A partnership between two campuses
Although Thiel College and St. Paul's, a continuing care community with all levels of care, have been neighbors for over 130 years, only recently have there been meaningful interactions between the two. Dr. James Shaffer, Thiel professor of psychology and a resident of The Colony, an independent lifestyle neighborhood of St. Paul's, recognized the benefits to both Thiel students and residents of St. Paul's of more frequent and structured opportunities to learn from each other. In the fall of 2005, interested faculty and alumni began to meet with employees and St. Paul's residents, leading to the development of a Core Committee consisting of representatives from Thiel's student body, faculty and administration, and representatives from St. Paul's administration and residents. Joining Generations, the name given to this joint venture, has enabled younger and older adults to more fully appreciate each other through a variety of meaningful contacts, experiences, and learning opportunities. The Core Committee meets regularly and is supported by three active subcommittees: internships, service opportunities, and academic opportunities.
In a cooperative spirit, St. Paul's welcomes student interns in various areas of study. Internships are designed to translate theory into practical experience. Students can choose from:
Joining Generations' service opportunities are designed to give students ways in which to contribute to the lives of St. Paul's residents through service. Students give of their time and talents to support the many programs,activities and special events held at St. Paul's campus. Through service opportunities, students build relationships with residents bridging the gap between younger and older adults.
Joining Generations' academic opportunities are designed to enhance learning for both the students of Thiel College and the residents of St. Paul's. Often, professors incorporate a learning project into the course curriculum. Examples are English students interviewing residents and then translating those interviews into a life story, or Small Group Processing students planning an event or completing a project designed to benefit a particular audience at St.Paul's. In the past, group projects have included planning a Mardi Gras party, a Hawaiian Luau, the Marriage Game, a Treats & Trivia Night, and a Japanese Festival. One group worked together to develop a marketing video for St. Paul's marketing department. Other academic opportunities include special presentations to classes given by residents of St. Paul's in their areas of education and/or expertise. In addition, residents of St. Paul's are invited to audit courses each semester. Residents enjoy special subjects such as music appreciation, literature, history, and much more. Since the inception of Joining Generations, both students and residents have had the opportunities through academics to learn in the classroom as well as from each other.
Contact Information for St. Paul's