University Communications

IU’s SYE Program Recognized by National Organization

IMG_3604Often sophomores are “the forgotten” group of students but not at Immaculata University.  In fact, sophomores at Immaculata are treated to special programming, called the Sophomore Year Experience (SYE), designed to enable them to make the connection between their first-year goals and where they will ultimately arrive as seniors.  Immaculata’s SYE program is so successful that Academic Impressions, a company that serves higher education professionals by providing educational products and services that help institutions tackle key strategic challenges, has bestowed a “Best Practice” distinction upon Immaculata’s SYE program.

Academic Impressions has developed an online course, beginning in January 2014, for higher education professionals titled “Developing a Comprehensive Sophomore Year Experience Program.”  Bridget Haines-Frank, M.Ed., assistant dean of students, created an overview of Immaculata’s SYE program which will be included in the “Best Practices” section of the course.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for Immaculata University to be selected by Academic Impressions as a best practice to be highlighted in their upcoming web course,” stated Haines-Frank.  “It affirms that the program’s caliber is worthy of being shared with other college and university administrators across the country.”

Initiated in the fall of 2009, Immaculata’s SYE entails a number of unique programmatic offerings including:

  • A Sophomore Welcome Back Dinner and Keynote Speaker
  • Sophomore Escape – a personal and professional weekend retreat held off-site (most recently at Gretna Glen in Lebanon County)
  • SYE Serves (a day-long service project in Philadelphia)
  • Community Building Initiatives (speakers and other events such as a new “outward” bound initiative that will take place Spring 2014)
  • Professional workshops by Career Development
  • An electronic resource guide distributed to each sophomore that includes important information related to academics and the Immaculata Pathways Program as well as social and leadership development information

The SYE promotes student success through activities and events designed to further develop second-year students personally and professionally.  To further that agenda, Career Services is expanding the Externship program to include sites from a variety of industries.

“Job shadowing helps sophomores make career decisions with practical day-to-day experience even before they commit to a full internship,” stated Diane Massey, director of Career Development.

In addition to Externships, sophomores have the chance to engage in programs as part of Immaculata’s World of Work Week.  Presentations regarding topics such as Polishing Your Professional Presence, Ethical Decision-Making, and the annual “Etiquette Dinner,” provide students with opportunities to fine-tune their image.

Immaculata University is a residential, Catholic, coeducational institution of higher education, located on the Main Line between Malvern and Exton, 20 miles west of Philadelphia.