On Tuesday, April 3, Boston College’s Center for Student Formation launched the application for Stride, a semester-long group mentorship program designed to address the needs of sophomores and enhance their college experiences. The program features four major components, each designed to target a specific aspect of a student’s life. Academically, a lecture series occurring every other Wednesday will showcase BC’s most popular professors, who will discuss a topic related to their courses and frame it around the lens of leadership. Socially, each student will be placed in a small group with seven other sophomores and one upperclassman leader and will be required to attend an inaugural event prior to the start of classes in the fall. Spiritually, students will attend a weekend retreat, Halftime, for a chance to reflect and consider their purpose, vocation, and roles as leaders. This formative experience hopes to draw sophomore students out of the rut in which they typically fall and encourage them to grow as students, leaders, and classmates. According to the application, “Stride is specifically designed to help sophomores feel established at BC.”
The application, open to rising sophomores, is due by 5 p.m. on April 17. Although the program appears open to accepting most second-year students who apply, the application asks applicants to indicate their availability for the coming semester because it is necessary that those accepted attend all aspects of the program. Stride also asks each participant to contribute $100 to the program’s operation, with financial aid available for students who qualify.
The purpose of Stride is to help students begin to ask bigger questions about who they are and who they want to be as a person. By the end of sophomore year, students are expected to declare a major, presuming that second-year students know a tentative direction in which they plan to direct their futures. For those who remain uncertain about their prospective professions, this program will be helpful for them to identify their interests as they develop academically, socially, and spiritually. In the past, BC Center for Student Formation has focused heavily on making sure that freshmen feel welcome and find an easy transition into college. Although sophomores can take part in Halftime, an overnight opportunity to reflect on one’s trajectory in college, they currently lack a program that is focused on serving them. Recognizing this lack of attention, the Center for Student Formation is instituting a positive motion to create a more supportive atmosphere for students as they advance through their time at BC with Stride.
Featured Graphic by Nicole Chan / Graphics Editor