Today, a group of non-traditional students at the University of California - Berkeley asked,"what are the needs of tomorrow?" Some of the students in this group had taken very different paths to UC Berkeley. A few had transferred in, were raising children, or dealing with the shadows of being formerly incarcerated. They understood that students coming in behind them will still share their experiences, and they will be impacted by their respective needs. They also understood that their present day will impact their lives tomorrow. They reimagined the question: "what can we do today to better serve the next generation of students?"
We identified three fundamental needs for all students navigating higher education: support, vision, and purpose.
My Action Plan with Purpose (MAPP) centers these needs and provides learners with an interactive roadmap for them to use throughout the journey. MAPP will lead students to, through, and beyond college.
How is it interactive?
- Tech component: Vision
Students visualize their dream careers/lifestyles on an interactive vision map. A vision MAPP is similar to a vision board, but with layers. Action/task lists are generated within the vision web and link to student's calendar. Vision MAPP layers include holistic health, financial freedom (education, savings, and investments) academic success, and community contributions. Vision MAPP could be exported to spreadsheet and document formats.
- Human Element: Support
Mentors are student's accountability partners. Mentors work with students on building, maintaining and revising vision MAPPs. Mentors help students complete action/task lists and connect them with resources and opportunities relating to student's individualized roadmap.
- Planning: Purpose
Throughout the process, students and mentors will explore the big question, "what is the contribution that this MAPP and this student will have on their communities? How will the student use this to be a more active citizen of the world?" The vision MAPP has a notes/multi-media journaling feature for students to reflect on this question through different points in their journeys.
Workshop: Interactive Road Map
The My MAPP interactive roadmap is a visual representation of an individual's personal, academic, and professional growth.Workshop: Community Interface
We administered a survey regarding organization and mentoring to the campus community and found common patterns. Approximately 53% of respondents use mobile apps to organize their life, most set both short term and long term, and 71% of respondents have had mentors. Together, this information articulated to us the need for a supportive online community that shares resources in order to help one another achieve their goals.