Fort Lewis 101: Becoming a College Student

Fort Lewis 101: Becoming a College Student


YOU’RE WANTCHING LOCAL NEWS DURANGO. I’M DEBORAH
URODA. FORT LEWIS COLLEGE HOPES A NEW CLASS DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR FIRST-TIME COLLEGE
STUDENTS WILL IMPROVE ITS RETENTION RATES AND ULTIMATELY INCREASE ENROLLMENT. THE EIGHT-WEEK
CLASS, MANDATORY FOR ALL FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS, LINKS ACADEMIC INSTRUCTION WITH TIPS FOR STUDENT
SUCCESS. FACULTY AND STAFF MEMBERS COVER A TOPIC THAT THEY LOVE, OFTEN OUTSIDE THEIR
DISCIPLINES, WHILE TEACHING STUDENTS HOW TO BE COLLEGE STUDENTS. THE COURSE INCLUDES CLASS
TIME AS WELL AS ONLINE COMPONENTS THAT COVER TOPICS LIKE TIME MANAGEMENT; PHYSICAL, MENTAL
AND SEXUAL HEALTH; WELLNESS ACTIVITIES; AND WHERE TO FIND ASSISTANCE. WANT TO KNOW WHERE
TO FIND COFFEE BEFORE THE DINING HALL OPENS? IT MAY BE A SIMPLE QUESTION, BUT WHEN YOU’RE
A FIRST-YEAR STUDENT IN A CLASS FILLED WITH SENIORS, IT MAY BE A LITTLE INTIMIDATING TO
ASK WHERE THE COFFEE CAN BE FOUND BEFORE YOUR 8 O’CLOCK CLASS. COLLEGE IS A LOT DIFFERENT THAN HIGH SCHOOL,
AND STUDENTS ARE FIGURING OUT A LOT MORE THAN JUST THE CLASSROOM COMPONENT. THEY ONLY SPEND
15 HOURS A WEEK IN CLASS AND THEN ALL OF THE REST OF THAT TIME THEY’RE ALSO FIGURING OUT
HOW TO BE PEOPLE HERE IN OUR COMMUNITY. AND SO, WE’RE TRYING TO SUPPORT THEM IN BOTH OF
THOSE AREAS. WE ALSO HAVE CONNECTED THEM WITH THE COUNSELING CENTER, WITH THE LEADERSHIP
CENTER, WITH OUR STUDENT LIFE CENTER, SO I THINK CONNECTIONS THAT MAY BE WE WOULD HAVE
EXPECTED STUDENTS TO MAKE ON THEIR OWN. THIS CLASS PROVIDES KIND OF A GATEWAY FOR THAT
AND A FRIENDLY PLACE FOR THEM TO SAY, WELL, WHERE CAN I DO MY LAUNDRY? OR WHEN IS THE
BEST TIME TO GO EAT DINNER? OR WHAT IF I WANT TO GET COFFEE BEFORE THE DINING HALL IS OPEN?
OR HOW DO I PAY FOR MY BILL IF I’M GETTING THESE NOTICES? WHO DO I TALK TO ABOUT THAT?
OR WHAT IF I NEED A FLU SHOT? SO KIND OF A GATEWAY TO THE BIGGER CONNECTIONS THEY NEED
TO BE SUCCESSFUL. THE CLASSES ARE MORE THAN COLLEGE LIFE 101.
THEY ALSO EXPOSE STUDENTS TO THE LIBERAL ARTS MODEL OF LEARNING AND THE DIFFERENT WAYS YOU
CAN EXPLORE A TOPIC THROUGH THE LENSES OF DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES. LANGUAGE PROFESSOR
CAROLINA ALONSO, AN AVID SOCCER FAN, TEACHES A CLASS CALLED SOCCER AND SOCIETY, AND IT
GOES FAR BEYOND THE GAME’S RULES, REGULATIONS OR THE ATHLETIC SKILLS OF ITS PLAYERS. THIS CLASS IS PARTICULARLY INTERESTING BECAUSE
IT’S NOT JUST THE SPORT ITSELF, IT’S WHAT THE SPORT REPRESENTS IN SOCIETY, IN COMMUNITIES,
IN NATIONS. AND WE COVERED TOPICS SUCH AS YOU KNOW, POLITICAL IDENTITY AND SOCCER AND
HOW THAT AFFECTS OR WHAT ROLE THAT HAS IN PLACES LIKE FRANCE OR SPAIN. THAT IT’S SO
DIVIDED BETWEEN, LIKE, CATALONIA AND MADRID. THEN HOW THEY USE THE SPORT TO, LIKE, SEND
POLITICAL MESSAGES,RACE AS WELL WITH THE HOLDING OF FRIENDS AND YOU KNOW, THE AFRICAN PLAY
PLAYERS. WE HAVE THINGS THAT ARE, YOU KNOW, A LITTLE BIT MORE FUN. WHICH IS, LIKE, SOCIAL
MOBILITY, WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT WE ARE COVERING TODAY. WE TALK ABOUT HOW MUCH MONEY SOCCER
PLAYERS MAKE AND HOW THAT CHANGES COMMUNITIES. LIKE THE FAVELAS IN BRASIL FORT LEWIS COLLEGE DEVELOPED THE FIRST-YEAR
LAUNCH CLASSES TO HELP STUDENTS MAKE CONNECTIONS MORE QUICKLY WITH THEIR PEERS, THEIR PROFESSORS,
AND STAFF MEMBERS WHO PROVIDE STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES. A NUMBER OF STUDENT RETENTION STUDIES
SHOW THAT WHEN STUDENTS DEVELOP STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS IN THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY, THEY’RE
MORE LIKELY TO STAY IN SCHOOL. ACCORDING TO RETENTION DATA COMPILED BY THE COLORADO COMMISSION
ON HIGHER EDUCATION FROM SPRING 2017 INTO FALL 2018, FORT LEWIS COLLEGE’S RETENTION
RATE WAS 62 PERCENT, WELL BELOW THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE OF 73 PERCENT FOR FOUR-YEAR INSTITUTIONS.
AND FORT LEWIS WAS NEARLY AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST, RANKING 11TH OUT OF THE 12 FOUR-YEAR
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN COLORADO. ONLY ADAMS STATE COLLEGE IN ALAMOSA RANKED LOWER
AT 54 PERCENT, OVERALL ENROLLMENT ALSO HAS DROPPED OR REMAINED STAGNANT DURING THE PAST
TEN YEARS, AND BECAUSE COLORADO HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING IS BASED PRIMARILY ON ENROLLMENT,
THE LOWER POPULATION AFFECTS THE INSTITUTION’S FINANCIAL BOTTOM LINE – AND STUDENTS’ TUITION
RATES AS COLLEGES MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE. BUT THAT’S NOT THE ONLY REASON THE COLLEGE
STARTED ITS FIRST-YEAR LAUNCH PROGRAM, NOT EVEN CLOSE. FACULTY AND STAFF WANT STUDENTS
TO LEARN, SUCCEED, GRADUATE, AND BECOME PROFESSIONALS WHO CONTRIBUTE TO THE WELL-BEING OF THEIR
COMMUNITIES AND SOCIETY. I’M REALLY EXCITED BECAUSE THE CLASSES ARE
SMALLER, BECAUSE WE WORK WITH FIRST-FIRST YEAR STUDENTS, WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT WE
USUALLY DON’T HAVE. WE HAVE CLASSES THAT ARE MIXED WITH, YOU KNOW, SENIORS AND OTHER, STUDENTS
THAT HAVE DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES. BUT THIS IS LIKE AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY TO MOTIVATE
STUDENTS TO ENGAGE THEM IN THEIR COLLEGE LIFE. SO, I’M REALLY EXCITED. IF YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT FORT LEWIS
COLLEGE’S FIRST-YEAR LAUNCH CLASS, VISIT FORT LEWIS DOT E D U. THANKS FOR WATCHING THIS
EDITION OF LOCAL NEWS DURANGO. YOU CAN FIND THIS AND OTHER LOCAL NEWS NETWORK STORIES
ON DURANGO T V DOT COM, WHERE YOU CAN SIGN UP FOR DAILY NEWS STORIES DELIVERED TO YOUR
IN-BOX. YOU CAN ALSO CATCH US ON DURANGO CABLE CHANNEL 15 OR ON OUR DIGITAL NETWORK AT VARIOUS
LOCATIONS AROUND TOWN. I’M DEBORAH URODA FOR LOCAL NEWS DURANGO.

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