Luther College has received a $20,000 grant from CIC-NetVUE, the Council of Independent Colleges-Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education.
"Vocational exploration has long been an integral part of what students experience at Luther College. Their conversations about life's callings energize our community while connecting faith and learning. We look forward now to enhancing that special opportunity for a whole new generation of students," said Ruth Kath, Luther professor of German and CIC-NetVUE project director.
The NetVUE Chaplaincy Implementation Grant will support a one-year series of student-faculty-staff retreats focusing on the exploration of vocation. Specifically, these retreats connect College Ministries with the Career Center and faculty advising as they work with sophomore students, with a focus on those who have not yet declared an academic major. The first small group retreat for selected staff and faculty who are fairly new to the college, was held in August and led by Brenda Ranum, director of the Career Center; Mike Blair, campus pastor; and Ann Landstrom, strengths program coordinator; with special speaker Nancy Barry, professor of English.
The project builds from the groundwork of Luther's Lilly-funded Sense of Vocation program and creates new connections among the campus pastors, Career Center staff, and key faculty and staff members to better serve the needs of Luther students. An exciting synergy is developing between College Ministries and the Career Center as they explore ways to reach out to Luther students and assist them in the process of vocational discernment.
Several components of the program have already been successfully piloted as individual initiatives—including a new emphasis on the StrengthsFinder assessment tool and four-year career planning guide within Student Life, College Ministries' emphasis on reflective thinking, and a January Term service learning course. The grant will help bring these pieces together in a cohesive way using retreats and conversations to further engage faculty and staff who assist in nurturing vocational discernment among all Luther students.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,400, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.
NetVUE is a nationwide network of 192 colleges and universities formed to enrich the intellectual and ethological exploration of vocation among undergraduate students. The network strives to better understand the dimensions and roles of vocational exploration and share the knowledge, best practices and experiences they discover with the network of members they're developing. The NetVUE initiative is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges.
The CIC strives to advance higher education and its leadership by fostering connections between the leaders of private liberal arts colleges and universities and promoting ways for institutions to collaborate, and develop and strengthen their programs.