Keeping undergraduate students moving forward with their educational careers has always been important, but recently, GRU has looked to expand some of the ways it keeps students engaged.
Sophomore Declaration Day, which occurred in late April, is a new concept that hopes to motivate rising juniors to embrace their majors by participating in a milestone event.
“We’re really trying hard to celebrate these events for students, because we want to make sure they’re successfully completing their degrees,” said Beth Huggins, Director of First and Second Year Experience. “This is a new tradition that I hope we’ll continue. It’s one of our retention, progression, and graduation initiatives.”
At the beginning of the school year, sophomores also participated in the Week of Welcome, which included events geared toward getting students excited about the school year ahead.
Sophomore Declaration Day, which was a partnership with Academic Advisement, represented a hand-off of sorts. After 60 hours, undergraduate students are passed from their Academic Advisement advisors to advisors within their major department, so the event included members of every department in undergraduate education.
“It was a welcome of sorts,” Huggins said. “We provided them with T-shirts that said “Success is a Choice” on the front, and “I Chose _____” on the back. We gave faculty members a pen so they could fill in the blank with the name of their major.”
Huggins said she looks forward to expanding on the event next year.