I spent last Wednesday planning the next six months with my team. This is a biannual ritual. We plan July through December in June and January through June in December. These two sessions determine 85-90% of my schedule for the year. In between these meetings, we just do.
This fall is a key semester for us because it is the first time in my six years here that we expect to see every student in the building. Our two new collaboration halls are scheduled to come on line meaning that every student taking a college core or common program prerequisite course will be in the building at least five times during the semester. We will know what kinds of students are with us on any given day — pre-business, primary core, secondary core and what kinds of co-curricular activities they most need to succeed in the college. This will allow us to target specific services (e.g. advising, tutoring) and events (e.g. , Exchange talks, internship invitationals, mentoring opportunities) to students that will help round out their experience and engage them in inventing their future.
It also means that students will be expected to do things in these classes rather than just listen to lectures. The new rooms hold up to 200 students organized into groups of five to eight who will be charged with engaging problems and finding solutions.
So, students, when you come to class this fall, expect to find a very busy place with lots going on both inside and outside the classroom designed to help prepare you for life after college. To take full advantage of this, schedule some time to explore what’s going on in the building, get to know a few of your fellow students and engage in the kinds of activities that are going to get you to the one. The mindset that got you to the college – passively watching lectures and just showing up for exams to demonstrate what you know – won’t serve you well going forward. You will need to become much more active to succeed. Fortune favors the bold in the college. It will not be enough to show us you think. You will need to show us you can do every time you visit us.