Co-Authored by Molly McCarthy

Inner Compass PDF

Peak Student Development is independently contracted in its second year at Le Moyne College

By the end of sophomore year business students in the Peak program compared to their non-program peers averaged over 20% higher GPAs, near perfect retention rate, over 90% actively participate in student clubs, organizations, or community service, with over half of Peak students having had major specific internships. 

When I first stepped onto campus as a freshman, I was completely fascinated by the limitless opportunities to learn, the new horizons to explore and my excitement to achieve far beyond that which I might have otherwise expected of myself.  I was quickly inspired by older classmates who spoke of internships at major corporations, cutting edge research projects with faculty mentors or student organizations that they led – or even founded.  I too wanted to do all of this and more; forge new paths into new frontiers of academic achievement and personal fulfillment.

I must also admit that this passion, however enthusiastic and unbridled, was somewhat tempered by the reality that every phase of life has unforeseen challenges (which I believe, in many respects, is the definition of life itself); the difference being how those hurdles are overcome.  While my secondary education had prepared me exceptionally well academically for the great collegiate migration from teenager to young adulthood, I hadn’t quite appreciated the major leap to self-reliance and dependency.  In high school, the goals and the agenda were structured – as they should be for people of that age – but in college, it was all me.  No one was there to tell me when to do this, how to do that or to make certain that I, quite frankly, did anything at all.

So here I was; as anxious, hungry and inspired as one could possibly be at the onset of this amazing phase of life, but at the same time a bit nervous and uncertain as to how to harness this passion in order to realize my expectations.

It wasn’t long afterwards that I attended my first Peak Student Development meeting.  Peak was established to help undergraduates with expectations like to my own by: 1) working individually with students to identify and organize specifically what they sought to accomplish in their college experience; More thoroughly exploring the importance of education and the investment being made in my future 2) setting both large and small goals, with long and near term milestones, to provide a roadmap for achieving those objectives; Supported by tested applicable strategies that show results in real time and 3) developing a relationship with my professors, peers, and overall community to create a support system as well as important connections for my future.  The Peak program empowers students to take ownership of their entire undergraduate experience, become their own advocates and is built on a students commitment to actively integrate into the college environment, taking full advantage of what professors, programs and services have to offer.

As I enter my second year at school, I can say with absolute certainty that Peak has been the key partner in my success.  My grade point average continues to rise each semester, I have completed two meaningful internships in my field of Human Resource Management, I am in a leadership role in the college’s human resources club and, most importantly, I now have the mindset neccesary to capitalize on my time in college. I have the tools and support system neccesary to stay ahead of the game, and I have the Peak community which instills the culture of accomplishment and success in me and my fellow Peak students.

I know that Peak didn’t give me anything that I didn’t already have, but what Peak did do was to unlock, channel and support my inherent potential in order for me to flourish as I had envisioned.  I look forward to what the future brings and the new ways this partnership can help me grow.


Brianne is a Sophomore human resource managment major at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.