The PVCC Education Department has not wasted any time creating new and innovative ways to welcome new students to their program during the pandemic. They kicked off the semester with a Virtual Envelope Stuffing Party. “We decorated the envelopes with free self-expression and wrote a little message to Education students promoting involvement in our Virtual Education Orientation,” said Angela Costa, an Education student and Education Leadership Board member.
The Education Program then collaborated with the Honors Program to host “Swing by for Swag.” Both Education and Honors students were invited to “swing” by PVCC for their program t-shirts, popsicles and other fun “swag.” Students stayed in their cars and were greeted by PVCC faculty and administration.
The Club Ed Leadership Board also planned and hosted its first Virtual Orientation for new students in October. The event included icebreakers in breakout rooms, a panel of educators, inspirational videos and a Q and A session with university transfer representatives and resource groups such as Honors, Counseling, and Student Life. The event was a big success with over 80 students in attendance.
And the activities and opportunities don’t stop there. Realizing the importance of staying connected during this challenging time, Meggin Kirk, Education Program Director says, “plans for the future include bi-weekly EDU Connect meetings where we will host a Trivia and Treats event, a Ted Talk event and more. We are also planning an outreach event to an elementary school.”
Kirk has also made it a priority to make sure her students are feeling connected and supported in the virtual classroom. She created a weekly reflection and check-in tool. One question students are asked is, “How are you feeling on a scale from 1 (barely hanging in there) to 5 (ready to take over the world)?” She says the check-ins have made a huge improvement to the class and that she has never felt more in touch with how students are doing.
Comments from Education students are a testament that these connections are creating a sense of belonging:
“I decided to join Club ED, and it has been a great experience for me. It has helped me be more social and meet new people by helping organize different events like the Envelope Stuffing Party.” --Alejandra Nunez Arellano, Education student & Education Leadership Board member
"Taking and adjusting to online classes has been a challenge, however, the involvement and connection that I have developed with Meggin and the Education team make all the difference. I feel extremely grateful to be surrounded by support, empathy, and warmth." --Angela Costa, Education student & Education Leadership Board member