Centre Compass Program 2015 prepares students for leadership

Posted by Centre News in News 16 Jul 2015

Centre Compass Program 2015Following last year’s successful program, Centre College again hosted its Centre Compass Program (CC2) for the incoming class of 2019.

The Compass program is an intensive one-week leadership orientation on Centre’s campus for rising first-years. The week features workshops and activities to foster a variety of skills that are critical for successful leadership, including self-awareness, diversity, service and communication. Students take a hands-on approach by also participating in field trips, film discussions and community service projects.

This year students heard from guest speakers, including Centre President John A. Roush, Assistant Director of the Center for Career and Professional Development Mindy Wilson and several alumni. They also visited Pioneer Playhouse to view the play Grounded, written by local author Angela Correll.

These valuable experiences during the program prepare students for their college years and post-graduation plans in many different ways, according to the assistant director of the program and Centre’s Director of Community Service Matthew Klooster.

“Through the leadership training activities, panels and experiences, incoming students work to develop an enhanced sense of self. They also cultivate and refine leadership skills that will allow them to enter college life with an enriched sense of responsibility for their own actions and the value of healthy relationships with others,” Klooster said.

Over 30 members of the incoming class participated in Centre Compass this summer, forging close ties with each other even before classes began and taking a beneficial step in the life of a first-year student.

“Our student participants bond in an extraordinary way, and these relationships function as an important and impactful support system as our first-year students adapt to college life,” Klooster explained.

Associate Dean and Director of the Grissom Scholars Program and Student Leadership Sarah Scott Hall, who directs the program, noted that the event is unique to Centre in that it fosters both group development and individual goal setting.

“The students become empowered by realizing their own potential, which is compounded by having the support and encouragement of those around them,” she said.

By participating, incoming first-years spend time getting to know the Danville and Centre College communities as well as one another. The week also offers essential preparative advice and insight to Centre’s newest class before they dive into studies.

“We provide a series of panels that allow students to hear the stories of community and campus leaders, while also garnering wisdom from Centre students, both current and alumni, about navigating the liberal arts and undergraduate environments,” Klooster continued.

Meant to be a springboard for success at Centre and beyond, the program will continue throughout the year with periodic group meetings and individual sessions to help students reach their goals, whether they are academic, service-oriented or address other innovative ideas.

“Students learn that there isn’t only one way to make positive changes, and that we are more effective when we work together, utilizing everyone’s different strengths,” Hall said.

Participant Lauren Helm ’19 considers the program fundamental.

“The experiences I had at Centre Compass have made me comfortable, confident and excited for the upcoming year. My advice to incoming students: don’t miss it!”

by Morgan King ’16 and Elise L. Murrell
July 16, 2015