The Keker Common Experience program is a holistic student success program designed to help new students transition to academic life at UNC Greensboro. This high impact practice instills a multi-faceted approach to student success and development to empower students with the tools and skills needed to find their way here.

 

Each first year student receives a Keker Success Guide created by a nationally-renowned author in the field of college student development. UNCG faculty and staff work collaboratively to tailor this guide to the Spartan experience to provide a customized and valuable learning tool.

First year students have the opportunity to meet and hear from the author of the Keker Success Guide during a campus visit in the fall. The author hosts a variety of presentations and workshops, to engage with first year students and the campus community.

Throughout the academic year, first year students have the opportunity to engage in a series of collaborative programs focused on student success. Various campus partners across UNCG’s campus develop and facilitate these programs to help first year students take initiative and begin taking steps toward their future success. 

First year students have the opportunity to reflect on their Keker Common Experience by competing in an essay competition to demonstrate their personal growth and academic success throughout their first year. The winning essay will be incorporated in the future year’s Keker Success Guide.

  1. Connect to the UNC Greensboro Community
    As a result of this program, students will connect with UNC Greensboro’s many people, programs, and resources to understand how they can help them succeed.
  2. Foster Academic Success
    As a result of this program, students will engage in active learning strategies to improve critical thinking and academic success skills.
  3. Engage in Personal & Professional Development
    As a result of this program, students will develop a stronger sense of self-awareness through self-exploration and reflection.
  4. Cultivate Spartan Pride
    As a result of this program, students will cultivate a sense of Spartan Pride and affinity for UNCG.

During NAV1GATE: New Student Convocation and Rawkin’ Welcome Week, 4000 Keker Success Guides were distributed to first-year students. The Keker Success Guide includes the reflection worksheets and an academic planner in addition to content specific to UNCG curated by the Keker Common Experience Team, which is comprised of staff from across campus.

If you are a first-year student and you have not received your copy of the Keker Success Guide, please contact Emily Wiersma, Associate Director of New Student Transitions and First Year Experience, at e_wiersm@uncg.edu.

On October 23rd and 24th, we welcomed the author of the Keker Success Guide, Jullien Gordan, on campus for the 2019 Keker Speaker Visit! During his time on campus, Jullien engaged with first-year students, student leaders, and faculty & staff.

Jullien is a 6-time author, 4-time TEDx speaker, and has been featured on MSNBC, Forbes, and INC. Jullien has also spoken at over 100 colleges nationwide and his corporate clients include PepsiCo, JPMorgan Chase, Daimler, Johnson & Johnson, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

As CEO of The Freedom School, Jullien is creating a global movement of purpose and passion-driven individuals. I think you will quickly recognize why we are so excited to have Jullien with us here today to talk about how we can engage Gen Z students and set them up for success moving forward.

Jullien earned his MBA and M. Ed. from Stanford and his BA from UCLA in 3 years. Jullien is originally from Oakland, California and currently resides in New Orleans, Louisiana with his family.

If you have any questions, please contact Emily Wiersma, Associate Director of New Student Transitions and First Year Experience, at e_wiersm@uncg.edu.

Each month during the school year, students will have at least four opportunities to attend various programs that align with the Keker Common Experience objectives: Connect to UNCG, Foster Academic Success, Engage in Personal & Professional Development, and Cultivate Spartan Pride. These programs will also fulfill a variety of domains on the Co-Curricular Transcript.

If you have any questions, please contact Emily Wiersma, Associate Director of New Student Transitions and First Year Experience, at e_wiersm@uncg.edu.

As new students engage with the Keker Success Series and utilize their Keker Success Guide, they can reflect on and articulate their personal growth and academic success by competing in the Keker Common Experience Scholarship essay competition. The winner of the essay competition will receive a $1,000 scholarship and their essay will be incorporated in the future year’s Keker Success Guide. The runner-up will receive a $500 scholarship.

There are 6 requirements to be eligible to apply for the Keker Common Experience Scholarship:

• Attend at least four (4) Keker Success Series programs, one in each of the four categories: Connect to the UNC Greensboro Community, Foster Academic Success, Engage in Personal & Professional Development, and Cultivate Spartan Pride
• Attend the Keker Speaker Visit
• Complete the Keker Common Experience Scholarship essay

Overall engagement is a large component of the application review process, and as such, students are encouraged to view the Keker Success Series schedule above for upcoming opportunities.

Recipients will be notified via email by April 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact Emily Wiersma, Associate Director of New Student Transitions and First Year Experience, at e_wiersm@uncg.edu.

The Keker Common Experience program is named after Mrs. Lucy Spinks Keker, a 1938 graduate of the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNC Greensboro). While a student of the Women’s College, she was Student Government President, University Marshall, and an Adelphian. She spent 30+ years working in Maryland’s governance of public education in various capacities, including being a member of the Maryland State Board for Higher Education and President of the Montgomery County Board of Education.

Mrs. Lucy Spinks Keker and her husband, Sam Keker, were lifelong advocates for higher education. Together they established endowments at Montgomery College, American University, and UNC Greensboro. In 1997, Sam Keker established two endowments in honor of his wife, the Lucy Spinks Keker Excellence Professorship and the Lucy Spinks Keker Undergraduate Program Endowment. 

The purpose of the Lucy Spinks Keker Undergraduate Program Endowment is to create programs for first year students that will increase their connection and involvement in the university. Mrs. Lucy Spinks Keker was invested in the future of higher education in the state of North Carolina, and specifically wanted to help put UNCG in a position to be competitive with other states. She and her husband wanted the endowment to directly tie to success, retention, and achievement.

If you are interested in receiving a Keker Success Guide, please contact Emily Wiersma, Associate Director of New Student Transitions and First Year Experience, at e_wiersm@uncg.edu. Additional guides will be given first come, first serve!

If you have any questions, please contact Emily Wiersma, Associate Director of New Student Transitions and First Year Experience, at e_wiersm@uncg.edu.