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Mount Union College LS 100 Mentors Attand Training for the Coming Semester

August 15, 2003

Members of the Mount Union College faculty and staff serving as LS 100 mentors for the 2003-2004 Academic Year met for a training session on Friday to prepare for the coming semester.

 

Mentors learned about the importance of the first year experience for students and discussed the differences and similarities between LS100 at Mount Union College and other schools. Also, the training focused on the different student and academic services on campus that can be used as resources for students.

"We have a lot of wonderful people on campus who are willing to lend students a hand," Deborah Lotsof, associate professor of theatre and director of the LS 100 mentor training program, said. "Student and academic services include the Academic Support Center, Career Development, Counseling Services and the Office of the Chaplain, to name a few. It's a team effort."

The theme for this year's LS 100 curriculum is "First Contact: A New Life, A New Community," and is based on the required reading for incoming freshmen, "The Sparrow," by Mary Doria Russell. Lotsof believes that the novel is an excellent reflection of LS 100.

"When I read it, it blew me away," she said. "Its plotline about starting a new life is definitely consistent with what happens when students enter college."

The purpose of LS 100 is to help freshmen make the transition from high school to college. Throughout the course, students are typically required to write journal entries, attend convocations and have small group meetings.

"The journals are a way for students and mentors to interact with each other one-on-one, while providing a bit of a safe distance," Lotsof said. "Students can communicate their feelings and thoughts without actually talking face-to-face."

Since last spring semester, Lotsof; Michelle Gaffney, director of residence life; and Dr. Carol Canavan, assistant to the dean of academic affairs have been working together to plan the LS 100 curriculum. Lotsof hopes the work they did, along with the guidance of the 45 LS 100 mentors, will offer to students some of the skills that will help them prosper at the College.

"Sometimes we forget how scary and overwhelming college can be," Lotsof said. "LS 100 helps ease some of the tension and gives students sort of a guiding light through their first year."

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