A Key for incoming students

Aug 252010
Authors: Jordyn Dahl

In a collegiate world where students frequently change their majors, CSU is hoping to change that norm with their new Key Community: Key Explorer.

The program is for open option freshmen and works to assist them in finding their path at CSU through a community setting of 39 students who share classes and living space in Parmelee Hall.

“It gets open option freshmen to not only explore majors but also explore themselves,” said student mentor Mercedes Scott. “They do a lot of reflection and try to find themselves and what interests and drives them.”

Students enroll in a seminar class that all of them take in addition to two other classes with their peers. The students also have two upperclassmen mentors who attend the seminar with them and keep in touch on their progress throughout the year.

The seminar class, Create Your Story, is taught by their adviser Amber Paulson-Hofseth and acts as an aid for the students in discovering themselves and their interests.

“I feel like it is a pretty cool perk because a lot of us don’t know what we’re going to do,” said Walter Chard, a Key Explorer student.

The program was established this summer shortly after the 2010 budget was approved and is another version of Network CSU that was created for undeclared students, but disbanded after two years because of short-term funding.

Key Explorer is an addition to the Key Communities that were established in 1998 to create an environment for students to live and learn together, according to their website.

“The program works in not only getting students to CSU but also helping them graduate,” said Lory-Ann Varela, a Key Explorer coordinator. “It creates a community to provide support in not only what they want to be, but who they want to be.”

Staff Writer Jordyn Dahl can be reached at new@collegian.com.

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