Tuesday, July 23, 2013

You are not the student you were when you entered Peirce College: Recapping our 2013 FYI Reception

FIRST CLASS: Our FYI Reception recognizes students who've
completed their first year at Peirce
Many things happen during your first year at college. You take new classes, meet different people, and undertake a fresh set of responsibilities. Through it all, you transition from being new and maybe a bit overwhelmed into a full-fledged college student.

We created our First Year Initiative Program to support students in this transition. We offer academic advising, tutoring, and financial aid support, and hold a reception at the end of the year to recognize our first-year students’ accomplishments. This year’s reception was held on June 25. Here are some photos we snapped of the event:

We also want to share highlights from two speeches that were given that night because we thought they contained some great advice for first-year students. The first was given by Beverly Diggins, a 2010 alumna of the College with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Beverly held a work study position during her time as a student and because of her enthusiasm and work ethic, she now holds a full time position in our Guided Peirce Services department as an Enrollment Associate. Beverly went on to receive her master’s degree in Education and she is currently working toward her doctorate. Read on for snippets of her advice for current Peirce students.
“Whether you came to Peirce as a traditional or non-traditional student, I encourage you to follow your dream and aspire to be the best that you can be. This will require plenty of hard work, many sleepless nights, and some sacrifices that will, no doubt, cause you to consider whether higher education is for you. 
But I assure you that looking back at this past year, each and every one of you has achieved personal and academic satisfaction with your accomplishments. You are not the same as the individual that entered Peirce College a year ago. 
I can attest to these feelings of joy and pride because I once walked in your shoes as a new enrollee at Peirce College. At first, I was a little leery of the accelerated, seven-week programs that Peirce offered because as a non-traditional student coming from a traditional 15-week semester, fear overwhelmed me. 
However, from the very beginning, my interaction with the Admissions Office, staff, faculty, and administration provided me with the resources needed to be a successful student. The Walker Center is your means for obtaining additional help through tutoring or workshops that will enhance your skills and knowledge. 
The Career Development Services department provides workshops and resume-writing tools that will improve your job search tactics and techniques. 
Get to know your academic advisors -- they are the ones who will guide you through your journey to your destination. These resources are within your reach to gain the knowledge you will need to continue on your journey to success.”
The other speech we’re sharing today comes from Ellen Massey. Ellen is the Facilitator of Peirce’s Tutoring Services, and an instructional staff member in our Developmental English department. Here is some of her advice for Peirce students who have finished their first year at the College.
“Take your academic achievements from your past -- no matter how long ago they were -- and build on them. Take your academic challenges, and devise specific means for meeting those challenges. I once told a student (a younger student), who was quite scared about taking math because of math classes in the past, "You are now an adult, a grown-up. You are bigger than the math!" But after the pep talk, students also need to schedule sufficient study time and seek support -- and do the work! Success builds confidence. But success comes through hard work, time management, and seeking support in the present. 
 Many people today talk about mindfulness: being in the moment. And you should be "in the moment" and mindful, especially when doing your schoolwork and studying. Mindfulness will help you concentrate and achieve the goals you set for your study session. 
Yet, as students, sometimes the present can be overwhelming. We can get bogged down in homework, children, relatives, medical issues, friends, jobs—life challenges. But there is a saying: "Begin with the end in mind." At the "present notch" on our timeline, sometimes we need to say, "continue with the end in mind." In the midst of the whirlwind, try to find a private moment -- even if it is in the "reading room" -- and remember your future: review your long-term goals, medium-term goals, and short-term goals. Remember why you added college to the mix of an already-busy life. 
Create a little pocket in your mind or your heart and tuck your future goals into that pocket. When the children are demanding your attention, when homework seems to never get done, when friends or family get on your case, go into that little pocket and pull out your future goals and remember the reasons you chose college in the first place. Use these future goals as a motivator when things seem overwhelming. Look at the children and say, "I love you, and I'm in school so I can give you a better life." Look at the friends and relatives and say, "I love you, and you are important to me, -- but -- I need to finish my schoolwork." Look at your job and say, "I can read a chapter during my lunch break!" 
Keeping your long-term goals in mind helps you create short- and medium-term goals and also helps you stay motivated. But the future works better when you plan for it in the present! Remember, goals must be specific and achievable -- and they must be items that you can achieve; you cannot rely on others. 
As you move through your program at Peirce, always remember you have support: your academic advisors, tutors, your instructors. Include all of us in your present and your future!”
Thank you to Beverly, Ellen, and everyone else who participated in our FYI Reception!