STARTING WELL

Lisa DeBoer

 

That new faculty seminar is being led by Lisa DeBoer (photo). In six sessions, the seminar covers such themes as Westmont's mission and identity, approaches to faith and learning (as well as hope and love), the principles of shared governance, the challenges of finding balance, and the ideals of faithful scholarship. Participants are even given insights into what researchers have identified as the most common mistakes made in the early stages of one's career, those errors that cost one "time, productivity, and sanity." Susan Van Zanten's book Joining the Mission: A Guide for (Mainly) New College Faculty provides a thread of readings for the group.

Over the past year, we have also been considering how to help our graduates “launch” more effectively to their post-baccalaureate studies or employment. Getting started after college continues to be a national concern, with “underemployment” rates for college graduates still hovering near 20%. To stave off the all-too-common senior year panic, one of our goals is to help students begin earlier to explore options after college. Dana Alexander and Celia Howen in the Office of Life Planning are offering numerous programs specially tailored for certain majors, and we are also developing more “life planning” programs for Armington Hall, which houses primarily sophomores. The resident director, Joshua Canada, is working with the Life Planning Office to offer these sessions, designed to spark earlier interest in thinking of internships and applications.

As internships have become increasingly valued by employers, we would like to encourage more and more students to consider possibilities for summer internships. With that goal in mind, the Clunie House—Westmont’s San Francisco site—housed several students this past summer who were completing internships in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley regions. Brad Berky, director of the San Francisco program, is planning to expand Clunie House opportunities in coming years.