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Advocating for the Pursuit of Purpose: Encouraging Student Involvement and Engagement to Foster a Deepened Sense of Calling

Kirsten-Ten-Hawken--150x150.pngPresenter: Kirsten Dawn TenHaken

Institution: Taylor University

Professional Title: Graduate Student

Kirsten TenHaken is a graduate student for a Master’s in Higher Education and Student Development at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.

 


Abstract

Despite varying degrees of college readiness, recent literature demonstrates an increasing trend among incoming freshman: most students are in search of a personal sense of calling upon their lives. As college students are asking the deeper questions of meaning and purpose, the role of higher education and student affairs practitioners is significant in encouraging students to pursue forms of involvement and engagement that offer opportunities for exploration of their callings. Using national data from The Freshman Survey and the College Senior Survey out of the Higher Education Research Institute, this program will describe forms of involvement and engagement that are associated with a deepened sense of calling among graduating seniors. This research will be synthesized with a review of relevant literature (from Astin, Kuh, Palmer and others) to inform the presentation of a program that will equip practitioners to advocate for college students’ pursuit of purpose.

Learning outcomes:

  • describe basic trends related to college students’ pursuit of purpose as well as the forms of involvement and engagement that are associated with a deepened sense of calling
  • advocate for college students’ application of values through their pursuit of meaning and purpose