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!