The First-Generation and Low-Income Task Force at Wheaton College has been doing work to demystify hidden curriculum, which are the unspoken rules, norms, and expectations all students have to navigate in college to be successful. The creation of this short film is a part of that effort. It has student leaders speaking about their own journeys and fears about seeking help. Building on the campus visit of Dr. Anthony Abraham Jack in 2021, the video acknowledges the expectation that students must verbalize needing help to ensure they successfully access the multitude of resources that Wheaton has to offer to ensure their student success. It acknowledges that angst and imposter syndrome can be a barrier to reaching out. As one of the student members of the Task Force articulated: “Needing help isn’t uncommon, but asking for help can be.” This video seeks to shift the culture in reaching out.
Wheaton College has been selected as a First-gen Forward institution, a national honor that recognizes its commitment to the success of first-generation college students. The video, which has been released on social media, is tied to a comprehensive resource toolkit ranging from email templates for reaching out to professors, study tips, preparing for finals materials, and more. The toolkit was created in partnership with Academic Advising, the Wallace Library, the First-Gen and Low-Income Task Force, the Marshall Center for Intercultural Learning, the Center for Social Justice and Community Impact, and the Religion Department. The film itself was produced by Wheaton alum Allison Chaves from the class of 2021 with support from the Film and New Media Studies Department.