University President Sue Thomas will teach a one-credit-hour class for Kraft-Heinz employees who are a part of Truman State University’s agreement with the company.
The class is intended to ease the transition of the employees recruited from the American territory of Guam and Hawaii to the Kirksville area and set them up for long-term success, Thomas said. The class will be required for those living on campus.
The class will be pass/fail and will take place over the two months the students are on campus.
Tyana Lange, vice president for enrollment and marketing, said the class will be a hybrid course based on the one-credit class international students are required to take. That class’ syllabus will be the basis for the new class, with some adjustments specific to these students.
“That’s kind of the goal of this transition is, to be able to use our resources to help them, help the students, and this one credit hour course allows them to learn about not just Truman, but part of that is about Kirksville,” Lange said.
Thomas said she is a tenured, full professor and has a Ph.D. in social psychology, which has helped her understand transitions and cultural differences. She also wanted to teach the class because she did not want to add the class on top of another faculty member’s current workload.
Thomas said the class was important enough she would make time for it despite her busy schedule.
“I felt very clearly that I could do it well, and I’m very committed to making it successful,” Thomas said. “I have a lot of teaching experience and an understanding of how to support transitions, so it made sense for me to do it.”
She has missed teaching during her time in administration, Thomas said. This class will be a way for her to teach without it being too demanding of her time.
Lange said the students, who will live in the currently-unoccupied Centennial Hall, will be able to use the Centennial common area as a classroom to build community and make it easy for them to get there.
Thomas said the course will cover a variety of transition topics including financial literacy, making Kirksville a home and cultural differences. She will bring in community members to share opportunities in Kirksville as guest speakers.