Newman University introduced Navigator: Your Newman GPS (Guide to Success) into the fall 2020 curriculum.
Every undergraduate student will experience parts of Navigator such as having a dedicated support team from the day they step onto campus and taking part in career exploration and leadership opportunities.
To receive a heightened Navigator experience, students are able to enroll in a series of three Navigator courses. This semester, Navigator 1001: Flight Planning is being offered. This course is meant to “shift the focus beyond coursework to include purpose and passion.”
Students enrolled in Navigator 1001: Flight Planning will:
- Identify interests and strengths through career assessments.
- Craft a mission statement and begin discerning personal and professional purpose.
- Build a professional development team.
- Construct a customized education plan with their faculty advisor.
- Begin to develop a professional portfolio.
- Build leadership skills through service project design.
The course originally opened to only 11 students due to physical distancing restrictions in the available classroom. As more students became interested, enrollment was increased to 20 students and offered partially online.
“This semester, the students will work in teams to develop COVID-19 public service announcements for the campus,” said Professor of Communication Audrey Hane, co-creator of the Navigator program and guest lecturer for Navigator 1001. “This will be a hands-on learning opportunity designed to cultivate collaboration and leadership skills.”
The Navigator courses are unique in their format. Students will receive aid and instruction from multiple staff and faculty members. They will be supported by Hane, as well as Professor of History and Director of International Studies Cheryl Golden, who is teaching the course, Newman University Chaplain Father Adam Grelinger, Reference and Instruction Librarian Jeanette Parker, Director of Career Services Melody Head and each student’s individual advisor will also play a role in their course success.
Hane said, “We want the students to begin to develop relationships with people who will serve as their dedicated support team, including their academic advisor and a mentor. Both of these roles are crucial as they work to develop their customized education plan.”
“We think of this program as a gift that we offer our students, so we’re thrilled that they see the value in the program and are excited to reap the benefits.”
Navigator in itself took an exorbitant amount of time and dedication to create. A small team of faculty and staff members interviewed hundreds of current and potential students, parents, alumni and fellow staff and faculty members to understand what key elements students were hoping to gain from their college experience.
Hane said the program will be a success as long as students feel supported during their educational journey and graduate with a sense of their personal and professional purpose while feeling equipped to live the mission of Newman and transform society.