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CONTACT:

Office of the Provost
610-466-6666 Ext. 3397

Transformational Student Experience

Sophomore Year Experience

Student Employment Center

Center for Diversity and Global Engagement

Collaborative Student Spaces

Closing the Gap

Becoming a Strengths Campus

Student Success Center


Sophomore Year Experience

Aspiration & Impact

The transition to sophomore year can be challenging. As we encourage students to embrace a higher degree of independence, some of the supports they relied on in their first year are discontinued. The Sophomore Year Experience demonstrates our commitment to student success through a collaboration between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs to increase student engagement and, ultimately, persistence at the College through a variety of programs and support.

At the center of this initiative is the pioneering Carmen Twillie Ambar Sophomore Expedition, a guaranteed study abroad program funded almost entirely by the College and through donor support. The transformative experience of the Sophomore Expedition, in combination with greater guidance in career planning, academic advising, and the discovery of leadership potential, should help students see their path to becoming a Cedar Crest graduate more clearly.

Key Components

  • The Carmen Twillie Ambar Sophomore Expedition, the College’s guaranteed study abroad trip for the sophomore class
  • An annual Emerging Leaders Conference to prepare sophomores to assume leadership roles as upperclassmen
  • Reinvented Big Sis/Little Sis program to provide sophomores an early mentoring opportunity
  • Career Development seminars
  • An advising plan customized for the sophomore year, covering the transition from a First-Year Advisor to an advisor in the major

Progress

Implementation Launched:

2018 – First Sophomore Expedition embarked to Rio de Janeiro

Press Release: First-Ever Cedar Crest College Sophomore Expedition Destination Announced: Students are Headed to Brazil

2019 – Sophomores traveled to Athens, Greece

Press Release: Opa! Class of 2021 Heading to Athens, Greece for Sophomore Expedition Destination revealed during Convocation Ceremony

2020 – London, England

Student Employment Center

Aspiration & Impact

The Student Employment Center will provide on-campus jobs for students, connected wherever possible to their major or career interests, while supporting students in developing the so-called “soft skills” so desired by employers. Students who are successful in their campus employment will be eligible for promotion and pay raises as they take on more responsibilities and supervisory roles. By the time of graduation, students will have meaningful work experience related to their majors and be prepared to be a productive and valuable employee.   For students who cannot afford to do an unpaid internship in the summer, this experience will be especially important in building a resume. This initiative will be of immediate economic value to our students and long-term economic impact for our region’s employers. Students will gain meaningful work experience connected with their majors and employers will hire Cedar Crest graduates with exceptional soft skills as well as expertise in their fields. It should encourage students to work on campus instead of off campus, deepening their engagement with the college community and promoting student success.

Key Components

  • Students employed on campus will be required to attend developmentally appropriate workshops in order to develop those skills.
  • Supervisors will be trained to provide ongoing and constructive feedback of students employed in their areas.
  • Job fair during the first two weeks for the semester at which students can be interviewed for employment opportunities

Progress

Implementation Launched

Press Release: The Provident Bank Foundation Awards $50K Signature Grant to Cedar Crest College of Lehigh County

Center for Diversity and Global Engagement

Aspiration & Impact

Students today are more defined by their intersectionality, than by any one aspect of their identities.  Intersectionality is “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.” Located in the Allen House, one of the College’s original heritage buildings, the Center for Diversity and Global Engagement will provide a prominent and honored space to offer cultural, social, and academic support, in addition to programming for a wide variety of students: international students, English language learners, students from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and students interested in becoming more globally-minded. International students and English language learners would come to the Center for specialized academic advising and academic support. It will be a place where every student on campus feels welcomed and heard and will validate their diverse backgrounds, needs, and abilities. It will assist in the retention and persistence of all students, but students of color in particular.

Key Components

The Center for Diversity and Global Engagement will be the source of programming around diversity and internationalization, as well as academic and social support services and house

  • The Center for Diversity and Inclusion
  • The Lutz Center for Community Service
  • The Office of Global Initiatives and International Programs
  • A new Office of International Student Support staffed by a member of the Admissions Office and personnel from Academic Services, who will work to facilitate a seamless transition for international students into our community

Progress

Implementation Launched:

Press Release: Cedar Crest to Mark MLK Day with Opening of New Facility

 

Collaborative Student Spaces

Aspiration & Impact

This initiative proposes to create collaborative student work spaces in the residence halls and in other strategic spots around campus. Informed by student input, Information Technology and Residence Life will create spaces that encourage and support collaborative work among students, places to work on group projects, to study in groups, or to collaborate on extra-curricular endeavors. This proposal will enhance the attractiveness of our residence halls. It should also help promote a culture of collaboration and team work.

Key Components

  • Renovation of existing computer labs in residence halls into collaborative work spaces
  • Identification of other sites around campus for collaborative work spaces

Progress

Implementation Launched:

  • Spring 2019 “Third Space” Renovations include the Commuter Student Lounge and Accessible Student Affairs Offices in the Tompkins College Center

Closing the Gap

Aspiration & Impact

Among both our traditional-age population and our SAGE population, many of our students have unmet needs among such basic necessities such as food, clothing and textbooks. By providing resources to students to close their financial gap, we are more likely to retain these students and they are more likely to succeed academically and persist to graduation. Cedar Crest College serves a large number of first-generation and Pell-eligible students who have less familial support than more affluent students and for whom a single unexpected expense, such as a car repair, means an interruption in their education. Food insecurity has been shown to negatively impact learning and persistence to graduation as well. While the college cannot provide everything these students may need, we can support their learning by eliminating barriers to their success at strategic moments, and our retention rate and our graduation rates will be positively impacted over time.

Key Components

  • Annual winter clothing drive
  • Meals over breaks
  • Pop-up food events
  • Restructuring of housing policy over breaks and in the summer
  • Discounted child care in the Lehigh Valley
  • Social worker to connect SAGE students to regional resources
  • Campus garden
  • Book vouchers
  • Completion grants

Progress

Implementation Launched

Becoming a Strengths Campus

Aspiration & Impact

This initiative seeks to integrate Gallup’s StrengthsFinder model into Cedar Crest College’s advising and student affairs functions. In fall 2016, the entire freshman class was given the Strengths survey, along with all first-year advisors and the instructors of all courses involved in the First-Year Experience. As successive classes of freshmen are given the survey, the staff of Academic Services and Residence Life will be trained in Strengths as well. Educating students about their strengths and advising them on their strengths rather than their deficits is expected to increase student self-confidence and to reinforce positive behaviors. Increased confidence among students along with more effective advising, particularly as it pertains to choosing majors, are the primary impacts we will see from this initiative.

Key Components

  • Training 1-3 staff on campus to be Strengths facilitators
  • Training of all critical personnel that provide advising of all sorts to first-year students
  • Strengths training for all first-year students each year

Progress

Implementation Launched

Student Success Center

Aspiration & Impact

The Student Success Center promotes a collaborative approach to student success by locating key resources for academic success in a warm, welcoming environment that includes active learning spaces. The goal of the Student Success Center is to normalize help-seeking behaviors, making it easier for students to seek out academic support earlier, when such services have greater impact. Built on the top floor of Cressman library in 2016, the initiative will add resources for student success. With increased student usage of existing resources such as the Writing Center and peer and professional tutors, we expect to see a reduction in institutional withdrawal levels for those students who regularly use the resources. As a result, we also expect to see increased student retention and persistence to graduation.

Key Components

  • Nursing content tutor
  • Additional science tutor
  • Staffing for the information center, “The Bridge”

Progress

Implementation Launched

Press Release: Cedar Crest College Undergoes $4.8 million in Major Renovations