Cornerstone University Event Aims to Build Sophomore Engagement


by Sydney Wheat (B.S. ’19)

On Sept. 20, Cornerstone University's Center for Career and Life Calling spearheaded a student organization fair and alumni networking event. The gathering supported efforts to create a campus culture in which traditional undergraduate students are intentional about their experiences and utilization of resources that are available to them here at Cornerstone.

Tailored for the sophomore class, the event showcased opportunities for ways students might become involved on campus and served as a semi-formal environment for students to garner skills required for professional networking in the 21st century.

The event was designed around the goals of the university's LifePath* approach, a four-phase career and academic planning process that offers tools for students to steward their time at CU and how to move forward into their careers with purpose. The four phases of LifePath are discover, focus, experience and achieve. The four phases are designed to help answer a student's questions regarding who they are, what they should do and why, where and how they should serve and what their plan is to achieve these goals. In support of one of the newest LifePath tools, a four-year student resource guide, the evening began at 5:30 p.m. for sophomores only with a presentation regarding the contents and purpose of the LifePath resource guide. Frozen yogurt and a class T-shirt were also provided.

Following the presentation, doors opened at 6 p.m. to the remaining classes of traditional undergraduate students. Sixteen alumni representing various academic fields and industries as well as numerous representatives from different clubs and organizations on campus attended the event. Through interaction with both alumni and club representatives, students could begin practicing presenting themselves, begin developing a network and gaining insight about themselves and who God is calling them to be, all within a welcoming environment.

"The importance of this event to Cornerstone is really to help activate engagement of current students in purpose-guided, academic and career planning," Jason Clayton, dean of Career and Life Calling, said. "We pride ourselves in being a community that cares, and in many ways, the event on the 20th was an intentional effort to pour into sophomores because it is a critical year for purpose finding, meaning making and moving forward for a student."

*Sophomore events and the larger LifePath program is largely funded by a two-year grant from the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) supported by the Council of Independent Colleges and Lilly Endowment, Inc.