The First‑Year Experience Retreat is an off‑campus weekend to strengthen self‑understanding, community‑building, and overall communication skills.
Students are selected based on their course schedule, specifically their College Success Seminar. Through breakout sessions, the retreat challenges students to expand their leadership and communication skills, reflect on their goals, and build relationships.
A student reflected, “I learned how positive teamwork can really help. Also, how college is not about only having fun; you have to manage time and have confidence in yourself.”
For more information, contact Richie Gebauer, Director of the First‑Year Experience, at 610-902-8593 or email@example.com.
Sample Retreat Schedule
Students will learn how to set goals effectively and accept responsibility for personal and academic success.
Understanding of strategies for success will be enhanced, as students begin to understand their own potential, as well as possible challenges (strengths and weaknesses).
Personal values and career goals will be examined, as students employ interdependence in achieving them.
Students will develop communication skills through active listening and group discussion, working together as part of a community.
Leaders will familiarize students with Cabrini resources and services available to assist them with their academic goals.
Upper-class students receive leadership experience in the supervision, facilitation, and evaluation of sessions.
1. Self‑Understanding The over-arching goal of the retreat is to increase self‑understanding and self‑awareness.
Students leave the weekend with a clearer understanding of why they are in college (and specifically why they are at Cabrini College), as well as with a “letter of intent” that lists what they wish to accomplish during this year during their time at Cabrini.
Students identify behaviors that are strengths (that facilitate achieving goals) and those that are barriers (that hinder achieving goals). They consider their strengths and weaknesses, personal values, career aspirations, and a holistic view of resources at Cabrini that can help them and put their skills to work.
On the final day of the experience, participants write a letter to themselves that they’ll receive by mail at the end of freshman year. This gives the opportunity later on to reflect about the experience, their expectations, and goals for the following year.
2. Community‑Building Through retreat activities, students start to build relationships with each other, faculty, staff, and student leaders who are already active, contributing members of the Cabrini community.
3. Communication Skills During the conference breakout sessions, students begin to develop good communication skills by using active listening, participating in group discussions, and practicing some public‑speaking skills.