Dean of Students spearheads passport program to unite both students and faculty
By Meghan Zea /// News Editor
The Pioneer Passport to Leadership program was started this year by Dean of Students Anna Gonzalez in an effort to provide students with important leadership skills for post-college job searches.
Arianna Figueroa (’16) was the Dean of Students’ intern responsible for planning the program. She and worked over the summer to contact faculty and ask that they facilitate seminars and workshops for students to learn and develop leadership skills.
The Passport to Leadership Program requires students to attend seven different workshops throughout the school year. The leadership program is centered around four different tracks from the Student Life foundations: Leadership, Career, Diversity and Wellness. Candidates are required to take a core seminar from each field. Students must take Leadership for Social Change for the Leadership track, Action Tools for Allies for the Diversity track, Getting What You Want From Sleep for the Wellness track and an elective seminar in the Career track. Students are given passports to track completion; after a student attends an event, his or her passport is stamped to show attendance.
At the end of Spring semester, a celebratory meal will be held with the facilitators, the Dean of Students office and the students who successfully completed the program. Most notably, students who complete the program receive a certificate and honors upon graduation. Additionally, the certificate is held by the Dean of Students office after graduation.
Figueroa claims that the program is a way for students to seem more marketable in the job search process.
“The [Passport to Leadership program] is something tangible,” Figueroa said. “It’s something outside the classroom that students can add into their portfolio of skills. Employers can look at [the certificate] as something real.”
A concern that both Gonzalez and Figueroa considered was making the program’s time commitment reasonable enough to fit into students’ busy schedules. Figueroa assures that the average LC student can handle the workload because “the workshops are [a] minimum of an hour to [an] hour and a half” and the “mandatory seminars are spread out over the school year,” which helps students plan ahead.
Tomas Yanez (’17) is happy to be involved in the new leadership program because it inspires awareness of diversity in his classmates.
“Some of the kids come to college without being aware of their surroundings,” Yanez said. “Going to [Passport to Leadership] workshops where you learn to be aware of other cultures lets you leave being able to better communicate with diverse people.”
Gonzalez and Figueroa have built the program to look towards future installments and growth.
“Our goal is to make a good core program that expands each year,” Gonzalez said. “We want more sessions with administrators and students, so that students can see how excited the facilitators are about their journey.”
Students who would like to get involved are encouraged to go to the LC Dean of Students website, where a full schedule for the Fall and some Spring seminars for the Passport to Leadership program are listed.