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This teleforum was recorded March 1, 2017.
Length: 35 minutes
Introduction and Q&A
Sarah Visser, vice president for student life; and TaRita Johnson, director of career center; present the Calvin LifeWork program.
- General program questions
- Related to Majors
- Commitment of time
- Program eligibility
- Miscellaneous questions
General program questions
- When did the Calvin LifeWork program begin?
The program began in the fall 2017 for first year, full-time students.
- Is the program required in order to graduate from Calvin?
No, this is an optional, co-curricular program and has no ties to graduation.
- How does the $3000 scholarship work?
For students who stick with the program, the scholarship is applied in a student's fourth year of full-time study at Calvin, dispersed at $1500 for each semester. If a student graduates after the first semester of the fourth year, that student will receive $1500 of scholarship and will forfeit the second half of the scholarship.
- Is there a limit on the number of students who can participate or a cost to participate?
There is not a limit to the number of students, and there is no extra cost to participating in this program.
- How is this program different from career coaching?
Calvin LifeWork is a prescribed program designed and packaged in yearly segments. While several of the program's training modules are available on an ad hoc basis within the Career Center, Calvin LifeWork is comprehensive and features additional training in leadership and personal finance. A $3,000 scholarship is available in the fourth year for those students who complete the required modules in years one through three.
- How/when do I get in the program?
You will be provided with multiple opportunities to enroll in the program before it officially kicks off early in the fall semester of your first year. While we auto-enroll incoming first year students, you'll need to confirm your interest in the program by accepting student agreement terms. You'll have the whole month of September to sign the agreement, and we'll remind you regularly.
- I'm already a student at Calvin. Can I join Calvin LifeWork?
Current students are not eligible for the scholarship incentive but will be able to participate in all of the in-person trainings.
- What is PathwayU and what role does it play in Calvin LifeWork?
Calvin’s Career Center uses PathwayU (formerly known as jobZology), a career-related assessment developed by vocational psychologists, to help students explore career paths that will be satisfying based on the student’s interests, values, personality and workplace preferences. The assessment links students to careers and job openings that fit their profile as well as predicted outlooks for each field. All students in Calvin LifeWork will complete PathwayU near the beginning of the program. This assessment can guide students as they select their major, make career plans and develop their sense of call.
- How does a student get an internship through Calvin LifeWork?
Students can find many internship postings on Handshake, and career coaches help students pursue internships that interest them all over the globe. Internships provide a great way for students to test out career options. As long as the student completes one internship or research project, typically by the summer after their junior year, this requirement of the program is satisfied.
Related to majors
- Is this program only for students who are still deciding on a major?
No, this program is available for all incoming students including those who know, think they know or don't know what their major will be. The goal of the program is to prepare students for life after Calvin regardless of major.
- The focus of the first year programming is related to discovery. I already know what I want to major in, so is the programming still relevant for me?
The first year is focused on discovering your vocation beyond just your major or what job you will pursue. We see a student’s primary vocation as who they are in Christ. This year will help you understand your primary calling and how that aligns with all aspects of your life. An assessment like PathwayU provides a unique opportunity to think about how personality, skills, and workplace preferences inform how you navigate through a variety of life contexts as well as to refine your career goals. This discovery is relevant to all students, regardless of major or career path.
- Does my intended major affect the program requirements?
No, the program is not academic, it is co-curricular. The training modules equip students in the areas of vocation, career-readiness, leadership and personal finance—all topics essential for career and life readiness.
- Does the Calvin LifeWork program focus only on certain careers?
Not at all, it’s open for everyone. Programming will be relevant to all students regardless of major.
Commitment of time
- How much commitment is involved with this program?
There are approximately eight training modules to complete each year.
- How long will I have to complete each assignment?
Typically, you will have one month to complete each segment of the program.
- I’m involved in extracurricular activities (such as a sports team or Perkins Fellows). Will I be able to balance this program with my other commitments?
Calvin LifeWork is flexible enough to accommodate the scheduling demands of students participating in extracurricular activities, since modules will be offered at a variety of times as well as online. With an average of one module per month, the program should be manageable for many students regardless of their other commitments.
- I started the program, but I'm not able to complete the requirements due to other challenges I am facing. What are my options?
We understand that students have a lot to balance. This program is co-curricular and not required and may not be a fit for every student. However, we may work with students who have extenuating circumstances.
- Will studying off-campus affect my involvement in the program?
No, each of the modules will be available in an online format.
- What are the specific requirements to complete in order to receive the $3,000 scholarship during my fourth year at Calvin? Are there any required classes involved in the program?
In order to be eligible for the $3,000 scholarship, you must complete three years of modules, as well as an internship or research project, with the expectation that you will complete the fourth year modules. Since the program is co-curricular, it is not tied to classes. The only class requirement is the First Year Seminar which all students have to take.
- What is an example of a module and an assignment?
An example of a module is how to create a resume. This module is offered in person and online. The assignment is to create a resume.
- Do all of the modules need to be completed by the end of the junior year in order to receive the $3,000 scholarship?
Students will have modules assigned during the fourth year. There are approximately eight modules per year. The scholarship will be dispersed $1500 in the fall semester and $1500 in the spring semester of the fourth year.
- Is the program only online, or is there a personal aspect?
Students are grouped in communities, and communities are assigned to a career coach in order to promote relationship building between students and coaches. Some of the modules are offered in person (with the option of online) for those who desire a more relational experience.
- Can I participate in the program and receive the $3,000 scholarship during my final year if I’m a transfer student?
While transfer students are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the in-person Calvin LifeWork programming during their time at Calvin, they will not be eligible for the $3,000 scholarship because it is awarded in a student’s fourth year following the completion of three years of modules.
- If I start as a first-year student at Calvin mid-year, can I still participate in the program and receive the $3,000 scholarship during my fourth year?
Yes, a student who enters Calvin mid-year (interim or spring semester) is eligible for participation in the program so long as the first year modules are completed (including the First Year Seminar) by the conclusion of the first year. The student would be eligible for the $3000 scholarship in their fourth year following the completion of three years of modules.
- I had to leave Calvin for a short time. Can I still continue the program?
If you enrolled in the program in the required timeframe and leave school, you will be able to continue the program upon returning as long as your leave was no longer than one semester. You will need to make up the missed assignments over the summer or interim, depending on when you were gone. If you enroll in the program in the required timeframe and leave school for a year, you will have to re-enroll with the new class at the place where you left off. Please contact us at email@example.com to let us know your plans.
- I'm dually enrolled in High School. Can I participate?
Calvin LifeWork is a four-year program. The scholarship is given during the fourth year. If you are going to be at Calvin for four years as a full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate student, then you are eligible to participate fully in the program and receive the scholarship. Students who graduate in 3½ years will receive a pro-rated partial scholarship, while those who graduate in 3 or fewer years will not be eligible for the scholarship.
- I'm a graduate student at Calvin. Can I participate?
This program is for undergraduate students only.
- I'm a part-time student at Calvin. Can I participate?
This program is for students who are enrolled full-time.
- I'm in a five-year program at Calvin, such as master's in accountancy or speech pathology. Can I participate?
Definitely. However, the $3,000 scholarship only applies to your fourth-year undergraduate tuition. So, if you are completing four years of undergraduate study, you are eligible to receive the $3,000 in your fourth year. If you will complete your undergraduate work in three years, then you will not be eligible for the scholarship. If you enrolled in the BA-MA speech pathology program, you are eligible for the $3,000 scholarship in your fourth year. You are not eligible for the scholarship if you earn your bachelor's degree in three years or less.
- I will be taking a hiatus from Calvin (e.g. to serve in the Korean military, to complete ayear-long full-time internship). Can I still complete the program?
If you enroll in the program in the required timeframe and leave school, you will have to re-enroll with the new class at the place where you left off. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inform us of your plans.
- I have a disability and may struggle to access Calvin Lifework trainings. Will you accommodate my access?
All of our programming will be ADA compliant, and we will work to accommodate the individual needs of Calvin LifeWork participants.
- How is the program geared toward this generation of students?
Young people are looking for ways to live holistically, find meaning in their work, and balance life and work well. This program helps students think deeply about these vocational topics as they develop a sense of call. Additionally, students are accustomed to using technology for learning and they can complete most aspects of Calvin LifeWork online if desired.
- How does this program benefit international students?
This program will benefit international students similarly to domestic students. All students will be encouraged to think deeply about their vocation as well as gain practical skills that are relevant across the globe.
- Can international students participate in Calvin Lifework?