By Robert L. Lisiecki
Let’s move forward with another rendition of Getting to Know U. While we’ll be talking about a particular individual as always, this week’s student represents in some way, shape, or form students across colleges and universities. We’re going to be introducing Brandon, an undeclared freshman.
When I was in college, it often felt like one of every four freshmen was undeclared or undecided. Don’t quote me on that; I’m merely reminiscing a bit. Still, I’d venture to say that number isn’t too far off from the truth. Even some declared freshmen are still undecided.
While many students go into college knowing what they want out of the experience, many other students, like Brandon who, have no idea. Brandon is excited to be in college, but that doesn’t mean he necessarily has his eyes on the prize right away. He understands that college is important—his mom’s biggest regret is never finishing college—but that’s were his understanding seems to stop.
Until Brandon decides on a major, he plans on focusing on knocking out his Gen Ed requirements. He knows he’ll need to complete them anyways, so it makes the most sense to him.
The classes he’s taking early in his career will focus on helping him integrate into college and begin making the transition from high school learner to college thinker. A key point in this transition is needing to understand how to find and use scholarly sources that aren’t Google. So, here we find his first needs. Brandon needs resources that can help him make that transition and that have the versatility to help him with a variety of classes.
School is important to Brandon, but so is his time. He came to college to both get a degree and enjoy himself, like many other freshmen. So, he doesn’t want to spend countless hours doing homework. Ideally, he’d like to find quick and easy ways to complete his work. He needs resources that are efficient and can help save him time.
How can Gale help Brandon?
We could offer up a couple of different resources to help Brandon and fit his needs. Specifically, though, he’d really benefit from the In Context suite.
Relevant resources in the In Context suite include: Student Resources in Context, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Science in Context, U.S. History in Context, World History in Context, and Biography in Context.
These resources afford Brandon the scholarly sources his professors want and give him the convenience he needs.
The intuitive, responsive design, which gives him the same experience from his laptop to his smartphone, across the different resources allows him to easily use each variation without needing to relearn how to navigate the platform. Topic pages allow him to quickly find information on a variety of topics with the variation of content he needs to papers and projects in the form of videos, periodicals, articles, and more.
The depth and breadth of the resources gives him the tools to succeed in his general education classes. Plus, with PowerSearch, he can search across the resources to get a wider range of information around certain topics. What Brandon likes the most is that he knows he can find what he needs without being overwhelmed. It’s made with a novice researcher like him in mind.
While other freshmen might display some different attributes than Brandon, there are many that are quite similar to him and share his story. The transition into college can often be very challenging to students and they need the support of the library to help keep that transition smooth. Gale understands this issue and is ready to help.
Robert is a left-handed person living in a right-handed world. He is showing English majors that it is possible to get a job in the “real world” with an English degree. He likes giant carrots.