SESP Welcomes New Students as School Year Begins

SESP Welcomes New Students as School Year Begins

Wildcat Welcome

The School of Education and Social Policy is welcoming 49 new undergraduates and 140 new graduate students with orientation activities this fall. In addition, the entire SESP community is invited to an all-school welcome back social on September 26.

Undergraduates
Forty-five new freshmen and four undergraduate transfer students participated in Wildcat Welcome orientation days from September 17 to 23. Twelve students in the Class of 2017 are majoring in social policy, 11 in learning and organizational change, 11 in secondary teaching, and 10 in human development and psychological services while five are undecided. Laura Robinson, associate director of admission, says, “Interest in the School of Education and Social Policy continues to grow as more and more high school students recognize the value of pursuing academic opportunities that will prepare them to make a difference in their communities.”

Wildcat Welcome

A highlight of the welcome week for incoming undergraduates was a dinner at the home of Dean Penelope Peterson on September 19. SESP Wildcat Welcome activities also included a dean’s convocation, individual advising, registration, tours and group meetings. In addition, freshmen met with their SESP peer advisers, nine upperclass volunteers selected for their leadership abilities: Molly Crane, Eric Morales, Augusta Blandford, Andrew Green, Alexandria Bobbitt, Matt Mrozek, Luke Cianciotto, Alyssa Leonard and J.P. Bowgen.

Human Development and Social Policy
SESP graduate programs also greeted new students with kickoff events. The Human Development and Social Policy (HDSP) doctoral program welcomed four new students this fall, beginning with an orientation on September 20. These students have special research interests ranging from student motivation to the role of teachers in policy, cultural factors that affect school outcomes, and human creativity and productivity.

Learning Sciences
The Learning Sciences program greeted six new master’s students and five new doctoral students, a diverse and talented group with backgrounds in the arts, sciences and education. The Learning Sciences welcome week introduced incoming students to faculty, staff and current students. It featured second-year Learning Sciences presentations on September 18, a master’s student poster session on September 19, an orientation and happy hour on September 20, and a community BBQ on September 21. "The most salient goal of orientation is to create an enduring sense of community among the incoming cohort,” says program assistant Autumn West.

MS in Education
The Master of Science in Education (MSEd) program has 92 new students this year, with 42 of them beginning fall quarter. On September 23, new students met faculty, staff and each other. In small groups, new students discussed what brought them to the MSEd program and a question they might want to explore in their master's project research. The MSEd fall party is on October 11.

Higher Education
The Higher Education Administration and Policy Program is welcoming 37 new students — 20 full-time and 17 part-time — who are interested in many different areas of higher education administration, from admissions to student affairs to career services. This cohort, the largest ever to join the program, represents a 16 percent increase over last year. Incoming students come from a range of schools, including Duke, University of Michigan, Notre Dame and New York University, and 13 percent hold advanced degrees. On-campus orientation was September 20, and an informal welcome party will be held at the home of director Lois Trautvetter on October 4.

Trautvetter says, "I am thrilled to have another group of bright full-time and part-time students who will bring diverse perspectives and ideas to the classroom. These students represent the future leaders that will contribute to the knowledge and practice of the field of higher education administration." During the first quarter students immediately begin to explore career preparation with workshops on setting career goals, self-assessment and networking for career advancement.

MS in Learning and Organizational Change
The annual retreat for the Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change program from September 6 to 8 combined community building with workshops designed to help new students develop personal learning plans. Of the 46 new students who attended, 11 are part-time students who live outside of the Chicago area and are earning their degrees through the hybrid schedule option, which combines distance learning and on-campus class meetings.

All members of the MSLOC community attend the retreat and participate in The Hive, the program’s digital learning and community space. Because basic how-tos of orientation are handled via The Hive, “we can focus on building community and supporting the success of our students in a more personal way during our three-day face-to-face retreat,” says Scott. The retreat also kicks off the annual Foundations course and introduces students to problem-based learning, which presents a class with a real problem. “It is key to our instructional philosophy in how we develop leaders who can deal with ambiguity and complexity,” Scott explains.

While new part-time MSLOC students live coast to coast, new full-time students include students from India and Singapore. Students in the program represent a diverse set of industries — both corporate and not-for-profit.

SESP Social
The entire SESP community will come together for a social event on September 26. All SESP students and faculty members are invited to an all-SESP welcome back social from 4 to 6 p.m. on the Garrett Patio. The event is co-sponsored by SESP’s student organization, Promote 360, which is dedicated to enhancing the well-being of minority and under-represented students.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 9/27/13