As the incoming freshmen begin their college career, one of the required classes that they must take is Cornerstone. However, there seems to be a certain negative perspective on this class.
Amanda Lebrecht, Associate Dean of Student Success, is aware of the attitude that most students have with the class.
“That is just national, you can look up any orientation course, students don’t think they need it,” Lebrecht said.
According to Lebrecht, the Cornerstone staff tries to make the course as relevant as possible and are constantly making changes and improvements each semester. One huge adjustment the Cornerstone staff has done is removing assigned reading quizzes.
“We didn’t feel that they were having an impact and so we just tried a final exam,” Lebrecht said.
According to Lebrecht, they will give the freshman students a chance to give their input and evaluate if they enjoyed the Cornerstone class.
“We make changes every semester. I think Cornerstone is our greatest example of continuous improvement at Vanguard,” Lebrecht said.
According to Lead Peer Mentor Jessica Van Winkle, there are a couple of factors as to why students can have a critical attitude with the class. One factor is that it usually depends on the time that the freshmen are taking the class. Some freshmen don’t like taking a Cornerstone class at 8:00 a.m. because they are tired.
Another factor was the type of speakers that will give sessions in the class, according to Van Winkle.
“It depends on the speaker too. Sometimes students are really engaged and interested in what the speaker is talking about And that can kind of depend on the content overall,” Van Winkle said.
According to Van Winkle, though Cornerstone does tend to stand out a bit from the variety of other classes at Vanguard, the attitude is typical of every other class. While they try their best to make the class interesting to the students, they are unable to make people change.
Even though VanWinkle is the lead peer mentor for Cornerstone, she still remembers how different the class was when she was a freshman.
“It was a completely different class than what it is now…different curriculum, different setup, different style. Everything has changed in the last three years or four years,” Van Winkle said.
According to Van Winkle, she had mixed feelings about the class, however, she mentioned she was able to gain connections with people on campus.
According to senior Javail Trice, his experience was completely different than what the Cornerstone class currently is now. All the freshmen had to read the textbook “Why College Matters to God,” and the community service requirement was only five hours.
As for the new changes that have been made to Cornerstone, Trice believes that it has been able to benefit the new students.
“They’ve definitely improved. I feel like they benefit students a lot more, and more things they want to know and things that they should know…a lot of it is actually really interesting,” Trice said.
Trice encourages new freshmen to take Cornerstone seriously.
“My advice to any incoming freshman…would be to not be so quick to not like it because you came to Vanguard for a reason. And one it’s a required class, so you might as well enjoy it,” Trice said.
According to Trice, he believes that the Cornerstone class is beneficial to freshmen that take the class. Cornerstone can help make connections, leadership positions, and even potential job opportunities.
Though there seems to be a fixed mindset with Cornerstone, its staff is constantly improving the quality of the class for incoming freshmen every semester.