The mission of the Colorado College Ambassador Program is to provide resources to new staff in order to foster connections across the campus community and share CC’s culture. CC Ambassadors attend a one-hour CC Ambassador training session.
When an Ambassador gets assigned a new faculty member, they dedicate between 30 minutes an one hour per week for the first four to six weeks, and continue to meet with them regularly for the rest of the year.
Colorado College looks for qualities such as excellent knowledge about the campus community’s culture and history, strong engagement with the CC community, and skilled in building positive working relationships for Ambassadors.
“I started nine years ago, and I didn’t know anyone in the city or the state and it’s hard sometimes to acclimate to new communities and new surroundings,” said Lyrae Williams, Assostant Vice President of CC. “That’s why I volunteered to be an ambassador.”
Adapting to Colorado College is not only connecting with the Colorado Springs community; it’s also acclimating to the Colorado Springs community.
“If you have never been in this area, figuring out Colorado Springs is important,” said Williams. “What its like to find a place to live, what restaurants are good, finding a dentist, finding where to get your hair done are all things you need to feel at home.”
On top of taking the new faculty on tours of the campus and showing them where to park, CC Ambassadors will also help new faculty understand the environment and adapt to some of the nuances in the Colorado College community.
“The Block Plan allows the faculty and students to do what they want. It’s autonomous and very independent. For each block, the class is your entire world,” said Williams. “What I had to adapt to during each block is how to navigate and best communicate to students. Students don’t absorb all the information we send out.”
“We have to be creative and flexible,” said Williams. “CC has a poster culture, not an email culture. We hold gatherings and provide food to distribute information. CC students usually don’t read messages until the block break. Just understanding what the Block Plan means to students and faculty is extremely important. You have to be comfortable, and understanding to what it’s like for students and faculty.”
Another duty a CC Ambassador has is to make sure that they are acclimating well into the community. “The College has events for faculty. Once a block we do a luncheon where faculty present their research. I would invite the new faculty member to come with me so he or she can meet new people and engage in social networking,” said Williams.
The CC Ambassador Program is a great resource for new staff members because it provides a mentor that can introduce and acclimate them to the CC community with all its quirks and nuances.
The Program will set the new faculty on a course to feeling happy and valued in the Colorado College community.