Freshmen Objectives

Retention Program Phase I: Freshmen Reunion

The following is a list of programming goals and objectives set for Phase I: Freshmen Retention.

There are six areas of focus for Freshmen:


(key to first year success of students of color, and low-income students) Tinto’s (1993; 1997) and the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Goal for Social Integration: During the Fall semester, students will engage in activities created and implemented by the Center for Multicultural Affairs, while creating network circles that enhance students’ sense of belonging.
During the Spring semester, students will engage in activities sponsored by various departments and offices on campus that will broaden their immediate network circles that enhance students’ sense of belonging.

Students will:

  • Increase social involvement with peers by coming into the Multicultural Academic Resource Center (M.A.R.C.) once a week; scheduling meetings with their Graduate Assistants (GAs) biweekly to discuss progress; and attending at least one social program per semester.
  • Increase informal social interactions with faculty by scheduling to meet each faculty member per course at least once in the semester.
  • Utilize supportive services for social integration and tutoring (when needed).
  • Participate in at least one culturally diverse activity per semester.
  • Develop intercultural and interpersonal tolerance and appreciation of differences by engaging in conversations with various members of the community which include, but are not limited to, peers, faculty, and staff, on a daily basis.
  • Previous Programs: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service, Mall Trip, Campus Philadelphia, MLK Day of Service, and ACTIVE BBQ.

Resources: CAT, Student Development, Center for Multicultural Affairs, Residence Life, Health Promotion, VSMT, Financial Aid, Campus Ministry

Goal for Academic Integration: Students will engage in workshops, lectures, and programs on campus to increase their academic and professional growth and development.

Students will:

  • Improve and develop study skills necessary for college level academic success through bi-weekly meetings with their GA's to discuss time-management, test anxiety, course load, tests, and other concerns.
  • Be introduced to offices that will help them develop coping strategies to persist in academics by utilizing academic support services offered by the following offices at least once a semester: Counseling Center (Academic Counseling/Skills Instruction); the Writing Center; MLRC; Office for Learning Support Services; and advising centers of academic colleges.
  • Begin to develop long term plans and research graduate and professional schools.
  • Have achieved short term plans.
  • Explore internship and career options by taking the Strong Interest Inventory with Career Services and visiting the Internship Office.
  • Partner with a peer mentor by joining the UNITAS Mentoring program.
  • Maintain personal responsibility for their learning which involves engaging in academic discourse and cultivating positive work attitudes and behaviors.
  • Participate in seminars involving students who reflect a range of backgrounds, perspectives, and skill levels.
  • Be able to articulate and address grievances

Previous Programs: Small Talk Workshop, Resume Review, Career Fair, Guest Lectures, Social Justice Retreat, Financial Planning, Coping with Test Anxiety Workshop, Time Management Workshop, Devising a Professional Development Workshop

Resources: Dean's Office, Learning Support, Writing Center, MLRC, tutors, Multicultural Education Course, IGR Course, Counseling Center, Career Services

Goal: Student will begin to gain personal independence from the continual and pressing needs for reassurance, affection, or approval from others.

Students will

  • Develop instrumental independence, which includes self-direction, problem-solving ability, and mobility.
  • Come to recognize and accept the importance of interdependence, and awareness of their interconnectedness with others.
  • Begin to establish boundaries with friends and family.
  • Develop decision-making skills which will enable them to make their own decisions while still maintaining positive relationships.
  • Develop skills to help them become independent learners.
  • Begin to take personal responsibility with regard to health, fitness, and safety. This includes going to the health center when needed, making regular use of the on-campus athletic facilities, and consulting with the on-campus nutritionist.

Previous Programs: Healthy Lifestyles, Mammogram Screening, RAD Course, Intimate Dialogue about Relationships; Abusive Relationships;

Resources: Counseling Center, Health Promotions, Public Safety, Health Center, Learning Support Center

Source: (Chickering & Reisser , 1993)

Goal: Students will become more aware, better informed, and more comfortable with social identifiers relating to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, body type, mental or physical differences, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and age.

Students will

  • Develop positive and secure sense of self through working with GA, faculty, staff and peers.
  • Develop more positive body image by consulting with the nutritionist and doing regular workout at the fitness center.
  • Become more comfortable with gender and sexual orientation by engaging in interactions and programming with peers, faculty, and staff.
  • Develop a sense of cultural heritage through multicultural programming and self exploration.
  • Establish a clear and consistent self-concept and be comfortable with the individual’s roles and lifestyle in the students multiple worlds (home, school, work, community).
  • Develop a secure sense of self in light of feedback that will be given throughout the semester by GA, faculty, staff, and peers.
  • Become more self-aware and self reflective in order to enhance self-acceptance and self-esteem by engaging with peers, and doing personal development work with GA or at the Counseling Center.
  • Set healthy boundaries in relationships.
  • Be able to understand the impact of culture (family upbringing, race, ethnicity, gender, family income, community, religion, body type, mental or physical differences, sexual orientation, geographic location, age, and other social identifiers) on the individual’s perceptions and values.

Previous Programs: Interfaith Retreat, abusive relationship, Who am I and who do I want to become

Resources: George James, Counseling Center, Health Promotions, Career Services, Family, GA’s

Source: (Chickering & Reisser , 1993)

Goal: Students will be able to express and communicate a range of feelings appropriately, without causing harm to themselves or others.

Students will

  • Develop the ability to recognize and accept emotions.
  • Be able to effectively express and control emotions.
  • Become more aware of their feelings and how they affect their social and academic lives.
  • Be able to self-identify and evaluate their feelings, and seek help when needed.
  • Be able to recognize emotional triggers that may cause difficulty managing emotions.
  • Be able to cope with developmental changes over the college years.

Previous Programs: Abusive relationship, Healthy Relationships, Effective ways to communicate, Listening 101

Resources: Counseling Center, Esther, GA, Health Promotions, Health Center

Source: (Chickering & Reisser , 1993)

Goal: Student will be able to distinguish between what is ethically right and wrong, self-interest from group interest, assess risks, and make good choices.

Students will

  • Become more aware that values underlie the individual’s actions.
  • Be able to develop a sense of social ethics and responsibility.
  • Be able to balance their self-interests with a sense of social responsibility.
  • Be able to know the difference between what is ethically right and wrong, and act on this even when it is in opposition to their emotions.
  • Be aware of the “big picture” in decision-making.
  • Be able to make decisions and be held accountable for them.
  • Be able to make an appropriate decision that is not popular or well-received.

Previous Program: Leadership 101, University Mission

Resources: Academic Affairs, Dean of Students, Public Safety, Course Work, Center for Multicultural Affairs

Source: (Chickering & Reisser , 1993)

Goal: Students will possess the ability to perform a specific task, action or function successfully

Students will

  • Be able to complete their course work successfully by the end of the semester.
  • Submit course work and all other work to appropriate persons (faculty, staff, peer, group, and employer) according to deadlines.
  • Communicate their short and long term goals and possible career interest by the end of their 1st year.
  • Have mapped out their 4 year plan at the end of their first semester.
  • Achieve short term plan set at the beginning of the semester.
  • Know how to utilize Novasis to look up information related to academics, financial, and personal issues.
  • Know how to navigate through college to achieve academic success.
  • Make effective decisions and see them through.
  • Develop healthy study, fitness, and eating habits.

Programming Ideas: Devising a professional development plan, and academic essential

Resources: Intramural Sports, Fitness Center

Source: (Chickering & Reisser , 1993)