Alumni Network Programming For the 2020-2021 School Year

With many college campuses starting virtually in the fall, the Alumni Network is ready to support students with stronger partnerships, new ways to connect, and events tailored to the online environment.

This year the Alumni Network is focusing on strengthening university partnerships and establishing formalized systems of support for incoming and returning college students. Now more than ever it is important to tune into student’s needs as many begin their first year of college or continue their college experience from their homes rather than a dorm room. This “non-traditional” way of engaging their educational journeys will be an adjustment for many students and as such, strengthening our existing partnerships with universities will ensure that the Alumni Network continues to support our students in persistence toward graduation.

In addition to these partnerships, the Alumni Network is finding innovative ways to connect alumni with each other virtually. The team recently launched a GroupMe to connect all first-year students to one another as a place to share resources and utilize each other for support. With heightened Summer Melt due to COVID-19, this new way to connect creates a space of  encouragement and support for students to ensure a smooth transition to college. 60 students have already signed up and older program graduates have also joined in to serve as informal mentors to the incoming class at their respective universities.

This fall and spring semesters the Alumni Network will host a variety of virtual events for all alumni to support their educational, professional, and personal journeys. These include virtual office hours, networking events, RC Real Talks, and virtual events held by campus ambassadors at UCSD, SDSU, and CSUSM. The Alumni Network team will also host College Forums and avCollege Choice Mentorship program for current High School seniors to support their college decision making process. 

No matter where students find themselves this fall, the Alumni Network is here to support. Here are a few of the team’s tips for success this year:

  1. Be patient and kind with yourself. After a summer impacted by COVID-19, it might take you a while to adjust to formal learning in addition to multi-tasking college and at-home responsibilities. Know that it will take time. You are not alone in this.
  2. Re-establish routines. Going back into the routine of reading, writing, and participating in classes is going to be a challenge. Start by re-establishing when you need to go to bed at night and when you need to get up in the morning two or three weeks before your classes start. 
  3. Ask for support. Utilize your campus resources. These are included in the tuition you pay, so take advantage of them. Whether it’s checking in with your professor during their office hours, utilizing your tutoring center, setting up an appointment with a campus therapist, or visiting the food pantry, all these resources are available to you. All resources will continue to be available whether you will be attending in person or virtually. If you would like some guidance on how to seek out these resources please reach out to the Alumni Network, we are happy to help.

Katie Craig

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