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Design Your Drexel 2015

July 14, 2015

DYD

Design Your Drexel 2015
Saturday, September 19; ExCITe Center

*Applications due August 14*

Life at Drexel rarely slows down. For many students, the fast pace and nature of life at Drexel can present some tough choices and tradeoffs. How do you pursue all of your interests and fulfill major requirements? How can you possibly discover and take advantage of all of the opportunities Drexel has to offer?  Most importantly, how do you leave Drexel feeling satisfied?  

 

Design Your Drexel is a 1-day workshop that helps rising Sophomores and selected Pre-Juniors take charge of their education and make the most of the Drexel experience.  Participants will engage in large group activities, attend break-out sessions, share personal reflections and goals, discuss provocative ideas, and receive structured advice and mentoring opportunities. By the end of the day, you will have a stronger foundation and tools to integrate the pieces of your education - curriculum, co-op, extracurricular activities, and more - into a roadmap for a Drexel experience that fits with who you are and what you hope to achieve over the next few years.  


What is it?

A 1-day workshop, sponsored by the Pennoni Honors College and grounded in the principles of design thinking – a “playful approach to academic discovery." Participants will engage in large group activities, listen to mini-lectures, share personal reflections, and discuss provocative ideas about the purpose of college in small, facilitated groups.

Students have the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers, Drexel faculty and staff; discuss individually tailored research, fellowship and graduate school advising; and learn about leadership training and peer mentoring opportunities.

By the end of the day, you will have a stronger foundation and tools to design a college experience that better aligns with who you are and what you hope to get out of your time at Drexel.

Who is it for?

To be eligible, you MUST:

  • Be currently enrolled as a full-time student
  • Be intending to enroll as a full-time student in the 2015-2016 Academic Year
  • Be in the summer of your first year at time of application - or - be nominated by a Drexel Pennoni faculty or staff member.
  • have a GPA of 3.3 or higher

Selection Criteria
Students should demonstrate an interest in further developing the following:

  • an authentic interest and investment in the process of learning and the pursuit of challenge
  • a desire to contribute to one's chosen communities - academic, creative, athletic, faith-based, political, social, entrepreneurial...and more
  • adaptability, curiosity, and self-awareness
  • strong written and verbal communication skills

How to Apply

Design Your Drexel 2015
Saturday, September 19; 10am - 4pm

*Deadline to Apply: Friday, August 14 by 5pm*
Nominated and Endorsed students will be notified separately with instructions to apply. 

Learn more and apply at the Design Your Drexel 2015 page


About Design Your Drexel

Anne Marie Hager thrived in Drexel’s fast-paced environment. But since graduating in March 2015 with a BS in political science and minors in Spanish and international area studies, she realizes now she lacked opportunities to slow down that pace.

Anne Marie was probably aware of virtual personal assistant apps on the market for college kids; she heard the advice – more than once – not to stress over the individual bumps; she received materials at orientation to get acquainted with the Drexel campus and the city of Philadelphia. But what was lacking, what she says would have benefitted her greatly, was to receive advice earlier in her college career how to pursue all of her interests and fulfill major requirements or how to build time into her college years for scheduled, structured reflection.

Ann Marie and other graduating seniors shared their experiences – and challenges – as part of a focus group put together to try to understand and support the undergraduate experience at Drexel.

Sponsored by the Pennoni Honors College, this daylong workshop aims to provide thoughtful and highly-motivated students with the tools and opportunity to make deliberate, informed choices about how to integrate pieces of their Drexel education – curriculum, co-op, extracurricular activities – into a roadmap for making the most of their time at Drexel. 

Grounded in the principles of design thinking – a “ playful approach to academic discovery”  – participants will engage in large group activities, listen to mini-lectures, share personal reflections with a partner, and discuss provocative ideas about the purpose of college in small, facilitated groups.

This program will be piloted Saturday, September 19th to a cohort of 20-25 rising sophomores to help facilitate a connection to like-minded peer collaborators, Drexel faculty and staff; university leadership; discuss individually tailored research, fellowship and graduate school advising; and learn about optional leadership training and peer mentoring opportunities.

“For most students, the fast-paced and year-round nature of academic life at Drexel doesn’t leave much time to reflect on their goals and develop a clear sense of self,” says Meredith Wooten, PhD, Acting Director of the Drexel Fellowships Office and co-facilitator of the retreat. “By creating an opportunity for this sort of reflection and planning, we hope students can deepen their intellectual life, strengthen their engagement with their academic community and foster authenticity and confidence in their personal and professional relationships.”

As part of her work in the Fellowships Office, Wooten regularly encounters students who are passionate and have a vision and commitment to make a difference. The question they often face is how [ to accomplish their goals while balancing classes, co-ops, and other demands].

Kevin Egan, PhD, director of the Honors College’s Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry, which includes the Custom-Designed Major (CSDN), says it was the application process for both fellowships and CSDN, which was the impetus for this workshop.

“Both processes require students to reflect on their academic experiences, to actively construct personal, academic, and professional goals, and to think intentionally about their curricular and co-curricular choices and opportunities,” says Egan. “In short, both are learning processes. But, they also require that students know what opportunities and resources are available to them, and sometimes that it a huge obstacle or blind spot even to the most high achieving of students.”

Egan and Wooten feel strongly that Design Your Drexel will allow these two departments to collaboratively employ some of their best practices and to create an experience that will empower students to take ownership of their education in meaningful ways. 

“Hopefully students will come away with a strong sense of purpose for what they would like to accomplish with the remainder of their time at Drexel, and an understanding of the resources that are available to them to help achieve those goals,” Egan says. “But perhaps even more importantly, hopefully they come away with a sort of heightened sense of self – I would really like for them to come away recognizing the importance of taking some time to reflect on their interests, motivations, and personal growth, while also developing the agency to act on those reflections.”

Upon completion, student attendees will be encouraged to come to follow-up events and to even volunteer and help facilitate future sessions of the Design Your Drexel program.

For more information or to apply for Design Your Drexel, click here.