To get the most out of
any experience involves the consideration of what you want to happen as a
result of the experience. With a vision of the wanted result, you are
empowered to structure the experience to maximize the benefit. You will
spend less than twenty hours a week in class. The time you spend
out-of-class is largely unstructured. How you use that time will determine
your success in college and powerfully influence the rest of your life. A
factor of such importance deserves some serious thought and careful
planning. The following information is designed to help you establish goals
for your out-of-class experiences. Remember to complete the self-assessment
prior to writing your goals. Goal setting involves asking the following
questions. We suggest writing your answers down and discussing your ideas
1. What do I want to happen in each
quadrant as a result of my out-of-class experiences? This question is
designed to help you establish a broad vision of where to want to go, what
you want to do and who you want to be. The answer to this question should be
based on a careful assessment of your strengths, weakness, values, and
beliefs. You should also explore the realities of the situation for which
you are preparing. Whether you are looking forward to employment in a
particular field, graduate school, or any other dream for your future, there
are realities and circumstances that need to be figured into your goal
setting. A useful answer to this question will involve not only dreaming and
visualization but will also require some careful research.
2. What experiences and characteristics do I
need to achieve my vision? You will
need to take some action in order to get from where you are to where you
want to be. With a clear vision of what you what to have happen, you can
then identify intermediate steps between where you are now and where you
want to be.
3. How can out-of-class experiences
help me get from where I am to where I want to be? After a clear idea of the
experiences and characteristics you need to develop to achieve your vision,
you can explore the wide variety of out-of-class experiences available at
Truman to aid you in the process. You might begin by checking out the links
we have provided to learn more about activities like study abroad, student
organizations, volunteer service opportunities and on-campus employment
options. You might also talk to your advisor, a faculty member or other
students to find out about the wide variety of options that are available to
you at Truman.
4. What kind of goals should I set?
The goals you set are entirely up to you. You may set goals to gain
knowledge, change your attitudes, develop more desirable habits, perfect a
skill, apply what you have learned in the classroom to a personal problem,
or to integrate knowledge and/or skills in a new way. You can establish
goals in a sequence beginning with learning a concept, then applying the
concept, master and skill related to the concept and finally integrating the
concept and skill with other skills and knowledge. Some people like written
and formal goal setting, others prefer more flexible and open-ended goals.
If the goal works for you, it is right.
5. How will I know if I have achieved
the goal? Whenever you set a goal, you should consider what evidence will
determine if the goal has been achieved. Review your progress against your
vision often and adapt your goals and out-of-class as needed to make sure
that you remain on track.