Moving Forward with Purpose
Disengaged. Overwhelmed. Floundering. These are words often used to describe students’ state of mind during the murky middle years of college — although they can also apply to other stages of the academic journey. But at Morgan, our second- to third-year retention rate is the highest it’s ever been, at 63 percent. This is largely because of ongoing efforts to engage and support students at all levels, intervening immediately when academic warning signs occur. The Second-Year Experience (SYE) expands on our current success to engage students even more, providing them with experiential learning opportunities, including internships, study abroad, service learning and research.
EAB‘s SSC–Campus student success management system separates the hidden population of struggling students from likely graduates, enabling targeted intervention efforts — and ultimately improving outcomes. First- and second-year advisors — and others — use the SSC–Campus system to monitor students for early warning signs of academic risk and to proactively intervene. SSC–Campus also helps advisors guide students toward suitable classes and smooth out transitions to new areas of study.
Experiential Learning Plan (ELP)
A key component of the Second-Year Experience is the Experiential Learning Plan (ELP), an agenda that helps students develop purpose, select an appropriate major, make career decisions and redefine social engagement on campus. The ELP takes data from the Strengths Finder survey completed by all first-year students and develops the talents and goals further, enabling students to improve their academic performance and persistence to graduation.
Experiential Learning Opportunities
Exploration builds purpose and identities, and Experiential Learning opportunities in the Second-Year Experience abound, such as community service, other volunteer work, internships, study abroad, research, Upward Bound and more.
Focused career advising support is critical for second-year students as they work through their decision-making process. The Career Center enhances career planning, professional development and personal awareness. The offerings include an internship fair sponsored by the Career Center, where local and national employers showcase their opportunities. Through a UNCF (United Negro College Fund) Career Pathways Initiative Grant, the Career Center has been able to hire four Career Specialists who will play vital roles in helping second-year students and others become career-ready.
The SYE connects students to successful alumni who serve as role models and mentors, helping second-year students gain clarity about their sense of purpose and future academic and professional goals. Job shadowing through the Morgan State University Young & Future Alumni offers valuable leadership and insights. Professional etiquette sessions from the MSU Alumni Association begin for first-year students in Freshman Orientation classes.