DVD and DVD + 3-Year Site/Local Streaming
56 minutes, 1997 Producer/Directors: Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller An online FACILITATOR GUIDE is available for this title.
ABOUT THE FILM
For most students, college is a time of dizzying personal change, both confusing and exhilarating. Seniors: Four Years in Retrospect helps prepare undergraduates to take full advantage of these invaluable years of questioning and growth. The filmmakers of Frosh, the widely acclaimed chronicle of one year in a racially diverse freshman residence hall, returned to Stanford three years later to see how college life had changed five of these students. Combining extensive footage shot during senior year with prophetic clips and "outtakes" from Frosh, the two directors have produced an altogether new film focusing on the different trajectories students from diverse backgrounds take to a fulfilling and successful college experience.
Monique, daughter of a crack-addicted mother, almost drops out during her first year but is taken under the wing by two black women mentors; she graduates with honors and plans to go on for her Ph.D.
Cheng, an academically driven, politically conservative Chinese American pre-law major defies his parents by taking a job as a high-risk investment banker in Singapore.
Sam, a white, male, heterosexual "jock," accepts increasing campus diversity but still seeks his own cultural enclave in the BMOC fraternity.
Brandi comes to Stanford as a logical consequence of her upper middle class African American background; but she drops out for two years to discover a reason of her own for going to college.
Debbie "washes out" of her pre-med program and becomes disenchanted with her sorority; she switches to Women's Studies where she develops the self-confidence to go on to a prestigious med school.
Together these concise case studies constitute a unique sociological investigation of continuity and change on today's college campuses. The film will help students, faculty and counselors discuss such issues as:
the importance of student advisors and appropriate role models, especially for first-generation college students
the pros and cons of taking time off during college
the benefits of changing majors and revising career plans
the economic, peer and family pressures affecting career choice
the role of Greek life and ethnic "theme houses" in promoting cultural diversity - or campus Balkanization
the development of individual and community identity on an increasingly polarized campus
the reassuring fact that most undergraduates survive Freshman year and invent their own unique college experience
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"This video gives us a first-hand look at the developmental changes that often occur in the college years. The students whose lives are chronicled here are seen exploring their values and interests, defining and redefining their identities, and learning to think and make meaning in more informed, more complex ways. I especially recommend it for courses that focus on early adult development and college student development theory. I also recommend it for faculty and parents who want to better understand the forces of change in college; it will help them understand just how much learning occurs outside the classroom."
Dr. Patricia M. King, Dept. of Higher Education and Student Affairs, Bowling Green State University
"Masterfully sensitizes feelings and creates awareness of the full spectrum of college life."
Clinita A. Ford, Director, National Higher Education Conference on Black Student Retention
"From insecure, imposter freshmen asking, Who am I? to more secure, searching seniors asking, Who do I want to be?, these five young adults share their personal insight in this search for identity in college. I was proud with them, cried with them, and laughed out loud at their experience."
Susan R. Komives, Counseling and Personnel Services, University of Maryland
"I enjoyed the video. The students demonstrated considerable growth over the years in their confidence in themselves, their sense of purpose and their ability to deal with complex issues. This is a good tape and could be part of a course of the college student. It is certainly well worth the viewer's time."
John Schuh, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Iowa State University
"Just seeing the students and listening to them can be enough prompting to engage faculty and student affairs staff and students in useful conversation about preparing for the job market and transition to life after college."
George D. Kuh, School of Education, Indiana University