First-Gen Retreat Planning: Tips, Strategies and Lessons Learned - E51-361
A workshop by Dr. Jamie D. Motley (College/University Admin, Wellesley College)
Proudly supported by
About this Workshop
Retreats can be a highly effective way to lay the foundation for community-building among college students. While retreats have multiple purposes and are a common practice for colleges and universities, they are particularly beneficial for First Gens, who might otherwise feel alone and disconnected from their institutions. With careful planning and coordination, retreats can help First Gens identify or form affinity groups that create a sense of belonging and enhance their overall college experience. Setting clear goals for a retreat, staying on budget, and involving student leaders in planning and facilitation are strategies that can increase the likelihood of a successful event. Providing participants with an opportunity to give feedback after the retreat can assist with assessment and making improvements for future retreats. This workshop will walk participants through these steps and more by discussing a recent overnight retreat that Wellesley College’s Office of Student Success sponsored for a group of FGLI students. There were 48 participants in the retreat overall: 39 first-year students, six student leaders, and three full-time staff. Highlights, challenges, tips for success and lessons learned will be discussed, and participants who have facilitated first-gen retreats at their institutions will also be invited to share their experiences.