Kelsey Coleman '18

Major: Sport Business
Hometown:Rittman, Ohio

I feel very honored to have professors that really want to see me succeed in life and will help me with almost any problem I have. 

Exceptional Beginnings

Exceptional Beginnings is part of an ongoing and multi-faceted transition process involving academic, intellectual and personal development pursuits for new students. It is a University-wide first year experience program with the mission of helping each first-year student transition from high school to college by providing a supportive community in which to learn and grow, encouraging academic excellence through co-curricular learning, fostering the development of the whole student and developing a connection with the Mount Union community.

Raider Guides
As part of this program, new students will be split into groups during fall orientation. Those groups will be the same students in their First Year Seminar, and that group will work with an upper-class student mentor called a Raider Guide. The Raider Guides’ primary role is to facilitate the creation of a positive relationships with the members of their Exceptional Beginnings group and to serve as a resource and mentor for the students in their group.

Educational Objectives of Exceptional Beginnings
Along with peer mentoring, there are other education objectives for the Exceptional Beginnings program, which are listed below.

  1. Taking Responsibility for Your Education and Life (Designator: R)
    1. Taking advantage of academic support opportunities, including locating and utilizing resources and developing a network of support so that students can seek help when it's needed
    2. Taking advantage of both curricular and co-curricular learning opportunities on campus
  2. Making Responsible Decisions (Designator: D)
    1. Financial responsibility
    2. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle (as related to alcohol, drug, or substance use and abuse as well as nutrition and physical health)
    3. Developing strategies for maintaining mental and emotional wellness (reducing anxiety, finding balance, etc.)
  3. Engaging In and Getting Involved on Campus (Designator: I)
    1. Campus and organization events designed to educate on a topic or expose students to additional perspectives
    2. Campus and organization events designed to educate on a topic or expose students to additional perspectives
    3. Fine arts performances
    4. Diversity programming and events

Raider Challenge

Exceptional Beginnings programs are offered to all first-year students, and the Raider Guide will encourage them to participate. However, first year students will also have the opportunity to opt-in to the Raider Challenge. Opting in will give students the opportunity to earn extra housing points as well as the chance to win upgraded semester-end prizes. To opt-in to the Raider Challenge, click here

After opting in to the Raider Challenge, a first-year student must attend seven Exceptional Beginnings programs. Though students can double-up in an educational objective, they must attend at least one program from each of the 3 educational objectives listed above. Each program listed on the Exceptional Beginnings event calendar has been assigned one of the three objectives using the “Designator” listed above.

A list of Exceptional Beginnings events can be found on iRaider as well as the Mount Union Guide app, Orientation: Mount Union guide. To download the Mount Union Guide, follow the link below for your type of mobile device and then download the Exceptional Beginnings guide:

Android Users

iPhone Users

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