By Joseph Cotton, Education & Enrichment Coordinator
As faculty members across campus work to retool Road Through Xavier (RTX), leaders are thinking of ways to make experiential learning opportunities more accessible to students. One part of this initiative is the new RTX Advising Guide.
“(The Advising Guide) is based on an institutional initiative and is designed to drive more students towards these experiences,” Director of the Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning Sean Rhiney said. “I think the real intention of this document is to highlight these experiences and provide direct action for students who are interested in them.”
The document is divided into three different sections: Immersive Learning, Vocational Discernment and Undergraduate Research and Capstones.
Immersive Learning refers to internships, study abroad opportunities, services learning courses and other initiatives which directly immerse students into a subject matter. The document details the steps a student should take in order to take advantage of the different programs that are offered each year.
According to Rhiney, one of the most difficult parts of directing students toward high-impact experiences is that they are a part of many different departments across the university. This can make it confusing for students who are unsure what steps to take to access these programs.
“We know as educators that these are transformative experiences, and they complement the whole academic experience,” Rhiney said. “They’re going to prepare you, whether your goal is grad school, a job or some other next step.”
Rev. Abby King-Kaiser, director of the Center for Faith and Justice, compared the document to a menu where students can access resources that connect them to different forms of community engaged learning.
“It’s more like a menu and not a checklist,” King-Kaiser said. “We want you to create your own experiences that help you get the most out of your Xavier experience.”
King-Kaiser also talked about the need to be more intentional about the ways that the university incorporates vocational discernment into student advising.
“Vocational discernment is challenging because there is no one (program) that we can plug students into,” King-Kaiser said. “We want to create a whole culture of vocational discernment.”