ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

DWU receives $50K grant, plans to enhance current programs

A $50,000 grant will help Dakota Wesleyan University focus more on its core mission: learning, leadership, faith and service. Nearly everyone on campus can recite these four words, said Provost Joe Roidt, and thanks to the two-year NetVUE Program...

2798136+DWU1.jpg

A $50,000 grant will help Dakota Wesleyan University focus more on its core mission: learning, leadership, faith and service.

Nearly everyone on campus can recite these four words, said Provost Joe Roidt, and thanks to the two-year NetVUE Program Development Grant, the mission will be more intertwined with the all aspects of Dakota Wesleyan such as new student orientation and advising.

"We already do have a fairly strong community and culture here, but I'm hoping that it will strengthen that a little more and help us be more intentional about the things we do - more reflective and more aware of the culture that we're trying to cultivate instead of allowing it to happen perhaps less intentionally," Roidt said.

According to Roidt, the university was notified the campus was a successful candidate for the NetVUE grant in mid-November and now with the start of the spring semester, Roidt is hoping officials can begin plans for implementation by this coming fall semester.

The first aspect of the grant is to revise a new student orientation. Roidt said instead of the conventional "ice-breaker" activities conducted during orientation, the university hopes to try and focus the orientation with activities that instill the four values. Roidt said a reading group will be developed with faculty and staff and by the end of spring the group will attend a planning retreat, where they can design experiences for a new student orientation.

ADVERTISEMENT

The second part of the grant will help implement a sophomore seminar class, which will focus on the four core values and how student can explore them through various activities on campus. The class is still in a "visionary phase" right now, Roidt said, but the hope is for students to think about how they can plan their academic career around gaining more experiences focusing on learning, leadership, faith and service - whether this be on an athletic team or a student club.

The seminar class would be a common class for all sophomores on campus.

The third piece will be paying for a retreat for new faculty and staff, focusing on the values, but also on the "vocation and the calling of higher education, particularly working in a small, private college," Roidt said. This will lay out what faculty and staff should expect as far as working for the campus and living in the Mitchell community.

The final aspect of the grant will adjusting the advising model "in a more vocational direction" for Dakota Wesleyan. Instead of having students focused only on the classes they will be taking the following semester, but having them think about whether they are doing what's best for themselves, Roidt said. Roidt hopes by adjusting the way advising is done will have students looking at where they're going from DWU and to make sure their major is a "good fit."

"We don't want students to put their head down and be pushing through a curriculum if they don't feel a passion for it," Roidt said.

Roidt applied for the grant in early fall semester. Roidt, who started with the university in July, had previous experience with the NetVUE grant at a previous institution.

Roidt said a lot of the work and planning will be knocked out during the spring retreat. His hope is to have a lot of pieces "set and ready to go" by the beginning of the fall semester.

"In the sense, this is seed money to get some of these initiatives off the ground with the expectation that the university will continue to keep the initiatives in place once the grant has expired," Roidt said.

Related Topics: DAKOTA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY
What To Read Next
Members Only
“In our industry there aren’t a lot of young people in it. I like the fact that there are a lot of young people in agriculture here,” he said of the Mitchell area.
Members Only
After the departure of longtime superintendent Marje Kaiser and the hiring of Dan Trefz, who recently resigned, advocates say the specialty school needs help from lawmakers to reach its past heights.
Over the past year, the city has been mulling over bringing a secondary water source to Mitchell – a move Mayor Bob Everson said is aimed at positioning the city to grow.
At issue was the attendance at a legislative conference in Hawaii last December by Spencer Gosch and Jamie Smith.