Strategic plan calls on new centers to prepare students to meet career and personal demands in a rapidly changing world
by Sharon Jones Schweitzer '75
Trinity University has launched three new centers that will focus on student college success, experiential learning and career preparedness, and international citizenship. Integral to the vision of the Trinity Tomorrow ten-year strategic plan, the centers enhance Trinity's exceptional student-focused resources and academic opportunities. "These centers embody Trinity's commitment to educate the whole student—which begins with a challenging liberal arts education in a supportive residential setting—and continues by transforming today's students into tomorrow's leaders," Michael Fischer, interim Trinity president and co-chair of Trinity Tomorrow steering committee, said.
The Trinity Tomorrow plan is grounded in the vision that Trinity will "define the new liberal arts experience." The strategic plan addresses all aspects of Trinity's future from academic programs, to opportunities for alumni engagement, to effective administrative structures.
The centers address key priorities for Trinity:
The Student Success Center consolidates and enhances a portfolio of related services that position students to thrive academically and socially while developing resilience in the face of life's inevitable challenges. Fischer added, "the center helps all students get the most out of their education by enhancing skills like time management, financial literacy, and effective studying strategies." Counseling services, wellness initiatives, the first-year experience, peer tutoring, and adviser training are some of the initiatives sponsored by the center. These programs are informed by the latest research in student learning and development and are already in high-demand, particularly among the increasing number of Trinity students who are the first in their family to attend college.
The Center for Experiential Learning and Career Success will integrate academic work, service-learning, and career preparation. The center is a portal between campus and hundreds of non-profit organizations in the San Antonio region and multi-national businesses. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, the center connects students' academic inquiry and real-world decision-making. "At Trinity, students go beyond the text book and begin to solve complex problems in society, science, and industry. Our faculty challenge students to tackle tough questions with no easy answers," Fischer said. Students develop critical thinking, communication, and interpersonal skills by participating in service-learning, undergraduate research, internships, community-based research, and course-based projects administered by the center. As they prepare for graduation, students fully align their goals, passions, and skills with the assistance of Trinity's Career Services—a global alumni network, résumé and job interview preparation, and graduate school applications.
The Center for International Citizenship will leverage the University's many international activities, including academic programs, study abroad, faculty-led international programs, international student recruitment, and support for international students and faculty. "The center will broaden Trinity's global involvement and impact beyond the borders of the campus," said Fischer. The center also brings together the interdisciplinary academic programs developed in international studies, as well as Mexico America and Spain (MAS), East Asian Studies at Trinity (EAST), and Languages Across the Curriculum.
Sharon Jones Schweitzer '75 is assistant vice president for External Relations. You can follow her on Twitter @sjschweitzer.