Wednesday, November 20, 2013

iPath: Undeclared Majors Retreat a success

By Skylar Finkelstein 
Cardinal Staff
Students finger paint during the Art of Your Life Exercise.

The Student Success Center’s new iPath Undecided Majors Retreat, hosted Nov. 9, aimed to assist students to discover their true self, according to Chris McClead.

Despite a small attendance, the retreat was successful, and all who attended expressed feeling more comfortable and confident in the major they choose, said McClead. Staff from the student success center joined efforts to make the iPath a meaningful journey. 

A range of activities including defining one’s top four values and finger painting current and future self-portraits were designed to help students during the retreat.

A game was played where the participants would write down 16 values they held and had to slowly rip up the different pieces of paper with their values on them until they were left with one.

McClead led the final activity, which involved finger painting. Retreat coordinator Charlie Ness applauded his effort by saying, “Chris added a nice flavor to the day with adding The Art of Your Life” component.

The student success center recognizes that research proves that freshmen and sophomore college students need guidance when deciding what to major in.

According to Ness, the retreat is meant to be a day of discovery and guidance. “When we work with a student, we are often learning who they are at the same time the student is. So we can step back and provide the big questions, and allow space for students to answer in whatever way resonates with them,” she said.

Retreat coordinators Jackie Baker and Mitchell Lawson walked students through the six-step process to finding a college major.

The efforts made by staff seemed to pay off. The students walked out of the retreat with a new perspective of what to major in, but more importantly a more individualized self-identity.

Students are encouraged and welcomed to set up appointments with the Student Success Center staff to receive advising on proper steps to take while enjoying their college years. A similar retreat will take place during the upcoming spring semester.

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