Career Development Center, OSLE Establish Sprout
The Career Development Center and Office of Student Leadership and Engagement in 2011 collaborated to establish Sprout – an emerging leader experience for first year students.
Now in its fourth semester, dozens of Guilford students have engaged in interactive and experiential explorations of communication styles, risk-taking, confidence-building, values-clarification, leadership styles and team building.
Twelve students participate over nine weeks each semester, beginning with an off-campus overnight retreat.
Alan Mueller, assistant dean for career development and community learning says, “As I promote the program to students, I tell them that they’ll get no scholarship assistance and no course credit. They won’t even get a free t-shirt.
“In all seriousness,” Alan says, “I’m convinced that students crave learning for the sake of learning and have a real desire to learn as part of an intentional supportive community. This is what Sprout offers.”
Though Alan and Erin Fox have been the primary facilitators of this program, staff members from various departments and divisions have been co-facilitators, including Aaron Fetrow, Amanda Fontenot, Steve Moran, Meagan Sargent and Megan Corkery.
This spring, Taylor Alston ’15, a graduate of the program, served as a co-facilitator. Taylor’s leadership on campus has included working as a resident assistant and peer educator in the FYE program.
According to Alan, Taylor’s experience is the next step in the evolution of the program.
“Taylor is getting an opportunity to learn about leadership theory, experiential pedagogy and facilitation techniques. As more Sprout graduates become juniors and seniors, I expect we’ll see many more of them in this mentoring role, and that is very exciting.”