Connections program gearing up for Class of 2020


Last year’s Connection group gathered for six weeks starting the second week of the semester.

Connections directors are looking forward to helping the Class of 2020 adjust to their lives in college.

“It’s a great way to get involved with TCU’s community right off the bat,” said Natasha Kalaouze, a sophomore psychology major and a Connections director.

Connections is a six-week program during the fall semester. The goal of the program is to help incoming students transition into TCU and learn more about themselves and their personal leadership skills.

Layton Spence, one of the Connections directors and a sophomore business major, said Connections will help students learn about their personal style of leadership.

“Knowing the different strengths of your leadership skills is a huge thing to go on, even if you don’t get a leadership role in [Student Development Services],” Spence said.

Tyler Fisher, the assistant director of the TCU Leadership Center, said the structure of the program emphasizes StrengthsQuest and values to help students perform in college more efficiently. He also said the program uses the TCU mission statement to create SMART goals.

SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

Because of the focus on personal leadership development skills and goal setting, Fisher said incoming students will be able to “function in a higher fashion.”

Kalaouze said the takeaway from Connections is making friendships with other people.

“Life is all about connections,” Kalaouze said.

Spence agreed.

“I don’t want to use the pun, but you really do get great connections from it,” Spence said.

Fisher said he also wanted to emphasize the amount of resources first-year students learn about during Connections.

“This is a nice way during those really tricky first two months on campus to find out what resources are available to you as a first-year student,” Fisher said. “It’s a great opportunity to continue and grow your individual legacy and the overall culture at TCU.”