Transformational Change Initiative
In 2016, the Office of the Provost funded the Transformational Change Initiative (TCI), a multi-component effort to support student engagement, belonging, and degree completion. One component of TCI, the LAUNCH program, facilitates students’ early connection with, and involvement in, high-impact experiential learning opportunities (e.g., research, outreach, global education, creative activity, internships, intellectual competitions, etc.). Experiential learning opportunities are known to enhance personal growth and professional development, while also helping students build connections within the university community.
The LAUNCH program currently partners with courses that predominately serve students early in their academic careers and exposes student participants to the variety of experiential learning opportunities available at WSU. Student participants engage in various modules informed by psychological research on supporting goal achievement, including employing strengths-based approaches and engaging in value-based decision-making.
One of the most valuable features of engaging in experiential learning is how it provides the opportunity for personal growth via reflection. To jump-start this process the program has partnered with the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) to provide student participants the opportunity to immediately get involved with experiential learning via the CCE’s Service-Learning program.
The heart of the LAUNCH program is the LAUNCH workshops. During these workshops, student participants engage in a variety of small-group activities facilitated by our trained undergraduate student leaders, that we call LAUNCH Ambassadors. LAUNCH Ambassadors are fellow undergraduate students actively involved in experiential learning opportunities and provide peer mentoring and feedback as students develop a plan to achieve their goals while at WSU.
Being a LAUNCH Ambassador
LAUNCH Ambassadors are trained, and paid, undergraduate student leaders whose primary role is to facilitate LAUNCH workshops. During workshops, Ambassadors work with small groups of student participants to support their exploration and selection of experiential learning opportunities based on participants’ existing strengths and goals. An emphasis is placed on encouraging participants in identifying a clear “why” behind engaging in a specific experiential learning opportunity. Ambassadors promote student participants to shift from a mindset focused on listing activities to being specific about the skills, knowledge, and/or networks they will be utilizing and developing through experiential learning. This more reflective and in-depth approach promotes critical and flexible thinking when exploring experiential learning opportunities and goal achievement.
LAUNCH Ambassador recruitment typically occurs in the Spring Semester.
Benefits of being a LAUNCH Ambassador
- Hone your leadership, collaboration, and interpersonal communication skills
- Develop your teaching and mentorship abilities
- Learn more about WSU resources and the different ways to get involved with experiential learning
- Help others get the most out of their time at WSU
- Grow as a person as you learn about yourself and others
- Be a part of a community and build strong relationships with faculty