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Operation Navigation: Support During the First Year

Navigators serve as big brothers and sisters to freshmen who participated in Bulldog Scholars Academy (BSA). Navigators help scholars maintain connections established during the summer and assist with the transition into college. 

The Navigator-Scholar Relationship

Navigators and scholars maintain contact during the first year by checking in regularly and attending BSA and university-sponsored events. Consistent contact ensures that scholars have support navigating social issues and connecting with campus resources.  

Navigators commit to: 

  • checking in with scholars by phone or in person once a week,
  • attending a minimum of three BSA or university-sponsored events with scholars,
  • participating in training and professional development activities,
  • role modeling integrity and trustworthiness, and 
  • documenting navigator-scholar interactions.

Scholars commit to:

  • participating in weekly check-ins with a navigator,
  • attending a minimum of three BSA or university-sponsored events with navigator, and 
  • sharing feedback about Operation Navigation with BSA staff.

Becoming a Navigator

Undergraduates who will have earned 24 credits by the beginning of the fall semester and meet the standards outlined below are invited to apply to serve as navigators. We are looking for individuals who successfully navigated work-life balance during their first year and are eager to share their experiences with new students. Navigators have:

  • earned a 3.0 cumulative grade point average or above,
  • obtained a minimum of 24 credits by the end of the spring semester,
  • full-time undergraduate status,
  • no judicial or residence life infractions,
  • demonstrated strong leadership skills, and 
  •  ability to commit to a full academic year of service.

Apply here: (coming soon!)

Partnering with a Navigator

Bulldog Scholars Academy participants who wish to be paired with a navigator should fill out this form: (coming soon!) Navigators and scholars will be matched according to major and interests. 

Benefits of Participating in Operation Navigation

Being a navigator is a rewarding experience. This opportunity cultivates a better sense of self and stronger leadership skills. Just as importantly, navigators have access to the following:

  • Professional development: learn both the intricacies of being a mentor and the habits of mind associated with professionalism;
  • Leadership development: learn about and cultivate your strengths;
  • Branded gear: show off with one-of-a-kind BSA swag;
  • A guaranteed invitation to an interview for Bulldog Scholars Academy: available to Navigators who meet minimum standards for employment.

Scholars who participate in Operation Navigation have an advantage over their peers. Most freshmen are on their own to figure out how to access support services, when to apply for financial aid, the benefits of joining organizations, how to resolve conflicts with roommates, and much more. Navigators have experience in these areas and can offer guidance and support. Some of the many benefits of participating include:

  • receiving support from someone who successfully navigated the freshman year;
  • receiving referrals to support services and other campus resources;
  • networking with peers in similar majors;
  • being involved in a community dedicated to uplift;
  • receiving reminders about important dates and deadlines;
  • having someone to talk to who cares about your success.