This is the most daunting time to approach adulthood in the U.S. since World War II and the Great Depression.
The worst pandemic in a century, with near 450,000 attributed deaths by early Feb. 2021. Millions of individuals out of work, with twice the number of applicants for every opening in late 2020. The most polarized American electorate since the Civil War, heightened by tensions concerning race and social justice. Rising economic inequality. Growing distrust in institutions and democracy itself, including among young Americans. Rapidly advancing technology that is transforming what it means to be human. And looming above all, escalating climate change that threatens vital food and water resources, millions of homes and thousands of communities, national security, and the stability of the ecosystems that underpin life on earth.
Michael Weddington’s COLLEGE AS RITE OF PASSAGE and HERO’S JOURNEY DURING AN AGE OF UPHEAVAL is a college student development book that addresses the critical need to better prepare our young for adulthood using the only commonly shared Coming of Age rite of passage in our society today: the college experience. Weddington integrates ancient wisdom with contemporary research and popular film to provide the following resources:
A structure for helping students to make meaning of their individual college journeys from high school to college graduation
Ways to help students discover and embrace an inspiring sense of career and life purpose
How to mentor students towards aligning an emergent sense of purpose with personal skills, aptitudes, strengths, and personality style
996 hyperlinked, evidence-based insights that provide context and tools for supporting the transitioning of college students into adulthood; in ways that encourage contributing to the common good by addressing the pressing challenges of our day
About Michael Weddington
Michael Weddington is a scholar and practitioner in the field of career and college counseling, with 20 years of experience researching ways to help young people transition into adulthood during times of turbulent change. He is owner of YourCareerStory.net and holds a B.A. in psychology from U.C. Davis and an M.A. in educational psychology from Sonoma State University. A credentialed secondary level social studies teacher in California, Michael has also conducted doctoral research in student development at the University of Northern Colorado, where he worked as assistant program coordinator for professional development.
Michael informs his writing and research with diverse work and personal history; he has served as an at-risk youth counselor; a community event organizer; a financial services manager and advisor; has taught in Japan, Hawaii, and California; has conducted a 3,000-mile charity bicycle tour on behalf of runaway and homeless youth with two friends; owned and operated a cross-cultural outdoor adventures company; and, has authored works on athletics sponsored by the Official United States Olympic Publisher and USA Track & Field. Michael was raised as a bi-cultural/bi-racial U.S. 'military brat' across the United States and Japan. He currently lives in Northern California with his family and is father of a college-aged daughter.
College as Rite of Passage and Hero's Journey
During an Age of Upheaval
Michael Weddington’s book provides a host of insightful ideas and practical strategies for advisors, mentors, and career development specialists. His recommendations are well-grounded in research and theory. They are applicable to students in high school, college, and beyond. His substantive thoughts and suggestions are particularly timely during the current climate of COVID and sociopolitical divisiveness, but at the same time, he offers recommendations that are timeless and universal. Weddington “connects the dots,” integrating ideas about the importance of inner development with outer concerns regarding interdependence and contribution to the common good. In so doing, Weddington artfully unites the importance of general (liberal) education for global awareness and identity exploration with the importance of practical career decision-making and pre-professional preparation. College as Rite of Passage and Hero’s Journey is a valuable tool for anyone seeking to enhance their impact as an advisor, mentor, counselor, and educator of emerging adults.
Joseph B. Cuseo, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Psychology; Marymount California University Author, Thriving in College & Beyond
Recipient- Diamond Honoree Award from the American College Personnel Association (ACPA)
Brimming with timely data and relevant cultural references, Michael Weddington's College as a Rite of Passage and Hero's Journey invites readers to draw meaning from the paradox of the college experience both as a shared social and developmental phenomenon and as a deeply personal discovery of self and one's purpose. Weddington couples nuanced insights and practical advice with relatable examples for an end result that allows college students from all backgrounds to recognize their own heroic agency toward creating a meaningful life while also giving mentors effective tools to guide them along the way.
Michele C. Murray, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students The College of the Holy Cross
Co-Author, Helping College Students Find Purpose
Against today’s volatile background of evolving norms and values, young people are seeking even more urgently for meaning, identify, and purpose. While higher education has long served as the primary vehicle for discovering and realizing personal and professional goals, Michael Weddington’s book takes a fresh look at traditional wisdom associated with that experience and offers, in entertaining and highly relevant ways, new insights and strategies which serve to maximize and bring greater value to the college journey for learners, their parents, advisors and anyone interested in the future of this and coming generations.
Manny Contomanolis, PhD (he, him, his)
Senior Associate Vice President,
Employer Engagement and Career Design, Northeastern University Former President, National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)
College must be more than career training! With social norms and values in flux, students seek meaning and purpose. COLLEGE AS RITE OF PASSAGE AND HERO'S JOURNEY compels those helping young into adulthood to blend traditional wisdom with the latest in research. When I need updates about work and higher education learning trends, there's no one better than Michael Weddington. His deep skills in navigating the college and career exploration and transition process make him a top-notch advisor.
Rich Feller Ph.D
Professor Emeritus, Counseling & Career Development & University Distinguished Teaching Scholar, Colorado State University
Former President, National Career Development Association (NCDA)
Michael Weddington's book College as Rite of Passage and Hero's Journey is important on a number of levels, but perhaps most significantly provides the reader with the big "why". With so much of our attention being paid to "HOW" and "WHERE" to go to college, this comprehensive work presents the critical "WHY" the journey to and through college matters. Mr. Weddington's research, storytelling and connection to the works of Joseph Campbell make for a truly enlightening reader's journey to new insights and understanding.
Los Angeles County Office of Education Project Director (Ret.)
Co-Founder, College2Career Fairs