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While it can be risky for people with physical disabilities to navigate between facilities outdoors, tunnels on campuses such as Wright State U allow for smooth building-to-building movement.

Rumors about the nearly two miles of tunnels that lie beneath Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, often revolve around its location near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Some people have suspected the tunnels were designed as an Air Force/Wright State bomb shelter—or even that top-secret military experiments have been conducted in laboratories there.

The growing view of higher education as a global commodity has driven many ambitious institutions to deepen their international presence by setting up shop overseas.

While still far from common practice, international branch campuses have risen from a worldwide total of 15 in 1995 to 231 in 2015, according to the Cross-Border Education Research Team (CBERT) at the State University of New York at Albany. Leading the charge are U.S. institutions, with 83 campuses abroad.

An analysis of web traffic to Arizona State’s landing page for internationals informed choices about its redesign—including the seven languages other than English a visitor can view it in.

Students at Arizona State University today have access to a service-oriented financial assistance website that provides guidance on college planning. It offers cost calculators, links to scholarships and budget planning, and easy access to financial aid office staff. It’s an approach that works—and the result of using analytics to unearth a treasure trove of website insight.

Seniors line up by Sweet Briar’s library prior to commencement. (Photo: Photo by Andrew Locascio/Sweet Briar College)

While higher ed leaders acknowledge a range of challenges, many say the shutting down of the 532-student Virginia women’s college does not signal doom for small institutions, including those that are single-sex, rural or religiously affiliated.

A pair of draft horses often plows the campus farm at Sterling College. Sterling does have tractors—its agriculture students have to learn how to use all varieties of equipment—but the energy-saving horses are just one step in the Vermont school’s extensive and award-winning sustainable dining program.

The farm produces about 20 percent of the food consumed in the college’s dining hall.

Let there be light—and trees and plants: The walkway connecting University of Regina’s Riddell Centre, which contains the student union and the main food service hub, and the Education Building, home to four academic programs, is an inviting space with plenty of daylighting.

A brighter alternative to the pedestrian tunnel is a ground-level enclosed pedestrian street. It’s a concept that the University of Regina in Saskatchewan has taken to the extreme.

Nearly 100 percent of the main campus buildings are connected by these walkways, which form a figure-8-like loop.

Dan Darkow, age 21 and graduating this spring from Wright State University in Ohio, is president of the National Residence Hall Honorary and a resident assistant. He serves as director of disability affairs for the WSU student government, and he also happens to get around in a wheelchair due to a form of muscular dystrophy.

Special delivery, 18th Century style: A student dressed as George Washington delivers acceptance letters to Washington College applicants in the region—proving that innovative doesn’t have to mean high-tech when it comes to admissions tactics.

There was a time when colleges and universities could put their best marketing message out to the masses, and wait for students to respond and express interest. Today, it’s about being aggressive without being pushy, being more student-focused without being intrusive, and being more open to digital communication without sacrificing authenticity.

The idea of student success has evolved in higher ed, from a concept focused mainly on academic success and graduation rates to one addressing a host of other goals. Campus administrators are helping students immerse themselves in campus life, manage finances, attain life skills, pursue first jobs and launch fulfilling careers. And officials are doing it all by creating connections across departments, as well as among students. These collaborations are at the heart of UB’s new Models of Excellence program.

From grade 13 to college graduation: Students at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Cato Middle College High School begin earning college credit in their junior year and can graduate from a 13th grade with an associate’s degree or professional certification.

Early-college high schools have inspired a new wave of close collaboration between K12 and higher education as both sides recognize the benefits of better preparing students for the rigors of college life and coursework. The programs, which are routine in some states, are are only getting off the ground in other parts of the country. 

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