Truman Transformation meant to educate freshmen about liberal arts

Incoming freshmen will be the first to experience the revamping of an event at Truman State – Truman Transformation. The previous Truman Week has been modified to encompass calendar adjustments and a refocus on educating freshmen about their upcoming liberal arts education.

Dr. Jack Holcomb, Center for Academic Excellence Director, said the motivation for the renovations stemmed from a change in the academic calendar in order to balance days between the fall and spring semesters.

Holcomb said the lengthening of the fall semester led to a re-evaluation of Truman Week’s goals and the implementation of focusing on what it means to receive a liberal arts education.

“One of the indispensable things, I felt, was the course objectives for Truman Week,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb said Truman Transformation now requires a summer reading. The functions throughout the week are built around the summer reading, he said.

One controversial decision was the exclusion of the Truman Week class, Holcomb said. Students now attend four activities covering different subject areas.

“The idea is to give students a sense of what is possible and what kind of connections are possible and just how cool studying the liberal arts can be,” Holcomb said.

John Gardner, Director of Residence Life, said Residence Life has had to adjust their normal procedures to ensure students still get all the basic campus knowledge they need in a shorter time span.

Although there were some concerns about the shortened week, Gardner said Residence Life saw the change as an opportunity to reflect on the events hosted during Truman Week and their goals to ensure those outcomes would still be achieved during Truman Transformation.

“We’re still making sure students feel at home, [but we’re] making students understand their home is a liberal arts school,” Gardner said.

For more information, be sure to pick up a copy of the Aug. 17 Index.