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The launch of University at Albany’s Merit Program encourages students to share their experiences with the greater community.

First introduced over the summer to freshmen and sophomores, the program officially begun on Sept. 7., as a joint partnership between the Provost’s Office, Student Affairs and the Office of Communications and Marketing. Similar to digital badges, this online system allows both undergraduate and graduate students to share their skills and experiences online.

“Merit is another tool that allows our students to showcase their achievements in and out of the classroom in a contemporary and interactive format. In speaking with students, they’re excited by the prospect of sharing their achievements at UAlbany with prospective employers and grad schools, family and friends,” Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Christakis said.

The university will provide students with Merit badges from various categories. Once these badges are awarded, students will receive a link via email to the new badge and their own Merit page.

As of Friday there were 11 achievements granted and there was a 74 percent engagement rate among UAlbany students, according to Kristin Marshall the director of strategic communication in the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Not only will students have the ability to share their achievements over social media, the university can share these accomplishments with the students’ hometown newspapers, legislators and high schools, according to a statement from the Office of Communication and Marketing.

Unlike many social media sites that allows users to list their academic and work accomplishments, and LinkedIn, which allows for users to list various skills that other users can endorse, the achievements on Merit are granted and verified by the university, appearing more official to the visitors of an individual’s page.

“The university adopted the Merit system because we wanted to build a tool kit for students to prepare for future careers while also showcasing all of the incredible things our students do,” Marshall said.

Great Danes are encouraged to utilize their account on http://ualbany.meritpages.com/

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