Centre Compass program provides incoming students with lessons in leadership

Posted by Centre News in Community Service, News, Summer Programs 19 Jul 2017

Compass students in front of Old CentreThirty-two incoming first-year students from 11 different states explored campus this July as part of the Centre Compass Program.

Started in 2014, this program aims to develop leadership skills in rising first-year students. Participants learn critical-thinking and interpersonal skills, familiarize themselves with campus and bond with peers in their incoming class. They attend daily workshops on leadership skills such as self-awareness, diversity and problem solving.

Along with these workshops, students take part in field trips, community service events and interactive projects. They also discuss films and listen to guest lecturers. Compass Program students

This year’s speakers included the College’s president, John A. Roush, and other members of the administration; Rodman King, associate vice president for academic affairs and diversity initiatives; and Greg Chery, director of community service and the Bonner program; and faculty and local community leaders.

This year, the program’s directors include Matthew Klooster, assistant professor for biology and environment studies; Sarah Scott Hall, director of the Grissom Scholars Program; and Anne Evans, former assistant director of residence life. These directors firmly believe the program prepares students of all kinds for leadership on Centre’s campus.

“Sarah, Anne and I believe that all people have the gifts, strengths and capacity to become influential leaders,” Klooster says. “We find this to be particularly true for Centre College students who have a knack for being self-reflective and a deep desire to grow into their greatest selves while making our world a better place.”

This intensive week served as a springboard for the 32 new students, forming an important foundation for their next four years at Centre.

“We saw a need for students to be intentional about the college experience,” Hall says. “We hope that students come back in the fall feeling prepared.”

To support attendees, the Centre Compass Program gave out $10,000 in aid and scholarships to this year’s students.

Past participants have cited the program as an unparalleled experience that helped them create lasting friendships and caring communities.

“At the final banquet, several students acknowledged how nervous they had been about coming to Centre in the fall and how they now felt more comfortable. It was nice to hear how they felt about the program,” adds Hall.

“It is our hope that the Centre Compass program will help these students with the process of developing into the service-minded, influential leaders we know they will become,” Klooster concludes.

By Kathleen Murphy ’18
August 4, 2017