For the coming week, challenge yourself and
someone you care about
to take specific action and develop one of the six characteristics ….
If we all do it, think of the change we can generate.
In a few weeks I will have the good fortune to facilitate two sessions at the 33rd Annual Conference on the Frist-Year Experience in San Diego, California. I look forward to this event every year as it brings together some of the best personalities in higher education to share ideas about student success, persistence and retention. Professor Emeritus Joe Cuseo and I will co-facilitate a four-hour preconference workshop examining why students might stay and why they might leave their colleges.
In the other session, a solo slot titled “It Takes More than Academic Skills to Be Successful in College,” I will lead the audience through a discussion about the often over-looked non-cognitive skills our students need to master on their way to a degree—and life success.
One small piece of that second session has the audience think about institutional mission and goals—and how they relate to what we do in the classroom. How many people know the mission statement of their college or university? Even the folks who served on the drafting committees probably forgot those words soon after the committee was dismissed. I remember a mentor of mine telling me long ago that, even in the business world, mission statements end up long-forgotten in a notebook on a shelf.
While I cannot parrot back to you our entire mission and all of the college goals, I would like to speak to one of the Florida State College at Jacksonville goals.
Goal #2 challenges us to inspire students to a lifetime commitment to
- continued learning
- informed civic engagement
- ethical leadership
- cultural appreciation
- social responsibility and
- multicultural awareness in an interconnected world.
If those words remain on a wall in some board room, they are useless. They inspire me, though, to help my students (and myself) to develop an appreciation for more than the fire-hosed content they often receive in classrooms. Think about the great people of the world—those who made a difference, a significant impact. Chances are they excelled in one or more of the above areas. Mandela, Lincoln, Parks, Gandhi, King, Adams, Douglass, Wiesel, and Mother Teresa are a just a few that come to mind.
Video recommendation for the week:
An old saying encourages us to be the change we want to see. I’d add that our children are watching.
These skills separate the cogs from the linchpins. They demarcate those that settle from those who strive toward a dream; and those who play it safe from those who fail fast and forward.
For the coming week, challenge yourself and someone you care about to take specific action and develop one of the six characteristics above. Next week, work on a different one. And repeat. If we all do it, think of the change we can generate. My dear friend, mentor, and former editor, Sande Johnson, often shared a quote attributed to Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Make it a wonderful week— H.T.R.B. as needed.
Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.
(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.