Monthly Archives: July 2014

Packing List 1

If you are going to live in the residence halls this fall, we hope you have been making a list of what to take with you.  On the Quad has some great lists of things to think about taking with you; be sure to check it out.

In the meantime, I think the list provided here is thorough enough and yet doesn’t overwhelm.  It also includes practical advice about stuff you can easily purchase at your college destination.  Keep in mind that it may be just as easy to buy it once you get there as it is to lug it — even a few miles.  Also, remember you can have it shipped to your dorm room — just be careful with the timing.  Check the internet for average monthly temperatures in the college town, especially if it is a new location for you.  Having the right kinds of clothes (footwear included) can be critical.  In my conversations with other parents who have kids headed out this Fall for college, many of them have already made plans for various winter holidays; that is, they have booked train/bus/air tickets for their kids to get home during long holidays where dorms often shut down.

Finally, be thinking about how you want the last week at home to go; if you are already concerned about hurried good-byes or being sad, make room in your upcoming schedule to spend some extra time with people who are important to you.  Be sure to let them know they are important to you.  Put them on your list!

This is a hectic and exciting time — take some of the anxiety out of the situation by making lists, planning ahead, and preparing (your heart and mind)!

Next:  What kind of list do you need if you aren’t going away to college?  Trust me, you still need a list!

Education + Travel

This week both On The Quad authors have been traveling; Cindi to Chicago and I (Heidi) to Hawai’i. My outing took me to see college students engaging in experiential service-learning, and earning academic credit for their efforts! Additionally, the students’ travel and housing are paid for and they receive a living allowance. Yes, education is fun! Would you like an internship like this: on the beach on Oahu, Hawaii?


Campus Safety

In Chapters 4 & 5 of On the Quad we talk about things to look for on campus visits/tours and while attending orientation, and we especially encourage you to be looking for safety features. Our campus has these blue “emergency poles.” Should a student be in danger, s/he can push the button on the pole and it will immediately notify the campus police of the location of the pushed button. There are more than 20 of them, strategically placed, across our campus. Be on the look-out for features like these when assessing your college options, and don’t forget to use our tours/visits worksheets (available on this website)!


College and Life Well-Being, Part II

Last week I introduced the article, Higher Education’s Six Sigma, and commented on what I found inspiring, today I’ll comment on the lack-luster. Here’s a quote from the article:

Only 14% of all college graduates we studied strongly agreed that they experienced all three support elements, while a mere 6% strongly agreed that they experienced all three experiential and deep learning elements. The percentage of college grads who hit the career and life lotto on all six was just 3%. We must do better.

The author of the article, Brandon Busteed, is absolutely correct; institutions of higher education must do better. Unfortunately, there is a but… But, until they do, it’s up to YOU (students) to find your path to make sure you get all six! As a review, the elements are:

Support Elements

  • Professors who care
  • Professors that make you excited about learning
  • Find a mentor

Experiential & Deep Learning Elements

  • Work on a long-term project
  • Complete an internship
  • Extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations

Strategies on how to incorporate all six elements into your college experience can be found in On the Quad! Click on the book cover (to your right) and buy your copy today!

College and Life Well-Being

As a higher ed. professional who is interested in improving the college experience for students and campus personnel, I was immediately drawn to this article, Higher Education’s Six Sigma, earlier this week. A couple things from this article stand out; today I’ll focus on what I found inspiring.

The article shared the findings of a survey given to more than 30,000 college graduates, asking about long-term success at work and life well-being; here are the bullet points.

• College graduates who felt supported during college (professors cared, professors made them excited about learning, and they had a mentor) doubled their odds of being engaged at work. They were also three times as likely to be thriving in all areas of well-being as those who didn’t feel supported.

• College graduates who engaged in experiential and deep learning (worked on a long-term project, had an internship, and were extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations) during their college experience doubled their odds of being engaged at work. They also were slightly more likely to be thriving in all areas of well-being than were students who did not have these experiences

My college experience has had a profound effect on my life, in numerous ways. Reflecting on the points above, one aspect of feeling supported which had the deepest impact was having a mentor. The way I found my mentor, was by engaging in a long-term service-learning project (more than once), which directly taps into the experiential and deep learning point. These things are vital to an impactful college experience and they continue to add value to a person’s life, long after the diploma is received.

As a first-generation college student, it wasn’t easy doing those things. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone must be done over and over again to fully maximize all college has to offer!

Who Asks the Questions?

Today, a student came into the advising center with a question about her options for first-year composition (freshman English); when I called her name to talk with her, her mother immediately started asking questions.

Students: at college, you have to be in charge of your academics and the question asking; you’re the one going to class and getting graded on coursework. Since birth, mom or dad has been in-charge of a lot of aspects of your life, but now, it’s time for you to ask the questions and be responsible for the information!

Parents: empower your children. If you have questions you believe your child/student should be asking, have a conversation with your student about your inquiries. Maybe your student already knows the answers to some of questions, but if not, together come up with a list of questions that should be asked.

It is great when students have the support and assistance of their parents, especially first year students, and especially first generation college students! But students, it is time for you to raise your level of responsibility! Together, use this summer as a time to begin transitioning the balance of power. Dont’ worry – you still have each other – and you’ll both be stronger with the efforts!