“Sophomore Selebration” helps link Purposeful Learning experience through students’ second year

September 13, 2023
Cat Cutillo
Social Media and Community Content Specialist

The Office of Purposeful Learning has launched a full menu of new fall programming with events geared specifically towards second-year students.  

Purposeful Learning kicked off one of its first events of the semester, the “Sophomore Selebration,” on September 7. The social gathering took place inside of Alliot Hall and was lined with tables to pass out free goodies, such as stickers, ice cream, and information about more upcoming events for “Sophomore Seekers.”

Office of Purposeful Learning Student Success Advisors Katie Barry, left, and Vernita Weller, center, speak to a student during the inaugural “Sophomore Selebration” on Sept. 7, 2023. (Photo by Cat Cutillo)

Upcoming events include flood relief activities with MOVE on Sept. 21, rock climbing with the Adventure Sports Center on Sept. 30, navigating the cafeteria on Oct. 5, midterm game break with the Center for Student Diversity, Empowerment, and Community (DEC) on Oct. 18, sophomore suppers on Oct. 3 and Nov. 8, stress busters with Purposeful Learning on Dec. 8, and much more. 

“We want second-year students to know we didn’t forget about you,” said Maria Del Sol Nava at the event, a Student Success Advisor for Purposeful Learning. “There’s still time to try something new. There’s still time to meet new people and expand your horizons.” 

This year’s sophomores were the inaugural class for the Office of Purposeful Learning, which launched last fall with a goal to help first-year students find purpose in their studies and connection to community resources to achieve their goals. Every first-year student now takes the eight-week curriculum in the fall. The Office of Purposeful Learning continues their efforts with first-years, who are now in the midst of their fall semester courses. The department’s success advisors are meeting one-on-one with all first-years in these initial weeks.

Freebies on the table in Alliot Hall during the inaugural Office of Purposeful Learning “Sophomore Selebration” on Sept. 7, 2023. (Photo by Cat Cutillo)

The expansion of “Sophomore Seekers” is a new component that was developed this year to continue offering support as students grow. Student success advisors say that, historically, sophomore engagement tends to be a lot lower, and they want second-year students to know they haven’t been forgotten. 

“First-years get a lot of attention and support,” Student Success Advisor Vernita Weller said. “Oftentimes, Sophomores fall through the cracks and we felt like this would be a great way to give them a boost.”  

Click on image to see the full schedule.

Students who attended the event said they felt the love, including second-year student, Hannah Kragh ’26, who said, “It’s a nice recognition for sophomores, and they have good ice cream.” 

Student Success Advisor Katie Barry said the Office of Purposeful Learning has collaborated with departments across campus to create their spread of fall events for Sophomore Seekers. For more details on those events follow Purposeful Learning on Instagram at @smc_opl.

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