Support During the First Year
Navigators facilitate a supportive transition into college by serving as big brothers and sisters to freshmen. Navigators connect with scholars in the summer and walk with them throughout their first year.
The Navigator-Scholar Relationship
Navigators and scholars maintain contact during the first year by checking in regularly and attending Bulldog Scholars Academy (BSA) and university-sponsored events. Consistent contact ensures that scholars have support navigating social issues and connecting with campus resources.
Navigators commit to:
- helping students transition into college by serving as mentors in Bulldog Scholars Academy and/or participating in outreach activities during the summer.
- welcoming students to campus during move-in and at the start of the semester,
- checking in with scholars by phone or in person once a week,
- attending a minimum of three BSA or university-sponsored events with scholars,
- referring scholars to campus resources,
- building community,
- ensuring that scholars meet matriculation-related deadlines (e.g. advising, FAFSA)
- participating in training and professional development activities during the summer and throughout the academic year,
- role modeling integrity and trustworthiness, and
- documenting navigator-scholar interactions.
Scholars commit to:
- participating in weekly check-ins with a navigator,
- attending a minimum of three BSA or university-sponsored events with navigator, and
- sharing feedback about Operation Navigation with BSA staff.
Becoming a Navigator
Undergraduates who will have earned 45 credits by the beginning of the fall 2021 semester and meet the standards outlined below are invited to apply to serve as navigators. We are looking for individuals who successfully navigated work-life balance during their first year and are eager to share their experiences with new students. Navigators have:
- earned a 3.0 cumulative grade point average or above
- obtained a minimum of 45 credits by the beginning of the fall semester,
- full-time undergraduate or graduate student status,
- no judicial or residence life infractions,
- demonstrated leadership potential, and
- ability to commit to a full academic year of service.
Partnering with a Navigator
Incoming freshmen who wish to be paired with a navigator should fill out this form: (coming soon!) Navigators and scholars will be matched according to major and interests.
Benefits of Participating in Operation Navigation
Being a navigator is a rewarding experience. This opportunity cultivates a better sense of self and stronger leadership skills. Just as importantly, navigators have access to the following:
- professional development (learn both the intricacies of being a mentor and the habits of mind associated with professionalism),
- leadership development (learn about and cultivate your strengths),
- Branded gear (show off with one-of-a-kind swag), and
Scholars who participate in Operation Navigation have an advantage over their peers. Most freshmen are on their own to figure out how to access support services, when to apply for financial aid, the benefits of joining organizations, how to resolve conflicts with roommates, and much more. Navigators have experience in these areas and can offer guidance and support. Some of the many benefits of participating include:
- receiving support from someone who successfully navigated the freshman year;
- receiving referrals to support services and other campus resources;
- networking with peers in similar majors;
- being involved in a community dedicated to uplift;
- receiving reminders about important dates and deadlines;
- having someone to talk to who cares about your success.