# Pacific Lutheran University

Explore! Retreat - Explore! is a retreat between the first and second semester of the first academic year which supports students in their transition to the college experience and is a collaborative effort of faculty, staff, and student leaders.

## Format

• Audience: First year students.
• When: First weekend of January-term, a one-month short term in which students take a single four-credit course. The retreat itself begins on Friday evening of the first week of classes and concludes the next afternoon.
• Frequency: Once a year.
• Focus of Retreat: Prior to the actual retreat, facilitator triads (consisting of a faculty, staff, and upper division student member) participate in a training retreat, which takes up a Saturday morning and early afternoon in November.

## Funding and Operations

### Assessment

Each year, our final session with students includes a survey instrument in which they are invited to respond to a set of categorical questions and also give longer-form written responses. These data have served as the basis for a published article (see resources above), and continue to inform adjustments in response to perceived student needs. This year we revised our assessment tool to more closely reflect our stated learning outcomes. In addition we sent a survey to facilitator triads in order to record the observation of learning within the small groups and compare perceptions between the two groups.