PS Message

A Message from The Priddy Scholars Director - Cammie Dean

I, myself, was a first generation college student. My parents both started college immediately after high school, but – as often happens – life interfered. So, when I traveled 800 miles from home to attend university, I was a pioneer like you. High school had been pretty easy for me, and the first semester of college was challenging but achievable. I found new friends and joined an organization or two. Things became harder for me second semester. I never had problems with the classwork – but more with balancing work, class and social commitments. I also struggled with feeling connected to friends and family back home, while trying to embrace college life and the person I was growing into – not a different person, but fulfilling my own potential more and more.

Higher education research tells us that this type of experience is completely normal. Many college students who don’t make it to graduation are perfectly capable of doing the coursework, but because of trouble balancing many commitments, the strain on important relationships or financial worries. The key to overcoming these obstacles is H-O-P-E. But, it’s not that touchy-feely sense that “if all goes well, I can do this thing.” The hope I’m talking about is not a feeling, but a method for training your brain for the critical thinking and problem-solving required for achieving the goals you set for yourself. There’s actually psychology research on the topic. TPS programs are designed to encourage you to build on your feelings of hope for achieving your college degree with the mental/psychological skills it takes to get you there.

These are the three elements of Hope Theory.

  • Goals Thinking. This is the technique of consistently focusing on your goals for the future; and approaching any opportunity with a growth mindset – the recognition that, even in failure, there is an opportunity to learn.
    “I never lose. I either win or I learn.” ~ Conor McGregor
  • Pathways Thinking. This skill involves identifying routes toward your goals. For this purpose, TPS students are encouraged to be fully engaged in curricular and co-curricular learning. High impact practices, such as undergraduate research and leadership roles, will help develop your marketable skills for the next step – whether it’s employment or graduate school.
  • Agency Thinking. This critical element is the final key to your success. Many may identify their goal and understand what needs to do be done to reach it, but the ability to initiate and SUSTAIN the actions necessary is the grit required to reach your finish line.

A vision without a task is only a dream.
A task without a vision is drudgery.
A vision with a task is the HOPE of the world! ~ Author unknown

I look forward to this journey with you – from hope to success!

“Hope can be defined as the ability to clearly and consistently articulate goals (goals thinking), develop step-by-step plans to reach those goals (pathways thinking), and persevere in spite of obstacles (agency thinking) (Lopez, et al., 2009). As students gain confidence in setting goals and establishing realistic, concrete steps to reach them, they are more likely to remain motivated and maintain a positive sense of well-being conducive to academic persistence and overall academic achievement.” Bender & Lake, FYE Presentation