Student Success

The Strive for Five committee during a meeting on Oct. 30. Olivier Debure, Dean Marjorie Sanfilippo, Chelsea Creaturo, Fred Sabota, Linda Abbott, Amanda Hagood, alumna Sydney Hart, and junior Natasha Cooper are on this committee. Photo by Gabrielle Reeder

On Oct. 30, the Strive for Five committee met to discuss their goals to increase student success.

Focused on effective ways to determine and contribute to student success, Strive for Five participated in several surveys and focus groups with students to gauge what exactly correlates with a student’s prosperity. 

The committee believes that over the course of four years an Eckerd student hones themselves through 80% academia and 20% other outside factors. Findings showed the same five attributes surfaced in each successful student: responsibility, resilience, open-mindedness, self-exploration and civic-mindedness.

Olivier Debure, director of international student services, serves as the chair of the committee. Other members include Marjorie Sanfillipo, Chelsea Creaturo, Fred Sabota, Linda Abbott, Amanda Hagood and alumna Sydney Hart. Sanfilippo invited junior Natasha Cooper, the only current student, to sit in on the committee. 

In order to excel in the classroom, the committee said one must be able to take it upon themselves to multitask different duties at once. 

According to Debure, responsibility and the ability “to adult” is the first major attribute the committee saw in successful students. 

Resilience is often demonstrated when students study abroad and have to adapt to different surroundings.  

Open-mindedness can be showcased through different themed CPS events that allow students to think differently, according to Abbott, the executive director of counseling, outreach and health services. 

Self-exploration and civic-mindedness are also common in a successful student. These develop throughout a student’s four years at Eckerd, while one is immersed in various courses, volunteer work, clubs and extracurricular activities. 

The goal of the committee is to let students know more about what they are doing, and about where the five attributes come from. The mission was referred to as a “broad awareness effort” by Debure. They are on a quest to become more transparent to students.

“We want to make your experience better, we want to enhance what you’re getting here. We want you to be successful,” Abbott said. 

A contest demonstrating how a student has become a successful senior is currently open until Dec. 1. This year, the winners will receive Spring Ball tickets. 

Seniors are encouraged to submit demonstrations of how they have grown to be successful throughout their four years at Eckerd. Artwork, music, writing or any other demonstration of success is accepted. Students can submit to excellence@eckerd.edu or they can bring their entries to the Center for Academic Excellence.

News Editor

Gabrielle is a senior and a double major in creative writing and human development. She loves music and frequents concert venues.

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