What is a Cohort?

September 20, 2011 |

As a Daniels Ambassador, I have spoken to many prospective students.  One of the most frequently asked questions is “What is a cohort?”  According to dictionary.com, a cohort is “a group or company.”   Other definitions include “a companion or associate” and “any group of soldiers or warriors.”   Here at Daniels, a cohort is the group of thirty or forty students with whom you will take your core classes.  Your cohort will encompass all of dictionary.com’s definitions and more.pioneerblog-cohort1

1.) “Any group of soldiers or warriors”: You and your cohort will be academic warriors together.  This quarter, I am in three classes with my cohort, which means that we will spend a bare minimum of twelve hours per week together (after factoring in group projects, homework, and extracurricular activities, a more realistic estimate is forty hours per week).pioneerblog-cohort2

2.) “A companion or associate”: The people in your cohort will quickly transcend the title of “companions”; a more appropriate description would probably be “family members.”  I have known my cohort for less than a month, but we have already given each other nicknames and have acquired an arsenal of inside jokes.  After spending time with several second-year cohorts, I can confirm that these tendencies intensify over time.pioneerblog-cohort3

3.) “A group or company”: Your cohort can help connect you with a company!  The members of your cohort are an amazing resource for finding jobs and internship opportunities.  Many cohorts use social media outlets like Facebook to share career information with each other.  You will see the concept of “lift as you climb” leadership in action. 

As you learn and grow with your cohort, I also encourage you to branch out and get to know people from other cohorts.  One excellent way to expand your network is by joining a student organization or a program like the Daniels Ambassadors.

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