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Excerpts from the article by Mike Loomis, Ed. D., Dean of Student Development

Mike LoomisThe current generation of college students is commonly referred to as the millennial generation, characterized by such terms as: special, sheltered, confident, team-oriented, achievers, pressured, conventional, experiential, diverse, and very tech savvy.

In some sense, educating and ministering to the millennial generation is no different than with previous cohorts of students. Our role as educators is to challenge students to move beyond their comfort zones, to develop critical thinking skills, to engage with students and instructors from differing perspectives and points of view, and to develop vocational, relational and leadership skills that will empower them for the future. Educators are also here to support students at their point of greatest need, be that intellectually, socially, spiritually, or emotionally, such that students are empowered to develop and to eventually make a positive contribution to their field of study, as well as impact the kingdom for Christ.

Emerging research is demonstrating a significant and qualitative difference between students that merely survive the college years and those that truly thrive in college.

Thriving college students not only are academically successful, they also experience a sense of community and a level of psychological well-being that contributes to their persistence to graduation and allows them to gain maximum benefit from being in college.

Academic thriving is characterized as a student that is fully engaged in his/her learning, possesses a high level of academic determination, is able to manage the demands of college time; intrapersonal thriving encompasses the development of a healthy self-perception, a positive attitude towards life and learning, an understanding and development of their strengths, appropriate and mature coping skills, as well as an overall positive perspective on life that enables students to envision future success; interpersonal thriving relates to meaningful relationships, a strong network of friends, a connection to the community, an understanding and desire to relate to others from diverse backgrounds, as well as a desire, commitment and belief that individuals can make a difference in the world.

Thriving at Geneva can be accomplished through a series of intentional decision and commitments, including:

  • Fully engaging one′s classes and professors
  • Getting involved on campus
  • Internships, tutoring, spending a semester studying abroad, short-term missions trips, leadership conferences, spiritual conferences and retreats, and any of the co-curricular programs offered throughout the year.
  • Any of the services that will support students: health services, career services, counseling services, multicultural services, and/or academic support (ACCESS).

The Geneva challenge is about fully engaging the incredible opportunities offered, both on and off campus, both in and out of the classroom. In the end we want students to be intentional about their time at Geneva, and ultimately be students that don′t just survive college, but truly thrive!

To read Dr. Loomis′ article in its entirety, click here.

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