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Everyday Applications Series Offers Guidance On Steps to Leaps Pillars

The Steps to Leaps Everyday Applications Series continues to offer guidance and opportunities to discuss best practices on how to bolster student success through the use of a common language when interacting with students.

Steps to Leaps is a collaborative, campus-wide effort to foster lifelong habits and promote a growth mindset in five pillars – well-being, leadership and professional development, impact, networks and grit. The Everyday Applications Series, hosted by members of the Steps to Leaps Steering Committee, invites participants to bring examples of programs, courses and projects to a working meeting to discuss how to integrate these pillars into academic and social programs.

“The goal of this series is to unify all of the outstanding academic and social programs at the university around a consistent language,” says Zenephia Evans, associate dean of students, education and advocacy. “The Steps to Leaps pillars provide a framework that can be applied in any area of the student experience. With a consistent, common language, we can help students contextualize their areas of growth and promote ways in which they can improve their overall well-being and resiliency.”

A recent discussion of Purdue Polytechnic Institute’s programs provides a look at how Steps to Leaps pillars can be incorporated into work departments and organizations are already doing. Toni Munguia, director of recruitment, retention and diversity for Purdue Polytechnic, shared examples of Polytechnic programs that connect to these pillars. Examples include:

  • Well-Being: Handing out “I am a Techie” t-shirts to create a sense of community among program participants. “Techie Tuesdays” offer an opportunity to show Polytechnic pride, with donuts and other goodies available to participants in the lobby of Knoy Hall of Technology.
  • Leadership and Professional Development: Techie News, a weekly newsletter that goes out to every Polytechnic student, shares opportunities for professional development and networking. Student-to-student chats are led by student groups and provide information on leadership opportunities within student organizations.
  • Impact: Numerous opportunities for students to serve as mentors to underclassmen. Additional programs connect Polytechnic students with middle and high school students.
  • Networks: Eight job fairs, connections with alumni speakers and partners, and additional mentorship opportunities. The TECH 1010 class brings women leaders and alumni to campus to visit and start networking with first-year women students in Polytechnic.
  • Grit: BEST (Building Excellence for Students in Technology) Academic coaching, which helps students overcome challenges in course work. Summer sessions, tutoring and faculty mentorship also bolster this area.

“It’s important to understand that Steps to Leaps isn’t necessarily about creating new programs – although we would love to assist anyone who is interested in doing so,” says Evans. “Polytechnic is just one example of the many departments and organizations on campus who are already using Steps to Leaps concepts in their work.”

The Steps to Leaps Everyday Applications Series continues with weekly conversations the rest of the spring semester. The schedule is as follows:

  • April 5 (M) - 11 a.m.
  • April 14 (W) - 10 a.m.
  • April 21 (W) - 1 p.m.

Faculty and staff interested in attending are asked to RSVP online. Zoom links will be sent via email to those who RSVP. The discussions can also be accessed from the event listings on the Steps to Leaps calendar. Please direct any questions to