Ideals into Practice is a Wesleyan University program that allows students to use an online portfolio to make connections between everything they are learning across academic disciplines, as well as with the practical experience they gain through campus employment, extracurricular activities, community service, athletics, study abroad and off campus internships. If you are supervising an Ideals into Practice student in their campus employment, you should plan to meet with them at least twice a semester to discuss their progress on their portfolio. If you are advising Ideals into Practice students–formally or informally–they may give you access to this portfolio in order to facilitate conversation about how their interests and skills are developing during their time at Wesleyan.
To begin the discussion, ideally at the start of the semester or their working relationship with you, ask the four questions listed below and in this video.
- What are you hoping to learn from this experience?
- How do you see this work as complementing your academic, extracurricular, or career interests?
- What is the best way to give you feedback and support you to ensure your success in this role?
- Of the six Ideals into Practice competencies, which do you feel play to your strengths or past experiences, and which do you feel need more development?
At the end of the semester, revisit the same themes with:
- What do you feel you learned from this experience?
- How did this work complement your academic, extracurricular, or career interests?
- What could I have done differently to support you in your role?
- Looking at the six Ideals into Practice competencies, where do you feel you developed the most this semester through your work here?
Here are some additional questions you may wish to ask to further the conversation:
How have you gone about choosing your courses thus far? What factors are influencing your decisions about next semester?
How did you decide what to get involved with on campus? What has your experience been like?
If you could start your time at Wesleyan over, what, if anything, would you do differently?
Are you feeling pressure to make decisions about your future? Where is that pressure coming from? How are you responding to it?
There are many ways that Wesleyan alumni have chosen to make a difference in the world. Do you feel drawn to any particular fields? Have you ruled any out? On what basis have you made those determinations?
We hope that this video will help you work with your Ideals into Practice student. If you have any questions about Ideals into Practice, see our website or e-mail Sharon Belden Castonguay, Chair of the Ideals into Practice steering committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.