Transitioning and Thriving at JBU
It is our desire to have students who are thriving at JBU. "Student Success" is a campus-wide effort (administration, faculty, and staff) to create an environment in which students can experience JBU's mission that "prepares people to honor God and serve others by developing their intellectual, spiritual, and professional lives". We want for them to be engaged learners who are working towards a degree and a vocation in the classroom and to experience holistic developmental growth outside the classroom. However, we understand that there are many obstacles that stand between the day they arrive for orientation and the day they walk across the stage wearing a cap and gown. These obstacles can take a variety of forms, and if they are not overcome, can prevent students from reaching their goal of graduating from JBU.
There are individuals as well as student populations who have unique needs and encounter unique challenges because of the circumstances involved. Examples of populations who often experience circumstantial challenges include commuters, transfers, first-generation students, internationals, and athletes.
There are also experiential obstacles that students could potentially encounter at any point in college and include academic struggles, financial aid concerns, roommate concerns, uncertainty about their major, physical or mental health concerns, etc.
The population of students who often face the most significant obstacles to overcome are our first-year students. JBU is new for this population, and the transition can provide unique challenges inside and outside the classroom. Common academic transition concerns include adjusting to the rigor of JBU coursework, poor study skills and study habits, time management, first time seeing a lower paper or exam grade, and being overwhelmed by the amount of homework. Common non-academic transition concerns include struggling to make friends, roommate compatibility, struggling to make important connections with faculty and staff, and making frequent trips home that slow down the acclimation process.
Many formal (orientation, the Gateway first-year seminar course, Residence Life programming, and first-year student chapel service) and informal efforts are made by the faculty and staff to help our students successfully transition into life as a JBU student. Our efforts won't always prevent the aforementioned obstacles, but we will gladly walk alongside and support each student as they learn and grow from these experiences.
Other Helpful Links
First-Year Student Parents as Partners
Parents of first-year students, we would enjoy the opportunity to partner with you as you also experience the transition of becoming a parent of a first-year student. We have created a blog that we hope will help you learn more about what first-year students are experiencing throughout the year, gain knowledge of common transition concerns, and create opportunities to think through what it looks like to parent a first-year student well. Contributors to the blog include current first-year students as they share about their experiences, sophomores as they look back and reflect, JBU faculty/staff, and willing parents of first-year students as they share the wisdom and insight gained from their experiences. Hopefully this blog will be a helpful resource for you.
Contact Austin Robertson, Coordinator of Student Success