By blending individual energizers, team builders, self-explorations, group activities, and personal stories, SEMANTICS Student Success Programs examines universal college lessons to introduce students to the nuances of college life, provide students with strategies for navigating through those experiences (and thus facilitating their social, emotional, and psychological development), and help students make college matter.

Each SEMANTICS Student Success Program is comprised of a topic or theme, with each topic having its own learning outcomes. You can choose the topic that best meets your students’ needs and interests or you can create a custom SEMANTICS program to meet your unique programming goals.

So whether you are looking for an assembly on college preparation for your high school seniors, a break-out session on success and leadership for your RA or SGA training schedule, or anything in between, the SEMANTICS Student Success Programs are sure to meet your needs! Simply choose any one of the topics below and get ready to rock and roll!

The SEMANTICS of You: Who Am I versus Who Everyone Expects Me to Be?
Around every corner, teenagers are bombarded with advice: You don’t want to be too far away…you should think about going to a school closer to home. You should straighten your hair…it looks prettier that way. You should think about becoming a nurse…I don’t think you’ll like a career in business.

What’s a teen to do with other people’s opinions, suggestions, and hopes? Are they to try living up to those expectations? Or, should they simply say thank you and make their own choices and create their own paths?

This topic teaches students how to look far beyond the surface of their personified selves (that is, the person everyone expects them to be) and explore the personal characteristics that make them who they are (that is, who they actually are) in order to create their own blueprints for achieving success.

The SEMANTICS of Adversity and Perseverance: Why not Me?
Marianna was out dancing with her friends one Saturday night, when she got a text message to call home. Sebastian was studying for a Sociology exam when he received a random phone call from his uncle. Suddenly, their worlds stopped. Everything had changed.
Whether we label these circumstances difficulties, obstacles, or adversity, they are sure to impact us all, when we expect it least. But adversity is especially challenging for college students. Not only are many teens away from home when adversity hits, but they are also asked to make life-altering decisions, become adults sooner, and handle adverse circumstances on their own, without childhood friends or family members supporting them every step of the way.

By focusing on the why not me of challenging circumstances, this topic helps students explore the myriad of ways adversity affects our lives, and provides students with strategies for navigating through adverse conditions in order to create their own blueprints for achieving success.

The SEMANTICS of Acceptance: Do I See People as Similarities, or as the Others?

Not the Others from the TV show Lost. Even that would be an improvement. Many teens are treated like a different kind of Others – like those hideous, purple monsters from Chuck E. Cheese’s, with horns rising from their skulls and fangs hanging from their jaws.
We’ve socialized our young people to form judgments and cliques – Don’t go near him…It’s contagious. She’s not like us…she’s one of them. There is us normal people…and then there is everyone else. Those people. The Others.

This topic helps students explore diversity and acceptance by examining their own socio-cultural backgrounds, and, more importantly, how their socio-cultural backgrounds shape how they judge those around them. By defining diversity in terms of similarities (and not merely as differences), this topic helps students develop empathy for classmates from different socio-cultural backgrounds (in particularly, those they might judge as one of the Others) and develop strategies for becoming more accepting, in order to create their own blueprints for achieving success.

Staying true to itsmission of keeping students engaged, a SEMANTICS keynote address is highly interactive and doesn’t rely on preaching to or talking at students. Students don’t respond to those approaches. By using language, metaphors, and examples that students identify with, a SEMANTICS keynote is a great way to introduce or conclude your event, reinforce your theme, and leave your audience inspired for what’s ahead!

Whether you are planning a student conference, an orientation for your students or student group, or a leadership retreat, a SEMANTICS keynote address is sure to compliment your event beautifully! The theme of your event will serve as the theme of the keynote, leaving your audience engaged in the day’s activities, and enabling your audience to transition smoothly from the start of the day to the break-out sessions. (You can even choose one of the SEMANTICS Student Success Programs as a break-out session.) More than anything, a SEMANTICS keynote puts the focus back on your students; after all, they are the stars of the show.

One of the unique aspects of SEMANTICS is that it can be customized to suit any event you are planning! Perhaps you’re looking for a new, fresh set of ice-breakers and team-builders for your group’s orientation. Perhaps your student group is suffering from low morale and could use someone to assess their needs and bridge the gap between students and professional staff. Or, perhaps you’re planning a Senior-Parent night and you’d like a workshop that focuses on educating parents about helping their children succeed in college. No matter what vision you have in mind, SEMANTICS can be customized to meet your needs! Because SEMANTICS focuses on helping students redefine purpose and success, and making college matter, there are a multitude of options for bringing SEMANTICS to your school. As the educator, you simply choose a theme, identify your group’s needs, and your custom SEMANTICS event will be created.


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