By: Sergio Salgado

An example of one student’s goal.

Waleska, Ga— During the week of Nov 18, students in all First Year Courses had the chance to present their final projects to the rest of their peers. The “Where am I Going?” project is meant to offer students a creative way to share with the class their future aspirations and what they plan to do to achieve them. They were encouraged by their professors to really let their creativity shine whether it be in a video, a speech, an art piece, or some other medium. This project is a great way for students to show what makes them unique and a select few of the students’ presentations will be presented at the Reinhardt Convocation of Artists and Scholars in April 2020.

An example of what this student has been doing to reach their goal.

I had the chance to talk to Mrs. Lydia Ellen Laucella, a Doctoral Candidate and Assistant Professor of Education and Instructional Design, about these presentations and what the purpose of the assignment is. I asked her if this project was beneficial for the students and she responded with, “The Where Am I Going? presentation is very beneficial for students. The purpose of the Where Am I Going presentation is for students to encapsulate what they have learned about the FYS course content and about themselves. Then, they have to apply it to their own understandings of their first-year experience, and beyond. Therefore, it is both a critical thinking and metacognitive exercise in which students are assessing what they have learned, how they have applied what they have learned, and what they have taken away from the FYS course to apply to new situations.”

To reach your goals, it’s important to choose the right courses.

Next, I asked her if there was something that the organizers of this project wanted the students to learn and she told me that, “The presentation is also a creative endeavor that affords the student with a lot of flexibility. Students can present in a medium of their choice and of their comfortably. Students are given different outlets in which to present that should also connect in some way to their future aspirations. In addition, it is an act of professional development in that it introduces students to disseminating their work in a higher education setting by providing an outlet for future dissemination of their work at the Convocation of Artists and Scholars in the spring, and in their professional ePortfolios.”

This student participated in Junior Academy to develop their leadership skills.

Finally, I asked if there were any specific expectations from these presentations and she replied, “It is a great way to showcase the everyday growing and learning that is happening in our First-Year Seminar Courses. FYS is organized not only to set up students for success in college but to allow them a safe space to make mistakes and to learn from them. Through this project, students are able to monitor these self-assessments and walk away from the conclusion of the course with a better understanding of who they are than when they entered.”

I want to thank Mrs. Lydia Ellen Laucella for her contribution to this article and for providing me with some great insight. The “Where am I Going?” presentation is an excellent opportunity for students to let everyone what their hopes and dreams are so that they can be supported. I believe that the most beneficial thing about this assignment is how it will cause everyone to be there for one another. We all have goals and it takes hard work to achieve them, but if we help each other out life will be much easier for us all.

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