what is connections?

<p>could someone give me an overview of what Connections is? The internet is not helpful.</p>

<p>My son, who just finished his Freshman year, describes it as a course given the first semester by upper classmen to help you acclimate to life at Goucher. It is mandatory.</p>

<p>FWIW, here's what the catalog says:</p>

<p>"Connections is a required first-semester course that continues the orientation process and helps students as they draw connections between what goes on inside the classroom and experiences in life outside of class. First-year students are introduced to people and resources throughout the Goucher community that can be used as navigational tools as they get acquainted with the college. They also begin to form a learning community in which participants come to know one another, develop a sense of respect for different viewpoints, and learn the value of individual responsibility and accountability. All incoming first-year students must pass this course to be eligible for graduation with the exception of Goucher II students, who are exempt from this requirement."</p>

<p>Although it's referred to as a course, it does not bear credit.</p>

<p>Hi Sarahflera! I know you posted this question a while ago, but hopefully this will still be heplful, or else help someone else!</p>

<p>I am a senior French major at Goucher College- and I also am a Connections Peer Facilitator. Essentially, I “teach” a connections class. This is my second year participating in the program.</p>

<p>Nightchef’s excerpt from the catalogue is a great brief description of the course. The way I typically describe is: Connections is an extension of orientation that lasts about 9 weeks. It’s goal is to provide a safe and comfortable place to help first years transition from life at home and high school to life in college. It is taught by peers (upperclassmen who go through an interview and training process) so that the freshmen can get perhaps a more relevant view of student life than they would from a faculty member. The class meets for an hour once a week, and 3-4 times during this chunk of the semester they meet earlier to listen to a speaker.</p>

<p>The topics covered include but are not limited to: Goucher’s community principles (respect, responsibility, inclusion, service & social justice, & communication [Goucher</a> College: Mission Statement](<a href=“http://goucher.edu/x23242.xml#community]Goucher”>http://goucher.edu/x23242.xml#community)), sex drugs & alcohol on campus, time management, resources, dorm life, diversity, stress, adjustment/dealing with homesickness, social life (clubs, things to do off campus, etc.), fitting in, etc.</p>

<p>The 3 speakers this year include Mohammed Bilal, who presented his 12 Steps Towards Appreciating diversit, Bob Stutman, “What did I Take? How Do I Know? What Does it
Do? The Truth Behind legal and Illegal Drugs I May or May Not
Have Taken", he is a former DEA agent who spoke about the cold hard facts about drugs and taught us to be more informed about our decisions, and finally Mike Domirtz will talk next week in a event entitled “Can I Kiss You?”. </p>

<p>Finally, the students must go through a program called Alcohol Edu, where they learn various important facts and information about alcohol consumption in college and then must pass a test at the end. The program also offers interesting statistics about Goucher College specifically, so that the students can see where their school stands as far as alcohol use, abuse, opinions, habits, etc. </p>

<p>I think very highly of Connections (hence me teaching it twice!) and very much enjoy being a part of it. I think it’s a great way to engage first year students in a smaller sub-community within the greater Goucher community where they can feel safe and supported during a potentially difficult transition. My main goal as a peer facilitator is to have each student in my class leave with a bit more confidence in his or herself that the student knows that he or she has the potential and ability to succeed and Goucher, and knows how to find help when needed. I feel that all of my students last year gained something from the course, even if they did not necessarily enjoy spending an hour each week in a no-credit class. </p>

<p>If anyone has any more questions about Connections, the first year experience at Goucher, or any general questions about college for me, please don’t hesitate to send a private message or reply to this thread!</p>

<p>Good luck to all the seniors this year applying to colleges!</p>