In the nearly two years since it launched in fall 2020, Newman University’s student success program, Navigator, has provided hands-on, personalized experiences for many students.
“He knew I was a little stubborn and lazy with getting the adult things done in my life, like building my resume or connections,” Prockish explained. “He told me this class would be perfect for me as it would give me a little nudge with due dates and whatnot to get me to do the things I needed to do.”
Prockish, whose career interest is in cybersecurity, is grateful to have been mentored by Campbell, a high-ranking member of the Air Force, for the semester he was part of the program.
“I built a great connection as he helped me meet someone else who was more in the career field I intend to be in,” Prockish said. “He is a strong-willed leader who taught me a few leadership tactics and still remains open as a mentor for me if I ever need help or advice.”
He added, “My Navigator experience was positive as it helped me answer questions about the career path I wanted to take in life. I turned to my mentor often to ask questions or even further build my connections through him to help me get to where I wanted.”
The Newman University connection
Prockish and Campbell first met over Zoom, and Campbell was impressed by how well-prepared and well-spoken Prockish was.
“He’d prepared a number of very thoughtful and insightful questions,” Campbell said. “They included: ‘What has made you successful? How do you motivate and lead teams? And how do you handle adversity or challenge?’ Those primary questions led us in a variety of directions and to a very full discourse, given their open-ended nature.”
At the end of their first meeting, the two discussed how the engagement went, which led to a conversation about Prockish’s career goals.
“As we explored his professional objectives, we discussed how cybersecurity, in particular, is not an area in which I’m an expert,” Campbell said. “Knowing a number of well-experienced, educated and enthused professionals in that space, he permitted me to connect him with one such colleague, who has deep expertise in both the public and private sectors, understands the professional landscape, and is also a doctorate-holding academic in the field.”
Paying it forward
For Campbell, the opportunity to get involved in Newman’s Navigator program means a chance to give back.
“For many, many years now, I’ve been paying forward all the time, interest and engagement others have poured into me,” he said. “I know full well any success I’ve had was fueled by people willing to help me learn, develop and navigate my personal and professional life.”
Campbell would wholeheartedly recommend the Navigator program to other alums as a way to support future generations of students.
“These kinds of programs, especially for young alumni starting out their professional lives, are key and essential to making good connections and generating insights that will be helpful navigating the post-graduation landscape,” he said.
On the student side, Prockish, who plans to pursue a master’s degree in cybersecurity from the University of Phoenix, also highly recommends the Navigator program.
“Personally, if you are like me and just need a little nudge to take care of the adult things in your life like resume building or connection building, this is the class to take,” he said.
Many benefits of Navigator
Through the Navigator program, students receive personal guidance, one-on-one navigation, leadership and volunteer opportunities, and hands-on learning — and they are surrounded by faculty and staff who strive to help students fuel their passion and find their purpose.
“The ultimate goal for our graduates is that they identify their passion,” said Program Director Audrey Hane. “That they understand their purpose, that they see how their gifts and talents are unique to them, and how they are especially suited for some role in their future and in serving the world.”
With Newman’s small size, applied hands-on learning is accessible and realistic. Faculty put a great deal of effort into providing challenging experiences that result in skills confidence and career readiness.
Navigator gives students the tools to assess their goals, discover their talents and achieve success.
“That’s what we call our customized education plan,” said Hane. “We are there to very intentionally work with students and make sure they know the steps forward for success.”
Newman makes it simple for students to take part in the Navigator program. A series of three one-hour courses are available for enrollment.
The first course, Flight Planning, helps students identify their interests and strengths through career assessments. Faculty help the students craft a mission statement and begin discerning personal and professional goals. They also start developing their professional portfolio.
The second course, Vector Check, provides students with opportunities to connect with a professional mentor in their field of study and practice leadership and hands-on learning while participating in extracurricular activities, including studying abroad when possible.
Launch, the third and final Navigator course, enables students to work with faculty on job searches or graduate school plans, participate in mock interviews, present original research during Scholars Day and finalize their professional portfolios.
The support goes beyond the classroom, however, with faculty advisers and alumni mentorships within the community.
“Part of Navigator is designed to help students find their purpose; to identify strengths, gifts and passions,” said Hane. “We want students to discover what is going to make them jump out of bed and be excited to not only go to school for the next several years but also to have a career where they really feel like they’re sharing their gifts with other people.”
Explore the Newman Navigator program
From the moment you step on campus, you will experience a supportive, teamwork, environment that will help you create and shape your own future blending your personal interests, faith, and passions with purposefulness and direction for your own life.