulated many years before that, when a number of Hamline faculty and staff partnered with business professionals, alumni and friends alike, from a variety of disciplines. These individuals received a grant from the National Science Foundation under the GOALI program (Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry) to catalyze development of teaching and learning models at Hamline that would better prepare science students for the challenging responsibilities of the technical profession. Over the duration of the grant, a number of curricular developments took place and partnerships with industry were strengthened. Hamline University invited 27 professionals from twenty-five different industrial, business, and private organizations to clarify those characteristics which are valued by employers in the world outside the university. It was imperative, in the employer’s view, that evidence of these abilities and skills be provided during the application and interview process by job applicants.
An article by professors Sylvia Kerr and Olaf Runquist titled “Are We Serious About Preparing Chemists for the 21st Century Workplace or Are We Just Teaching Chemistry?”, published in the Journal of Chemical Education in 2005, included a list of the "Valued Characteristics of Graduates." One conclusion from this liaison was that students would be well advised to prepare a portfolio which can be presented to a prospective employer embodying their experiences related to these characteristics. It was also concluded that additional support must be provided to students to learn and develop these valued characteristics.
In the years that followed the grant, Runquist envisioned a four-year program for science students that would help them develop these characteristics, generate professional materials, gather professional and culturally relevant experiences, and connect them with business professionals to build their network. He recruited professors Deanna O’Donnell and Melissa Skeate to serve as co-directors of this new program which he called Hamline Initiative for Professional and Academic Liaisons (HIPAL). The list of valued characteristics below provided the foundation for all HIPAL programming and activities. To develop the program and illustrate proof-of-concept, a pilot group of 18 natural science students were selected as charter members in spring 2013 and taken through the four-year program.
Evidence that the student:
- Possesses cultural competencies
- Communicates well (written, oral, digital)
- Exemplifies a strong work ethic, with a “self-starter” mindset and an independent learner with an entrepreneurial attitude
- Demonstrates proven team-working abilities and knowledge of group dynamics
- Presents a reflective and aware attitude (what they want in life and how their education, interests, and work can and should mesh)
- Understands organizations
- Exhibits passions and enthusiasm
- Demonstrates technical and intellectual ability
- Has successfully completed an internship
- Participates in volunteer/extra-curricular activities
- Provides evidence of broad-based education
- Possesses interpersonal skills, including flexibility and ability to work with a group
- Demonstrates competence in problem solving and critical thinking
- Shows leadership qualities and conflict resolution experience
- Possesses computer-based quantitative data analysis skills
- Actively pursues further education and training
- Presents a mature, responsible, and productive outlook
- Comprehends the concept of total quality