Students gathered in the Union for dinner and the launch of “Steps to Leaps” on Wednesday.
Steps to Leaps offers videos and training modules centered around improving upon the five core pillars of well-being, leadership and professional development, impact, networks and grit.
The program specifically focused on many attributes and the outlook exhibited by Generation-Z, Vice Provost for Student Life Beth McCuskey said during the student launch on Wednesday afternoon.
“As students, we are juggling so many different things, and Purdue knows that,” Anna Riley, a junior in the College of Liberal Arts said. “So we are trying to make different learning modules and programs that you guys can have access to, so that you can know how to take steps towards their well being.”
Kathryn Wolfert, a junior ambassador for the College of Agriculture, said she was excited for the initiative.
“It’s a huge selling point for students kind of knowing that Purdue has your back and is really willing to support them in all these different pillar areas,” she said.
Wolfert also said that she hopes that the initiative allows Purdue to expand its mental health offerings.
“I think that Purdue does a good job of offering those resources, but I think because they’re so used by students, it’s hard for people to get in there in a timely manner,” she said. “And so I’m hoping that with the Steps to Leaps program, that will really highlight the resources that we do have and kind of push the university to maybe increase the amount of capacity that it has to give those resources to students.”
McCuskey said that although there will be difficulties, it’s assumed that students, since they’ve been admitted to Purdue, are already successful.
“We’re not looking at this from a deficit perspective,” Skylar Clingan, a senior in the College of Agriculture, said while speaking at the launch. “So we’re not identifying that students at Purdue don’t have these five pillars. It’s really about understanding and helping students better themselves within those five areas.”
The program also includes research into well-being and happiness, performed by Louis Tay, an associate professor in the department of psychology, McCuskey said.
Though the event was focused on educating individuals about the Steps to Leaps program, some individuals were simply there for the food.
During an activity asking for input from students, questions such as how people can get involved, how grit can be taught as opposed to learned from experience and what Steps to Leaps exactly is were asked.
All the modules are able to be done self-guided, Clingan said, or they can be done in groups or organizations.
Cesar Guillen, a junior in the Polytechnic Institute, who is involved in several clubs and organizations, said he’d probably share some of the information to others in student organizations.
Ayelet Bernstein, a junior and the Purdue Student Government senator for the College of Education, said she appreciated the growth mindset aspect of Step to Leaps.
“As for effectiveness,” she said. “I’d love to see what happens with it.”