Duhawks DuSupport Duhawks

Four sophomore Loras students are “Du-ing” something important for the Loras student body – specifically, its newest incoming members. This “something” is called DuSupport. It is an honors project designed as a supplementary program to facilitate first-year’s transition from high school into college. This class builds off the Intro to College course in the fall, which is directed by Kim Walsh. Within the next couple weeks, the sophomore group of Molly MacDuff, Elyse Acomponado, Grant Wiederin and Logan Ben will be meeting with Walsh to discuss the class curriculum and decide upon a goal for the first class session.

DuSupport will essentially be an SI-type program for students to learn about the transition into college, stress management, and time management since so many students struggle with these areas. Currently, the program is geared primarily towards first-year students at Loras, but as the group pointed out, it is certainly not limited to them. Another potential group that could benefit from DuSupport would be dismissed students, with the idea that they would be required to take this class if they returned to Loras.

At this point in their honors career, the four students are still in the planning stages of their sophomore experience. Aside from meetings with Walsh and their mentor Lynn Gallagher, the group is preparing their first trial run of the program. At this first session, the honors students will help the first-year attendees build class schedules and organize assignment due-dates. They also plan on putting together a panel of students to answer questions about how to properly manage stress. As many recall, the first year of college can be full of poorly-managed stress situations. The panel will be a proactive way to address those inevitable occurrences before they become issues.

The number of students at this initial program session is yet to be determined. The honors students are primarily targeting students from MOI classes in Fall 2017. The group is reaching out to MOI professors who feel some of their students could benefit from a program such as this.

“We have no idea how many will come,” group member MacDuff said honestly. “But we want to have this first session so we can use it for research and get feedback from students.”

How did this topic come to be? Gallagher—who works in the Lynch Learning Center—had the whole idea set out before the honors group even formed. She saw students who struggled to manage everything on their own, and despite the success of the Intro to College class, she wanted an option outside the classroom to help with these issues. She developed the project, presented it to the honors program, and the rest is history.

“I’ve done tutoring in the past,” MacDuff said, when asked why she specifically chose this honors project. “And I work in the writing center, so I like helping people with stuff like that. I’m also an organizational person and like teaching people about that too.”

DuSupport will be a worthy addition to academic richness at Loras and will likely impact and benefit many students as these sophomore honors students continue to develop their project.

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