Dean of Students

U Journey

Intern Announcement

New for '23 - The Dean of Students Office is now accepting internship applications for U Journey Ambassadors. Click here for the application and position description.

"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

A log that says "U Journey"

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.

Students embark on the newspaper challenge

First-Year Experience Goals
(In partnership with the FYE Office):

  1. Support transitions
  2. Facilitate connections
  3. Foster a sense of belonging
  4. Encourage social responsibility through education
Students enjoying various aspects of campus life

SOPHOMORE-Year Experience Goals:

  1. Encourage academic exploration
  2. Encourage career exploration
  3. Explore healthy relationships (sense of self and others)
  4. Provide leadership development activities


  1. Support independence
  2. Promote civic responsibility
  3. Develop global perspectives
  4. Inspire a personal vision


  1. Support next transitions
  2. Facilitate connections
  3. Foster a sense of belonging to Union
  4. Foster a sense of belonging in Schenectady

Program components

  • Weekly Learning Themes

    Each week, U Journey explores a core student development theme to provide consistent and intentional educational experiences beyond the classroom. Examples include living in community, teamwork, academic success and the campus social scene.

  • Residence Hall Engagement

    Residential staff, including Resident Advisors (RAs) will facilitate weekly floor meetings, discussions and activities related to each week’s theme. Our professional staff will provide RAs training, support and guidance. Some weeks, there will be building-wide initiatives related to each week’s theme in lieu of floor events.

  • First-Year Engagement & West Wednesdays

    For our first-year students, various campus offices “take over” lunch in the West College dining hall during Common Hour. Faculty, staff and student groups will engage students who are waiting in line, offer informal education through conversation and handouts, and socialize while dining. These events will serve as a kickoff to each week.

    There will be additional larger-scale events that directly relates to the weekly theme. Other programming and traditions from the First-Year Experience Office will also be offered.

  • Upperclass Workshops

    Complementing the intentional work with our first-years will be a series of activities, workshops and meet-ups for sophomores, juniors and seniors. These activities will focus on life skills such as financial literacy, networking and cultural immersion.

  • Signature Events

    All students will have the opportunity to participate in and engage with various activities, including a speaker series, online living tutorials, training programs, winter term trips and "Something Schenectady" outings.

  • Finals Study Breaks

    Professional staff will host study breaks and pop-ups throughout the reading days and exam period. These grab-and-go style events may also feature stress management activities.

Union students with a cardboard train
Students inside the Nott Memorial