Professor Vorndran hosts “Setting Goals: A Formula for Success” workshop

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

By Shannon Adams

Several students attended communications professor Patricia Vorndran’s workshop titled “Setting Goals: A Formula for Success” on a cold Thursday afternoon, on DCCC’s Marple campus Jan.28.

Vorndran, who teaches both public speaking and interpersonal communication at the Downingtown campus, hosted the workshop because studentsdon’toftenrecognizethehurdles setting goals can help them jump and as a way to reach out. “Students, new and old, could benefit from some guidance,” she said.

During the hour long workshop Vorndran helped students explore what types of goals they had previously set for themselves. She did this by asking students to make a simple list of things they hoped to accomplish this semester.

After students had completed their list, Vorndran led them through the task of picking one goal, as well as determining whether the goal was achievable.

This was done with a “SMART” goal worksheet, which explained a goal in terms of relevance, importance and obstacle.

To further decipher how realistic those goals were, Vorndran explained the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation: extrinsic is a goal built on outside expectation, obligation and the outside achievement or reward as benefit from the goal; intrinsic is defined as motivation to complete a task due to internal desire.

Students responded most to Vorndran’s questions about which types of goals could make them the most successful.

Some students shared that they were working toward their calling, others shared they have yet to discover their own, and some shared they were already familiar with what it is like to fall behind.

Andrew Kelly, a liberal arts major, who is now in his second semester, explained that after a difficult first semester, he hoped attending Vorndran’s workshop would help him find ways to keep himself on track.

Vorndran explained that time management and having friends to remind you of your goals can help students to better achieve [them], “Allowing yourself realistic amounts of time to complete task will help you to reach the larger goals.”

Vorndran found through personal experience, that one of the reasons students may fall behind in college is for the fear of looking stupid in front of their peers.

Another thing Vorndran has most often noticed as a source of anxiety for students is public speaking.

“You not only have to get up and speak, but you’re judged on your ability,” Vorndran said. “I view my role as one to create an environment in which students feel supported; and by the end of semester, [they] feel confident when they speak in front of audiences.”

At the conclusion of the workshop, a checklist was given out to help students decipher what type of goal orientation they possess. Statements listed included: “It’s important to me that my teacher doesn’t think that I know less than others in class,” and “Even if the work is hard, I can learn it.” Though results were not shared, Vorndran informed students that more

successful people tend to be those whose goals are more intrinsic.

On Feb. 23, Professor Vorndran will host another workshop here on the Marple campus titled “Help! I’m About to Give Up,” directed towards students who are finding it difficult to manage their workload.

“Some people avoid doing the work because they don’t know how to get started,” said Vorndran. “They don’t realize the resources and the help that is available

to them.”    

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