The College is meeting the current moment by shoring up the resources for students who are transitioning to life on campus and finding a variety of ways to connect any students who are struggling with the help they need.

By: 梅根·基塔  2022年2月3日星期四下午03:44

由于疫情,二年级学生错过了完整的第一年迎新体验, 去年秋天, the College offered SOAR (二年级新生入学及再联系) to help the class reclaim what they'd lost. 摄影:Marco Calderon

今天在穆伦贝格的学生, 以及正在考虑上大学的高三学生, 已经错过了近两年了. 由于疫情,他们错过了面对面学习的机会. (事实上, 30 percent of the College’s current first-year students had not been in a traditional classroom setting for 18 months before arriving on campus last fall.他们错过了课外活动和里程碑(毕业, 舞会),以公共卫生的名义被取消或缩减. 他们, 就像emc体育网页版很多人一样, 错过了与朋友的社交活动, 家庭, 同事和熟人.

这种情况正在产生影响:去年10月, 美国儿科学会, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children’s Hospital Association declared a state of emergency in child and adolescent mental health. 12月,美国.S. 外科医生. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory “to highlight the urgent need to address the nation’s youth mental health crisis.” Both statements cited the pandemic as accelerating already worrisome trends in mental health issues among young people.

There is not a student at Muhlenberg right now who has had anything resembling a typical college experience. 甚至在大流行之前,学院就认识到 支持学生心理健康. Now, it wants to ensure that it’s meeting this moment with resources tailored to the circumstances.

“目前有很多挑战, 与弹性,压力和倦怠有关, 这些诊断并不一定是治疗师只能帮助学生的. 它真的需要融入到emc体育网页版提供的所有教育机会中,负责大学生活的副校长兼学生会主任艾莉森·威廉姆斯说. “这些主题是复原力、解决问题和发展人际关系, all of that is going to be key to helping students find themselves and continue to develop through these really challenging times. It’s a matter of matching the skills that students are so desperately in need of to the opportunities that we have on campus, 包括课程和副课程.”


Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Transitions Steve Dutton has been instrumental in facilitating such opportunities. He moved into his current role just prior to the pandemic and already planned to overhaul the transition-to-college experience by ensuring first-year students were supported well beyond Orientation Weekend and also helping sophomores with the unique challenges they’ve always faced (declaring a major, 在校园组织中担任领导角色等等). The pandemic changed the nature of Dutton’s work: This year’s sophomores entered college in the fall of 2020, 当时他们是校园里唯一允许的完整班级, 他们的课程是远程进行的,社交机会有限.

自2017年以来, Muhlenberg has required first-year students to take a course called Foundations of Student Success. 教师通常是学生生活的工作人员, 课程内容建立在学生在迎新期间所学的基础上. It begins by asking students to define what success looks like for them and ends with students creating a success plan for the following semester. 在这两者之间, 主持人会介绍“如何上大学”,达顿说:学院提供哪些资源以及如何使用这些资源, 学生组织简介, 校园办公室概况.

“emc体育网页版试图回答三个问题:学生需要知道什么? 学生需要能够做什么? 学生应该有什么样的感受?达顿说. 如果emc体育网页版能彻底回答这三个问题, 学生们拥有成功所需的信息和归属感.”

This academic year was the first time the entire first-year class took this course in the fall semester—a critical change, 达顿说, 因为春天总是觉得太晚了,不能把这个信息传递给班上一半的人. 不需要双倍的协调人就能完成任务, the course changed from a twice-weekly format to meeting once a week and adding an “experiential learning component,,学生们选择做一些事情——参加讲座, 看表演, 参加一个俱乐部会议,并完成一项反思作业.

“This is helping us reach the objectives of this course by getting students connected to the community to experience something and learn from it,达顿说.

这学期, Dutton has organized weekly info-sessions (“First-Year Fridays”) on topics like community engagement, summer jobs and internships and the housing lottery to continue offering resources to members of the Class of 2025 as they move through their second semester. 对于大二的学生,他们一开始是 名为SOAR的亲身入职体验 (二年级新生入学及再联系), 达顿针对他们的需求组织了每周的SOAR成功系列课程. 

“It’s important that students know that we understand that their transition is constantly evolving, 新的挑战不断浮出水面, 这还是在非大流行时期,达顿说. “随着大流行的层次和复杂性的增加,情况会更加复杂.”


Foundations of Student Success introduces students to the mental health resources available on campus. 这些资源的中心,咨询服务,继续出类拔萃. 学生寻求心理咨询的等待时间仍然很短,不到五天, according to Director of Counseling Services Tim Silvestri ’91—and students report liking the counselors on staff. 

另外, there has been an intentional effort to bring on counselors that reflect the diverse student population at the College. 西尔维斯特里说:“与其他机构相比,emc体育网页版的员工非常多样化. “emc体育网页版这么做是因为这是优先事项——emc体育网页版知道这很重要.”

学院最近还与杰德基金会合作, 一个非营利组织与超过9个,000所高中和大学的目标是防止自杀. 这是一个在COVID发病之前的全国性问题.S. 卫生与公众服务部, 2007年至2018年期间,10至24岁年龄组的自杀率增加了57%.

 去年春天, partners from the Jed Foundation completed an assessment of campus that included a survey of students, an assessment of faculty and staff and a deep dive into the College’s health and wellness policies and practices. 从那, 他们在战略计划中提出了建议, 学院的工作小组正在决定执行哪些项目以及执行的顺序. 第一优先级, 学生支持服务主任米歇尔·保罗斯说, is “gatekeeper training” for faculty and staff—helping them learn to identify and assist students in distress.

学生们也越来越意识到 学院的校园评估、响应及评估小组保罗斯说,他们也更有可能向这些人伸出援手 其成员之一 代表自己或同伴. 对团队及其作用的了解在一年级和二年级的学生中增长尤其明显, 她把这归功于达顿在迎新会的工作, 学生成功的基础和超越.

“We’ve tried to market the CARE Team as this helpful connection to resources when you’re not sure who to connect with,保罗斯说. “这是为学生提供的全面支持系统. emc体育网页版故意把它放在那里.”

At the center of all the ways in which Muhlenberg is supporting student wellbeing is a recognition that what students need the most are opportunities to connect with faculty, 教职员工和同学们. That’s why it’s been so critical to find a way to safely bring students back to campus despite the continued complications of COVID, 威廉姆斯说:“当学生拥有师徒关系时,他们将会取得最大的成功, when they feel a great sense of hope in their own future and in the future of those around them and when they have really intentional engagement opportunities with others to develop their leadership skills and further hone their identities. 我经历了太多的变化、挑战、失去和创伤, 不仅仅是因为大流行, 但从过去几年发生的所有事情来看. 每一个学生, 我认为挑战略有不同, but [the solutions] all start with us bringing students back together in community and rebuilding a sense of connection and hope for them.”

SOAR included the candle-lighting tradition sophomores did not get to participate in as first-year students due to the pandemic.