University 101 Programs

Student Involvement and Learning: Maximizing the Carolina Experience

Presentation Abstract
Beyond the classroom experiences are key to a successful college experience. However, knowing where to begin can be difficult. We are here to help! Our staff will provide an overview of the variety of involvement opportunities and engage students in a leadership discussion. Our focus is to help students get involved, connect with USC, and understand what it means to be a Carolinian. We will emphasize the importance of intentionally tracking and reflecting on their involvement in order to better articulate these experiences later in their college career. This is a 50-minute presentation on-site in the Leadership and Service Center.

University 101 Learning Outcomes

II a) Identify and use appropriate campus resources and engage in opportunities that contribute to their learning within and beyond the classroom.

Students will learn about campus units within the Department of Student Life and about specific programs that provide the opportunities for out-of-classroom engagement. They will also learn the importance of planning and reflection as it relates to involvement so they don't get "over involved.”

Presentation Learning Outcomes
As a result of this presentation, students will:
-Have an understanding of the role and value of beyond the classroom involvement as it relates to learning.
-Have specific examples of activities to engage in during the first 6 weeks of class.
-Learn about departments and resources sponsored by the Department of Student Life.

Presentation Outline
SHARE the Goals of the U101 Involvement Session
-To educate students on the importance of getting involved on campus
-Focus is on participating in the USC community first…”sample the buffet”
-To set the expectation that involvement beyond the classroom is vital to the Carolina experience
-Draw connections to USC Connect and how this first year is about adjustment to USC, settling in to beyond the classroom opportunities and identify their plan for long-term learning beyond the classroom
-To present the opportunities available within the Department of Student Life as a “first choice” for getting involved
-Present ‘signature’ Student Life initiatives or programs central to the USC experience

ASK the Students about the Benefits of Involvement
-Name two of the top five benefits of getting involved on campus
-Name some easy ways to learn about the opportunities for getting involved on campus
-TAKEAWAY: Students have to be engaged and “participate” in their new community before they can lead in it. Sample the buffet in this first year… that is your job!

GAME OF LIFE at USC Activity
Students will split into groups of 5 to play our GAME OF LIFE at USC game (based on the board game the GAME OF LIFE). In the game, the students will pick different activities that they can get involved with and other experiences they can participate in based off of what they land on. The goal of the game is:
• Familiarize students with the resources sponsored by the Department of Student Life
• Learn about specific activities they can engage in during their first semester/year of college
• See how experiences in college can tie together and how choices impact the direction of your college experience

REFLECT on who they want to be at USC
Students will be led in a guided activity to reflect upon their experiences playing the game and what they want their USC experience to look like regarding engagement. Some discussion questions will be:
-What did you learn about how your experiences can influence your college experience
-Who do they want to be as leaders? How do they want to give back to their community? What do they want their time at USC to look like?

FINISH with Student Life Program Information and Signature Events in First Six Weeks of Class as Additional Examples of Involvement
-Play a few rounds of Student Life Trivia (so they can be further informed about SL initiatives)
-SHARE upcoming Student Life Signature Events that are great for the first semester of college
-REMIND them that how they “participate” is by staying informed
-Provide Twitter and Facebook and website information

Presentation Length
50 minutes;

Presenter Training
Senior directors in the Department of Student Life nominate employees from our departments to serve as the presenters. They are carefully selected to ensure their comfort with the material and their enthusiasm for selling the message of involvement on behalf of the entire department. This group meets 2 times over the summer to build the presentation and agree on the common script so that it is the same message for all classes. Graduate and undergraduate students are paired with a professional staff member when they participate in the presentation.