Distinctions Program

St. Lawrence University’s Distinctions program provides motivated students an opportunity to develop relevant professional skills, put them into practice, and receive guidance on how best to articulate and promote them in their post-college lives. Distinctions are achieved by participating in on- and off-campus skills trainings, workshops and programs and coupling them with experiences designed to enable students to demonstrate those skills in action.  Students have required reflection meetings with university staff and/or faculty mentors to discuss their intended distinction(s) and to receive guidance and review for their distinctions reflection document.

Interested students should contact Geoff Falen, Director of Experiential Learning & Employer Engagement at gfalen@stlawu.edu and/or make an appointment on Handshake for additional information and or to discuss their prospective Distinction.

Read below to learn more about the program, and check out our Distinctions FAQ as well.

Current Distinctions Options

  • Technology
  • Communication
  • Grant-seeking
  • Project Management
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Leadership (administered by student activities & leadership)
  • Cultural Proficiency (administered by Diversity & Inclusion)

Distinctions Requirements


Students will pursue at least three skills training modules and/or training programs of interest through a variety of resources. Training/skills activities must be approved by the Distinctions Review Committee.  CCE staff will verify activities via Handshake, VMock, LinkedIn Profile, and other external credential.

Training possibilities include:

  • Participation in one or more of the on-campus programming or training opportunities (e.g., Digital Fellows, InterGroup Dialogue, Saints Accelerate, etc.), and student-propose activities from other sources, such as LinkedIn Learning. Students should consult with CCE staff to identify and propose other possible options, including CCE offerings such as SLU Connect, LINC, Saints Accelerate or other programs that the student proposes develop the requisite skill.  NOTE: Trainings should be approved in advance.
  • Identify and complete a LinkedIn Learning course related to proposed skill distinction area.  Post certificate on LinkedIn Profile upon completion. 
  • Additional approved third-party skill development provider; confirmation/documentation must be provided.


Students must participate in at least one significant experiential activity in which they demonstrate how they are employing skills or demonstrating their facility with the competencies within the context of the experience.  Experiences can include, but are not limited to, appropriate internships, co-curricular leadership, research, volunteer work, professional jobs, self-designed projects, and creative endeavors. 

Ideally, students undertake training prior to experience, but we recognize that students might be motivated to pursue additional skills/training after having done an experience.  In both cases, students must explain the alignment between the skills and the experience. 

Recommended experiential guidelines for internship, professional job, or research experience include:

  • 50 hours minimum of an approved and confirmed internship, professional job, research experience, etc.
  • Verification of student participation by supervisor, staff coordinator, faculty advisor, etc.

Recommended experiential guidelines for campus leadership or volunteer role:

  • Areas of involvement must be with a university-sanctioned (or other legitimate external organization) theme house, Greek organization, academic department, athletics, performance or other areas as approved in advance:
    • A total of two semesters of Executive Board (eboard) level involvement, and/or
    • Serve as primary lead on significant project and/or event
    • Approval: Student needs to submit a description of the roles to the Distinctions Review Committee for approval to be confirmed by Faculty or Staff advisor prior to the committee review.

Recommended experiential guidelines for creative or self-directed projects:

  • Students must submit to the Distinctions Review Committee in advance a one-to-two-page proposal outlining the project/educational experience and indicating why this particular project/experience demonstrates/aligns with their intended skills.  Appropriate supervision or guidance from SLU or other parties must be indicated.
  • Proposals will be reviewed according to how well articulated and feasible the proposed experience is; how well-prepared the student seems in terms of ability to complete the project or activity; the clarity of relationship between the project as proposed and the skills/training in question.


Students must meet with a career or academic advisor, faculty member, or coach who reviews their Distinctions proposal and progress and helps guide their understanding and articulation for use in a variety of settings including but not limited to: resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and in an interview setting moving forward.  Students will provide a reflection statement to the Distinctions Review Committee consisting of 300-500 words outlining their participation in the Distinction process. Students should address the following areas:

  • Identify skills developed as a result of obtaining one or more Distinctions.
  • Discuss how the Distinction(s) influenced your academic and/or co-curricular experience at St. Lawrence University.
  • Explain how your Distinction contributed to clarity of purpose and/or your ability to pursue your post-college goals
    • Approval:   Distinction committee will review the reflection statement for approval. 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Approval Process

Applications are open to sophomore, juniors and seniors for consideration. There will be one application period each semester for students to be considered by the Distinctions Committee. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible to allow time for feedback and guidance from the approval committee.  Students are encouraged to be thoughtful considering which training and activities to pursue, especially if pursuing multiple distinctions.

For students interested in securing a Distinction, please follow the steps below:

  • Submit an initial form for approval to the Distinctions Committee outlining how all required components will be completed. 
  • Once all requirements for a Distinction are completed, the student will provide a final list of training(s) and activities/experiences completed, a finalized resume including the distinctions experiences, and the reflection document.
  • Distinctions experience(s), updated LI profile, and the reflection statement to be verified and reviewed by the Distinctions Review Committee.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Applications will be considered each semester as follows:

  • Fall Semester Deadline:  December 1*
  • Spring Semester Deadline:  April 30

​​​​​​​*Seniors must apply by December 1 or prior to September 1 for December graduates.