Using the Finding Your Place College Podcast for Student Orientation, Outreach and Virtual Mentoring

In 2019, professors Robert Jersak (Century College) and Dave Engen (Minnesota State University, Mankato) teamed up with a diverse group of six students to produce The Finding Your Place College Podcast – a podcast series featuring authentic student voices as they explore the joys and challenges of college.

Robert and Dave invite faculty and staff to use the podcast for student orientation, outreach, and virtual mentoring. Three training sessions will be held this summer to assist faculty or staff who want to learn more about the podcast, or how to bring a similar podcast to their campus. (See below)

The podcast is designed to reach all college students, but it is of particular value for those who are new to college and who may be the first in their family to attend college.

All 12 episodes (and additional supplementary episodes) are now available as an open educational resource. The podcast is ideally suited for use in first-year seminar courses at colleges and universities, and could also be a valuable resource in virtual orientation sessions for new and prospective students. 

The experience of listening to the podcast gave me a better understanding of college life. It made me feel more accepted and comfortable.

– Student listener

Training Sessions

Thursday, May 28, 2020
10:00 – 11:15 am

Wednesday, June 3, 2020
10:00 – 11:15 am

Thursday, June 25, 2020
10:00 – 11:15 am

Robert and Dave will facilitate 3 virtual training session that will help participants:

  • Learn about the student-centered educational features of the podcast (content, accessibility and mentoring-at-a-distance) 
  • Explore ways to use and promote the podcast on your campus and for your online and distance learners 
  • Understand some of the theoretical underpinnings of the podcast, including Difference-Education, Social Capital, and Cultural Wealth 
  • Preview specific exercises and assignments in the Finding Your Place Educator’s Guide that can be used in conjunction with the podcast  
  • Identify some of the resources needed to create orientation and educational podcasts on your own campus 

Each interactive training session is 75 minutes long, with ample time for addressing questions. There will also be a limited number of additional sessions available for specific college or university representatives who, after attending the initial session, wish to explore the implementation on their campus of the Finding Your Place Podcast Series and/or educational podcasting in general.  


Additional information about the podcast, including links to the podcast, the Educator’s Guide, and a video detailing the making of the podcast, can be found here.
The Finding Your Place Podcast was funded by a Minnesota State Shark Tank Innovation Grant. 

Questions? Contact Stephen Kelly.

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