week 10 coaching course

This posting is later than usual, but I wanted to make sure that I had a few examples to share before I delivered the post.

This week, students are required to create either the Major/Career/Calling Exploration Poster (freshmen and sophomores) or the Calling Connection Mind Map (juniors and seniors).  In a nutshell, the students take their meaningful work statement – a statement that defines how they plan to use their interests, talents, and gifts to serve something bigger than themselves (most likely, a particular audience) in order to make a positive impact/change in the world.

For the Major/Career/Calling Exploration Poster, they typically include these twelve items on their Poster:

  1. Meaningful Work Statement.
  2. List TWO majors that are related to their meaningful work statement.  They select one to be their primary major (Plan A) and one to be their secondary choice (Plan B).  Since about 90% of the students in our School are in programs that require a secondary admission process, we have them list a second major in case the first option doesn’t work out.
  3. List the secondary admission requirements for your primary major, which may include GPA, specific course requirements, application deadlines, etc.
  4. List a minor or two that you might be interested in pursuing; also place put the number of credits for that minor (in parentheses) next to each minor of choice.
  5. (Optional) List fun courses (if any) that you might like to take.
  6. Two parts:
    1. From the web site “What Could I Do With a Major In…” list at least one area of interest, at least five typical employers for that area of interest, and at least three strategies that would enhance your chances to be employed in that particular area.
    2. From the web site “Payscale.com,” list the average starting salary and the mid career salary for your primary major.
  7. List the all of the required courses for the 4-year program of study for your primary major, as well the courses you plan to take for the 2019 Spring Semester.
  8. (Optional) List the name of the graduate program you’re interested in pursuing and three schools that have your particular program.  You may also want to include any pre-admission requirements for that program.
  9. List at least one students organization and one professional organization that you could join related to your meaningful work statement and/or primary major.
  10. (Optional) List one country where you could Study Abroad and at least one programs or institutions that you’d be interested in attending.
  11. List at least one internship/apprenticeship experience you could pursue related to your meaningful work statement or primary major.
  12. List at least one business start-up or side hustle business you would be interested in creating, whether while enrolled in college and/or after you complete your degree.

Note: Visit the class web site (https://thedreamdean.com/life-design-program/hhs125-design-your-life-i-what-could-i-do-with-my-life/, Week 9) to see the specific links to each section of the Poster.

For the Calling Connection Mind Map, they have to include a minimum of 30 different items, with a minimum of at least 4 different items from these five areas:

  1. Business
  2. Creative
  3. Scientific/Research
  4. Social/Political
  5. Education/Teaching

Students are asked to find a classmate they have yet to meet; each pair is then provided 10 minutes (5 minutes each) to share their Poster/Mind Map with their partner.  Almost every pair has been engaged in conversations for the full 10 minutes; in other classes, some of our coaches shared that conversations have lasted up to 20 minutes.  It’s refreshing to see the level of interest students have in sharing their plans for the future.

I’ll post sample pictures of posters at the end of this post.

After the poster presentations, we ask how many students have changed their majors, plan to change their major, or transfer to another school.  In almost every class, at least 3-5 students indicate that they plan to switch or change institutions – and we haven’t even completed the course yet!  Hence the need for this week to be done BEFORE they start college!

In the second half of class, we let them know that the rest of this class and the next class will be devoted to students writing their “Personal Philosophy,” a statement that defines how they plan to live their best life.  To being this process, we show them Steve Tomlinson’s TED Talk, “Choose Your Own Adventure: Career!”  He shares FANTASTIC wisdom of how young people should view the career exploration journey – not as a path that’s straight and defined by institutions, but a mixture of interests and gifts that must be cultivated into something meaningful and inspirational.  If you haven’t seen it, here’s the link:

Awesome talk, awesome message.  Remember, “Don’t Discard.”

After the video, they are asked to complete 8 sentences that define their personal manifesto.  The activity, taken from Andrea Owen’s book, “How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t.”  The 8 sentence completions statements are:

  • I believe in…
  • In my heart of hearts, I…
  • I am passionate about…
  • Here’s what I know for sure…
  • I stand for…
  • I love…
  • I am on this Earth to…
  • I will love myself by…

Here’s an example of the personal manifesto from one of my male African American first-year students:

  • I believe in self-expression and equality because these things promote peace.
  • In my heart of hearts, I love and care for everyone no matter the situation or adversity.
  • I am passionate about finding happiness outside of sex, money, and power.
  • Here’s what I know for sure that one day I will have a unique impact on society, shifting the perspectives of many.
  • I stand for being true to myself and honest with others.
  • I love the idea of a refreshing perspective and personality that changes lives for the better.
  • I am on this Earth to provide my unique positive energy through God in order to awaken new meaning in people’s lives.
  • I will love myself by loving others and finding happiness through promoting peace because I have now found inner peace.

He decided to share this with class – and received an ovation for sharing such profound words.  I was honored and humbled to be his instructor and coach; in fact, we shared a hug after class!

If I didn’t know my purpose in life before, it surely came up in this activity today.  Thank you for allowing me to share and for you taking the time to read.

Major/Career/Calling Exploration Posters

Wednesday classes
















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