By: Jackie Carter, Staff Writer
The Strategic Team for the Advancement and Retention of Students Committee held a luncheon on Thursday, at the Fireside Room at Monarch Hall, in the hopes of connecting students and faculty outside of the classroom.
The event marked the end of the semester, with the opportunity for students to meet with instructors in a casual setting to discuss subjects aside from those related to coursework.
“We are trying to encourage students and faculty to connect more,” said Deborah Kaye, LAVC Professional Development Director/Chair, STARS Committee. “Meet your instructors, ask them about life, ask them about where they went to college, ask them about their careers, not how to divide numbers or the content of the area of study, because faculty can be very good mentors for students.”
The instructors find that when they see students, it’s typically about the work or when they have problems, but they would welcome the opportunity to connect with students personally. It is part of the reason they became teachers. Having personal relationships also helps when students want references from their instructors.
“It is an excellent way for students going forward when they want a letter of recommendation. It is difficult to write a good letter of recommendation for someone that you don’t know,” said Suzanne Baldwin, Assistant Professor of Biology. “So, you want to get to know your instructors and let them know who you are, you want to converse with them, they’re not scary. It’s one of the most important things a student can do is actually talk and converse with their instructors.”
The theme of the lunch was about building relationships outside of the classroom and the faculty and students see it as a good beginning.
“Research shows that students and instructors do better when they have a network of people that are on campus that they can connect with, form study groups with, and have a relationship with,” said Kaye.