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Level Up Faculty Resources

Level UP: Experience Your Future is Morehead State University’s Quality Enhancement Plan. 


The program aims to enhance students’ essential and transferable career skills through high-impact experiences. It applies to all majors and gives our students an edge in the job and graduate/professional school markets.


Building Career Skills Through High-Impact Experiences In The Discipline

Through key undergraduate courses, the Level UP program seeks to build, or level up, students’ essential career skills:

  • Oral Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Professionalism

Each Level UP course focuses on developing one of these essential skills through a high-impact experience. Recommended experience activities include undergraduate research, education abroad, service learning, or internships. Students are given formative feedback at each point about how to take their skill development to the next level.


Undergraduate students need to develop the ability to articulate how they use their career skills. Doing this in discipline-specific settings is important to prepare them for job interviews. In Level UP courses, students learn to use the STAR Method to demonstrate their career skills. They get feedback about how well they can articulate their skills through a course-related example.

All students may participate in the Level UP program. We encourage participation because:

  • The engagement strategies used in Level UP courses can lead to deep learning in the course and in the discipline.
  • Level UP courses help students build skills that are important for success in college classes.
  • Level UP courses help students connect with faculty and build a professional network.
  • Level UP courses use strategies that promote student retention and graduation.
  • Level UP courses help students document their career readiness. If they master the skills that are being fostered in the courses, it can lead to University‐level recognition.
    • Level UP courses appear with special designations on a student’s transcript. This indicates that the course fostered a particular career skill, and they engaged in a high-impact practice.
    • Level UP courses foster the development of a portfolio of work featuring essential career skills.
    • Students in Level UP courses who master an essential career skill and use the STAR Method earn a Distinction, one of the University’s highest honors. Students earning the Distinction are recognized at Commencement, and a special notice of Distinction appears on their transcripts.
  • Level UP courses help students build essential career skills. This makes students more competitive in the job market and helps them move up in their careers.
  • Level UP courses help students learn how to articulate their skill and demonstrate application.

MSU faculty have the discipline expertise and latitude to determine which courses may fit this program best. Here are some things to consider when deciding:

  • Does my course already have opportunities for students to develop one of the essential career skills (i.e., oral or written communication, critical thinking, teamwork, or professionalism) through class activities/assignments?
    • If not, could I easily change the class activities/assignments to give students more opportunities to develop these skills?
  • Does my course now use one of the high-impact practices (i.e., undergraduate research, education abroad, service learning, or internship) as a pedagogical strategy?
    • If not, could I easily foster the regular course content/outcomes using a high-impact practice (i.e., through a research project, education abroad experience, service learning project, or internship/mini-internship experience) as a teaching tool?
  • Would having my course as a Level UP experience for students in my discipline add to the program’s ability to get students career-ready?
    • If so, can this course foster a skill not being leveled up in another program?
  • Am I willing to give students regular feedback on how their skill development is progressing?
  • Is your Chair/Associate Dean supportive of you offering the course as a Level UP class?

If your answer is yes to these questions, your course may be a good candidate for the program.

Want to know more or need help deciding? Contact Tim O’Brien or Megan Boone to discuss your course.

If you would like to Level UP your course, there are a few important steps you will need to take:

  • STEP 1 – Choose which essential career skill your course will foster – oral communication, written communication, critical thinking, teamwork, or professionalism. Need help deciding? Contact to arrange a discussion about your course.
  • STEP 2 – Choose the high-impact practice (i.e., one of the following: undergraduate research, education abroad, service learning, or an internship) you will use as a teaching tool to push your students to high levels of skill development. Need help deciding? Contact to arrange a discussion about your course.
  • STEP 3 – Attend two workshops to learn how to Level Up a class. You will attend one workshop specific to the skill you have chosen to foster and one workshop about how to teach/assess the STAR Method to your students so they can learn to tell the story of their career skills in action. You also may attend optional sessions on best practices related to high-impact practice and how best to use reflection and portfolios in your Level UP course. 

    Register for a workshop

  • STEP 4 – Submit an application with a syllabus for Level UP your course in an upcoming semester. The Level UP Committee prefers to receive applications for fall semester courses by April 1 and spring semester courses by November 1. Work with your Associate Dean or Department Chair to build the course as a Level UP course.

If you need additional support at any point in the process, please contact Level UP Co-Directors, Dr. Tim O’Brien and Megan Boone at

Faculty who teach Level UP courses need several key materials. These include:

Faculty can apply for funds to cover costs associated with a Level UP course. This includes activities/assignments to foster the development of an essential career skill in the program. For example, if the course activities/assignments require equipment, software, travel assistance, access codes, etc., for the skill to be fostered, then the faculty can apply for a Level UP grant to cover the costs. There are two types of Level UP grants offered:

  • Level UP Mini-Grants (up to $1,000):  For expenses that occur each time the course is offered, apply for a Level-Up Mini-Grant of up to $1,000.
  • Level UP Sustainability Grants (up to $2,500):  For expenses that would allow you to teach the course multiple times, apply for a Level UP Sustainability Grant of up to $2,500.

Apply here for a Level UP Grant for Fall courses. Priority consideration is given to applications received by April 8. Applications will be accepted until all funds are distributed.


  1. Level UP grant funds cannot be spent on personnel.
  2. Faculty awarded Level UP grants must provide a report of their expenditures at the end of the academic year.

Faculty attending the 2-workshop training series on how to Level UP a course may earn a $500 course redesign stipend. They must submit an approved Level UP application and teach the course.

After teaching a Level UP course the first year, faculty who Level UP again receive a $1,000 stipend each time it is taught. They must teach the course at least once in a subsequent academic year.

The Center provides support for Career Development and Experiential Education throughout the process. Brainstorming how to incorporate high-impact practices into your existing courses is one support. You can also have a team provide feedback to students on the STAR Method assignments to save yourself time.

Faculty participating in Level UP have presented their class results on this pedagogical strategy at regional and national conferences. They also see improved student evaluations due to the explicit real-world connection between course content and career skills.

Faculty who participate in the Level UP program will have access to numerous forms of support, including:

  • Professional development about pedagogical approaches to building essential career skills.
  • Strategies for leveraging a high-impact practice (i.e., undergraduate research, education abroad, service learning, or internship) in the course to facilitate the development of an essential career skill.
  • Logistical assistance for implementing a high-impact practice into the course.
  • Course planning assistance for developing or improving a course in the Level UP program.
  • Assistance with how to use the program rubrics and reflection prompts.
  • Help with how to calibrate Level UP ratings.
  • Support for reporting Level UP-related data.
  • Professional development for continuous improvement strategies for Level UP courses
  • Grant funding opportunities to support Level UP activities.
  • Learning communities of faculty fostering the same career skills in the Level UP courses.

Contact Level UP

Dr. Tim O'Brien & Megan Boone - Level UP Co-chairs

150 University Blvd.
Morehead, KY

PHONE: 606-783-2233