Teaching with Purpose in Mind

The two-year, grant-funded Explore Your Purpose program was initiated at DePaul this Fall 2016, seeking to foster greater and more intentional purpose exploration among students throughout their DePaul experience as a concrete expression of our Vincentian mission and goal to graduate students who are “grounded in meaning and purpose.” Building on a research study of over 100 colleges and universities, Timothy Clydesdale, author of The Purposeful Graduate, concludes that students across disciplines who participate in purpose exploration programs at their schools tend to be more engaged learners and more resilient students and citizens, both in and outside the classroom, including after they graduate. How might your teaching integrate more intentional reflection on meaning and purpose in ways that can enhance student engagement?

Additionally, your own reflection on who you are as an educator and on the social purpose of your particular discipline also contributes to what you are able to convey to students in and through your teaching. How do you understand your own vocation as an educator and in your particular discipline and how does this inform and contribute to your teaching, to the classroom community you create, and to the ways you engage students?

Participants were encouraged to bring a syllabus or activity plan for a course or program that they had taught or led or were considering teaching or leading in future.

By the end of the workshop, participants were able to:

  • Be able to describe some core aspects of their own sense of purpose or vocation as an educator as well as that of their particular discipline.
  • Have reviewed and reflected upon their syllabi and considered opportunities for integrating purpose exploration into their course/s.
  • Have gained concrete ideas about how purpose exploration can be integrated into their teaching and student engagement.
  • Have learned about the developmental benefits of purpose exploration for young adult college students.
  • Be aware of points of connection between purpose exploration and DePaul’s Vincentian mission.
  • Identify opportunities to benefit from and contribute to DePaul’s Explore Your Purpose initiative.

Presented by

Mark Laboe

Mark Laboe (University Ministry)


Download (PDF, 3.06MB)


Wheel of Purpose Packet

EYP Enduring Understandings

Defining Vocation Mark Laboe



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