A Word from Dr. Edee Schulze, VP for Student Life & Dean of Students

People have asked me what my first year at Westmont has been like. I've been responding these days with a phrase something like "It has been about one degree south of perfect." Admittedly that's an unusual combination of words. What exactly is "one degree south of anything?" But somehow I feel this gets at my feeling. There has been so much blessing, joy, delight, fun and lots of rewarding work as I have sought to understand Westmont and get to know people in Santa Barbara. I am grateful everyday that God has led me here. I'm so enjoying the Westmont community and my faculty and staff colleagues. We've made good progress on our divisional goals for the year and just as we are gearing up for the grand finale with commencement, we are keeping an eye towards next academic year and the plans that are in motion for 2015-2016.

This is the inaugural issue of the Student Life report, fashioned along the lines of the provost's report, but highlighting a sample of items within Student Life that we think would be of interest to others. Look for more editions along these lines next year, but in this issue, reflect on and celebrate with us these happenings from 2014-2015.

Updates on Student Life Initiatives

Professor and Student

Career Development & Calling External Review

As much as students love Westmont, we have to prepare them for life afterwards. And, that is where Career Development & Calling comes in. Career Development & Calling is in charge of equipping our students with tools to better understand who they are and their role in the world. In late January, the Office underwent an external review in order to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the staff. The review team consisted of Patti Hunter (Professor of Mathematics and Vice Provost), Anna Fletcher (Westmont Resident Director), Mark Matthes (Director of University Career Initiatives and Assessment at Biola University), Amy Adams (Director of the Seaver College Career Center at Pepperdine University), and Ita Fischer (former Director of Career Center at Wheaton College).,In light of the review, [continue reading]

International Students

International Student Services

With “global” as one of the aspects of Westmont that sets it apart from other institutions, the International Student Services was set up to facilitate the international students’ transitions to life in America. Oftentimes these students come to campus and feel overwhelmed by how unfamiliar and different it is from home. It may be the pace of work, the weather, or even the peers who appear to have such unrelatable backgrounds. Simple things like warm wardrobe or personal finances may be a new concept for them. To address their needs, the Student Life Office has developed International Student Services. These services would be for F1 Visa students, missionary kids (MKs), or Third Culture Kids (TCKs). Since this is a new venture, we have assembled an advisory board and constructed a road map to 2017. [continue reading]

Students in Chapel

Campus Pastor’s Office: “Grit” Chapel Theme for the Semester

“Life is hard, and then you die.” Tremper Longman III opens his lecture on Ecclesiastes with these words regarding Qohelet’s musings. To some extent, this motto is true. Life is a series of troughs and peaks, and students need to be equipped to climb out of the valleys. Thus, Ben Patterson has spoken on grit and encourages the student body to “fight the good fight,” especially when the odds are against us. With gratitude (last semester’s theme) as the foundation, grit enables us to face whatever lies ahead. God’s love for us is so pervasive that He meets us in our troubles and helps us rise out of them. [continue reading]

Oak tree

Counseling Center

College is a time of immense growth. Students are usually away from their parents for the first time. They may need help working through identity and other issues. From devastating break ups to soul searching, the students arrive on the doorstep of the Counseling Center looking for help. And, as a college, we want to be able to provide the services that are needed. [continue reading]

Anna Fletcher

VK Global Re-Entry Pilot Program

Studying abroad is a wonderful and often life-changing experience. However, integrating back into the Westmont community socially and academically can be arduous. Due to the cries for assistance, Anna Fletcher and her team of study abroad alums have developed the VK Global Re-Entry Pilot Program. Through support groups and other resources, this program enables students to process their abroad experience and life afterwards. In uniting those who studied abroad, there are fewer chances for students feel isolated or struggle with culture shock alone. [continue reading]

Page Hall

Page Hall Spiritual Formation Coordinator Pilot Program

The first year of college is a whirlwind of excitement and opportunities. As the social activity skyrockets, students might be compelled to spend all their time with people. While this is good, it can come at the cost of spiritual health, something that is invaluable in a time of great change. With this in mind, Residence Life has set up the Page Hall Spiritual Formation Coordinator Pilot Program. Meredith Mueller and Kenny Chism are the live-in Spiritual Formation Coordinators for this first year. [continue reading]

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