As Grand Canyon University’s students file out of previously filled classrooms in search of food or an area to decompress, a residual hum of activity hangs over its academic buildings. The whirl of conversation and machinery reaches a crescendo and fades as those who aim to make use of their time in higher education emerge with growling stomachs and color-coded agendas, progressively making their way toward the offices of professors and the university’s many collaboration spaces for another long day of work.
These areas, rife in inquiry and discovery, are home to GCU’s Research and Development Projects (RDPs), business think tanks and other experiences that students interested in furthering their studies use to get ahead in an increasingly competitive environment. While it would seem customary for positions in organizations such as these to be held by upperclassmen looking to rack-up notable achievements prior to graduation, it has become an increasingly common phenomenon for the primary beneficiaries of these spaces to be our new and highly ambitious freshman.
The class of 2021, seemingly in tune with the general portrayal of members of Generation Z, are young, open-minded upstarts overflowing with passion and determination. Possessing an unabated drive to push forward whatever they come into contact with, GCU’s iGen (as they have come to be called) population consistently revamps university institutions that believed they were “fine as they were” with a revitalized sense of inclusion and innovation. In an all but shocking progression, the natural leaders and go-getters of the group have ingratiated themselves within the plentiful student organizations available and have consistently claimed positions of leadership to ensure that their voices are heard and their actions felt.
Few areas have felt this tremor of growth as strongly as the Colangelo College of Business and the University’s STEM department. With what can only be described as a direct response to the growing tidal wave of involvement, the colleges’ entrepreneurship coalitions and research groups have steadily adopted more and more members of the freshman class in order to allow them to truly stretch their legs in preparation for everything that lays before them in the next 3 years. The stage has been set, now it’s time to let the kids out to play.
From community outreach to prosthetics development, this budding population of movers and shakers are establishing themselves as the group from which the most significant era of growth campus has seen will stem from. Backed by aspirational professors and genuinely intrigued deans, a movement to reduce potential roadblocks to innovation has been put forth to ensure the expanding community of freshmen thrive. A key example of this fact is the university’s Honors College, given that it’s taken an especially keen interest in the future of these freshmen as it seeks to increase the reach and impact of its members over the coming years. By outfitting those interested with opportunities to lead and establish a foothold in the future of the university, the college is clearly asking its students what they have to offer, and the student body has no intentions of backing down from the challenge.
At a stage where every ounce of effort poured into the incredibly malleable minds of newly arrived students is capitalized on, Grand Canyon University and the individuals that wish to see it thrive are ensuring that nothing is held back from helping its iGen population envision a future worth working towards.
To learn how you can become a part of the Honors College community of motivated and passionate students, visit our website or click the Request More Information button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.