Upgrading Discover New York

The Discover New York course offered at St. John’s University recently announced changes to the program aimed at connecting classroom learning with the freshman college experience.

Discover New York is a part of St. John’s University’s core curriculum, which is mandatory for all first-year students entering the University.

While the course’s major emphasis is on academic work, Discover New York also aims at familiarizing students with the area they will be spending the next four years of their college career – New York City. As a result, students visit museums, attend Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, participate in tours of New York City, and learn about cultural activities.

The expected change will require students to attend transitional lab workshops four times per semester.

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Darren Morton stated that these workshops will serve as “transitional development for new students.” He explained, “[Whereas] sporadic workshops were offered in the past, transition lab programs will now happen four times: during common hour and on some Fridays.”

The transitional lab workshops have four components: mission development, student wellness, academic support, and career development.

The mission development aspect will be under the advisement of Campus Ministry. The values emphasized by this ministry include service, spirituality, and leadership.

The student wellness workshop will stress the importance of healthy living. This workshop will teach freshman ways to live healthy, including developing healthy eating habits and abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

The Freshman Center and the Academic Support Center will team up to teach the academic support element of the program. These two centers aim to help new students adjust to taking college courses because they can be quite different from those taken in high school. Each student is assigned an advisor who will track the student’s progress throughout their first year at St. John’s.

Lastly, the Career Center will instruct students on career development. This includes everything from resume writing and interviewing skills to helping students find internships.

Junior Megan Meighan agrees that the change is beneficial to students entering a new stage in their lives. She also noted, “There are a lot of workshops on campus that many people don’t attend. Requiring students to attend these transitional workshops ensures that these important messages get across to the student body.”