Transfer students only make up a portion of JMU students. The stats tell me we enrolled 739 transfers this past fall. Comparing that to our incoming first-year student class of 4,541, they are a small percentage (almost 14%) of our incoming students. However, just because they aren’t the majority, doesn’t mean our services and resources should drastically change. Right?
Every fall, our incoming first-year students start the academic year with a six-day welcome week program (1787 August Orientation) to assist in the transition to college. Our transfer students have a similar program that is three days (Transfer 1787 August Orientation). Orientation in collaboration with a variety of campus partners offers up what looks like a typical day in college: academic-related programs during the day and social programming at night. One of the Thursday programs is It’s Complicated, a workshop focused on developing ethical reasoning skills through discussing a scenario with a small group while utilizing the Eight Key Questions.
Starting this fall, our transfer students will have the option to attend an It’s Complicated session. To better prepare, I co-facilitated a workshop for our Transfer Orientation Peer Advisers so they were aware of the #8KQ and how to use them effectively, but also so they could have meaningful conversations with their transfer students during Transfer 1787 and beyond. With the Transfer Student Staff Graduate Assistant we brought two employment-related scenarios to their class. After introducing the #8KQ and how it relates to everyday life, we went through the scenarios that could impact their team. Below are some of the questions the students grappled with to make their decisions about covering for a coworker during training.
- Is it fair to ask your coworker/peer/friend to cover for you in a mandatory training?
- What occurs if I miss training?
- How will my missing training affect my ability to work with transfer students?
- What was on my contract that I signed to be employed? Am I breaking my contract?
- Am I being my best authentic self by putting a coworker/peer/friend in a tough situation like this?
- What will my boss think? Will I still have a job/boss?
Do you have a group of employed or volunteer staff who would benefit from a workshop focused on ethical reasoning? Please reach out! We’d love to assist!