"U Journey helps students understand their responsibilities within a community and how to better foster meaningful relationships with others."
– Ryan Keytack , Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
Focal Areas and Learning Goals:
U Journey is Union College's comprehensive plan for life and learning that occurs beyond the classroom, with particular emphasis on life skills and reflection. The goal is to align a seamless set of experiences for students from the moment they move-in until they graduate. Whether in our residences, through clubs and teams, in our sororities and fraternities, or in our Minerva Houses, we encourage students to focus on:
● Well-being, by taking care of themselves physically and mentally
● Decision making, by managing their surroundings and thinking before acting
● Collaboration, by interacting with others and engaging difference
● Belonging, by finding role(s) in our community and developing a connection to Union and Schenectady
Your U Journey has begun. The program started in fall 2022 and will continue to expand its reach to all students in the coming years.
SOPHOMORE-Year Experience Goals:
- Encourage academic exploration
- Encourage career exploration
- Explore healthy relationships (sense of self and others)
- Provide leadership development activities
JUNIOR-YEAR EXPERIENCE GOALS:
- Support independence
- Promote civic responsibility
- Develop global perspectives
- Inspire a personal vision
SENIOR-YEAR EXPERIENCE GOALS:
- Support next transitions
- Facilitate connections
- Foster a sense of belonging to Union
- Foster a sense of belonging in Schenectady
Meeting students where they're at on their U Journey:
U Journey explores our core student development themes to provide consistent and intentional educational experiences beyond the classroom for first-year students and sophomores.
Residential staff, including Community Advisors (CAs) will facilitate on-going floor meetings, discussions and activities related to our learning goals. Our professional Community Directors (CDs) will provide CAs training, support and guidance. CDs will also host monthly passion programs to connect with their residents.
CDs and CAs will also hold special end-of-term activities that provide an opportunity to celebrate and reflect. The staff will host study breaks and pop-ups throughout the reading days and exam period. These grab-and-go style events will also feature stress management activities.
Department & Student Group Activities
New for Fall '23, there will be a mass invitation for the entire campus community to support U Journey efforts. Any events or activities that directly reinforce our focus on well-being, decision-making, collaboration, and belonging can be branded as a "U Journey Experience."
U Journey Ambassadors will help market these events and provide on-site support.
Complementing the intentional work with our first-years and sophomores will be a series of activities, workshops and meet-ups for juniors and seniors. These activities will focus on life skills such as financial literacy, networking and cultural immersion.
Incentives for Participation
Students are encouraged to participate as much as possible. The U Journey Ambassadors are working on a series of incentives to build interest in the program. Check back for more details outlining the plan for Fall '23.