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
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
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.
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.
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.