Base Camp, an intensive orientation to college for students in the Aggies Elevated program, started Sunday, Aug. 20 with a pizza party at the new Center for Clinical Excellence at Utah State University. Five returning and eight new students, three mentors, staff and a few family members celebrated the start of the new school year.
Monday’s activities included a group photo, and a discussion of plagiarism and college research in which students were partnered and assigned to create a 5-minute presentation on the topic of their choice. This presentation was a crash course in working with a partner and practicing research, outlining and presentation skills.
Other Monday seminars included Organization 101, in which students brainstormed ways in which to keep computers, files, backpacks and planners organized; Healthy Campus Living, in which students learned about the myriad food choices on campus and how to make healthier choices; and Becoming a Techie, an introduction to Canvas, Box, Google Calendar, and more. In addition, the students went canoeing on the Logan River at First Dam with Common Ground Outdoor Adventures before returning to campus for a reflection activity with mentors. On Tuesday, the first-year students checked in for Connections. In this class, students will discuss the Common Literature Experience, The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, and get connected with classmates and campus resources.
After checking in, all the students, along with two staff and two mentors, rode the free Cache Valley Transit District busses to Options for Independence, the local Independent Living Center. There, students planned a lunch of taco salads, made grocery lists, shopped for supplies, and cooked lunch for themselves. After lunch, the student teams gave the presentations that had been assigned the day before.
On Wednesday, the freshmen attended their all-day Connections classes, while the returning students attended an internship orientation meeting and then met with Savanna Steed, a former Aggies Elevated mentor and current MyCLIMB coordinator, to discuss the person-centered planning process.
Connections continued on Thursday and Friday for the new students. Classes officially began at USU on Monday, Aug. 27.
Aggies Elevated at Utah State University believes that all individuals, regardless of ability, have the right to meaningful employment, lifelong learning, self-determination and full community inclusion. Utilizing the MyCLIMB (My Career Ladder to Independence, Maturity & Balance) person-centered planning model, Aggies Elevated students, along with invited family members and/or other stakeholders, will chart their own paths toward independence within an individualized framework of supports that identifies challenges, builds on individual strengths and encourages personal responsibility.