Get involved with the AU Way

Madison Graver

Making connections and getting involved is exactly what it takes to retain students for their entire college career. After noticing a high rate of transfers and students not making quality connections at the university, the faculty in the academic advising department decided to do something about it.

“The AU Way is the brainchild of our Academic Advising staff who work principally with new first year and transfer students,” said Robert Pool, vice president of student affairs. “They saw an opportunity to impact retention rates and enhance student engagement with sophomores.”

While AU Way is aimed at sophomores, it’s open for any AU undergraduate student to join in order to help build connections within the community and connect to faculty, staff and peers.

“We want students to make the most out of their time at AU, so the program encourages students to take advantage of the programming, people, and resources available to them throughout their college experience,” said Megan Sherar, interim director of undergraduate admissions.

For students to become involved with the AU Way, they must register as a participant, attend three AU Way sponsored events, complete a minimum of two engagement events connecting to each theme (connection, collaboration, calling) and complete an end of the year assessment to be entered to win prizes and scholarships.

“It will help them find and track meaningful connections, encouraged through points, prizes, and other incentives to check off the things they need to do to be successful at AU,” Pool said.

The three themed areas: connection, collaboration and calling each center on specific events or activities that students can participate in.

The first theme, connection, focuses on the aspect of building connections with the AU community and the resources available. Some of the events included in this theme include meeting regularly with a mentor or acting as a designated mentor to AU students and participating in the Eagle Well Challenge.

The second theme, collaboration, involves students participating in collaborative activities to help create relationships with faculty, staff and alumni. Events included in this theme are actively participating in research and/or professional presentations not required of a class/major and Entrepreneurship Immersion Week.

The third and final theme is calling. This theme encourages students to take steps to identify their life calling and participate in activities that address spiritual, vocational and personal calling. Events included are a spiritual retreat/service trip and a one-on-one meeting with a life calling coach and/or Career Services.

After participating in any of the accepted events, students are then awarded points that will enter them into a drawing for a prize. Drawings for those prizes will take place on November 15, December 6, February 14, March 16, and April 22 (scholarships awarded on this date).

Registration for the AU Way will be open until Oct. 30 and can be done at