Students in Summer College Immersion Program Experience Reflection in the Jesuit Tradition

Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies is busy in the summertime, managing a range of special programs and courses for learners of differing age levels. High school students, for example, greatly benefit from the summer offerings by directly experiencing a Georgetown education and gaining valuable insights about college life. Such an experience can profoundly shape how a pre-college student prepares for the next steps in their learning journey. The value of pre-college preparation steeped in Georgetown’s whole person commitment to academic excellence and the Jesuit tradition of education is clearly at work in the Summer College Immersion Program.  

Mission in Motion has previously written about SCIP, a three-week college program for rising high school seniors from the Cristo Rey Network, KIPP Foundation, and other select school systems, networks, and community organizations. At its core, SCIP is designed “for high-achieving students with aspirations to apply to the most selective colleges and universities” and provides “a transformational learning experience and an introduction to college life.” The program does this in three intensive weeks through class sessions with Georgetown faculty, group discussions, personal mentoring, and seminars and workshops. In addition to learning content, SCIP students acquire critical skills needed to navigate the college application process. Students even experience a mock interview with Georgetown faculty and staff that simulates this significant milestone in the college admissions experience (read more about the SCIP mock interview process). 

One of the core learning objectives of SCIP is for students to prepare their own personal statements through analysis and description of the multifaceted components of their identities. This journey of self-discovery through a transformational education experience makes SCIP such an invaluable mission-aligned program at Georgetown. This week and next, I will be helping students in this task of growing in deeper awareness of their identities by providing tools, resources, and practices of reflection grounded in the Jesuit tradition. 

Students are learning and directly experiencing the examen, a practice of self-reflection that helps one notice the deeper significance of the details of one’s day. During this week’s reflection sessions I invited the students to pause and spend some time in silence noticing all of the emotions that arose for them as a result of the program experience. Students were then invited to share three words in the chat that accurately described the major emotions that came to the surface after five minutes of silence. The exercise revealed that students were feeling a mix of emotions at the start of week two, with “excitement” and “energized” balanced with “anticipation” and “uncertainty.” 

By naming emotions in this way, these sessions help students grow in deeper awareness of how SCIP is inviting them into transformation. Future reflection sessions will build on this foundation and explore the meaning of Georgetown’s mission and how students, regardless of their religious identity or spiritual practices, can find ways in a Jesuit education to lead lives of meaning, purpose, and belonging.