You are here

Articles: Campus Life

A PLACE TO GATHER, MOURN, REFLECT—Hours after the April 16 tragedy, a higher ed student organization placed 32 “Hokie Stones” on the campus Drillfield. Later, stones weighing 300 pounds each were permanently placed in the field, with paths to allow for easier viewing.

A decade and well over 100 school shootings since the Virginia Tech tragedy, the higher ed community has considered and implemented changes in policy and practice recommended after the full investigation. 

A link to Virginia Tech’s We Remember website, created immediately after the tragedy, holds a prominent place at the top right of the university’s home page.

Each spring, updated commemoration event information gets posted to the site, www.weremember.vt.edu—with all previous content remaining accessible and the victims’ photos and biographies easy to find.

“Nothing has ever been taken down,” says Mark Owczarski, assistant vice president for news and information at the university. “It’s there as public record.”

Many small towns and rural regions rely on the nation’s 600 rural community and tribal colleges to provide employees who will keep local economies alive.

But these institutions, which also serve as cultural centers, face a range pressures in supporting the day-to-day needs of a dwindling number of high school graduates with less money to spend, says Randy Smith, director of the Rural Community College Alliance.

For instance, Sisseton Wahpeton College in South Dakota—where Smith is president—provides campus shuttle service to students who live as far as 30 miles away.

In looking at colleges for both of my children, one male and one female, I was particularly concerned about the environment on campus and within student housing especially after reading various articles online. As with any parent, there is a lot of anxiety with the child leaving home for the first time. We all feel that we have done the best we can raising our children but we never can tell exactly how the child will respond to the various pressures and freedoms they experience while living on a college campus.

Trends in campus chapels mirror those of places of worship in general: New and renovated spaces are becoming more tech-enabled and multifunctional, with added emphasis on creating a gathering place for an entire community, regardless of religious denomination.

Many second-year-experience programs work with only a few thousand dollars in their coffers. Leaders of these initiatives forge partnerships with other departments to curb spending and help students pick majors, choose the right study abroad program or connect with faculty through advising and social events.

Researchers believe more universities need to join the growing number of schools focusing resources on sophomores.

Traditionally, student success programs have focused primarily on transitioning first-year students from home to college. But now more higher ed leaders are realizing that to retain students and help them make informed decisions, they must expand these efforts to sophomores.

MONUMENTAL DISPLAY AT COLLEGE—The Anaconda Wire and Cable Company monument at Chapman University is made entirely of materials from the industrial plant that used to stand where its film school is now located.

In a renewal of social consciousness in American higher ed, colleges are refining stories of their history told through statues, signage and installations on campus. Many are turning this into an aesthetic opportunity, with historically accurate, engaging content presented in ways that visually enhance and individualize the campus. The concept is known as ambient learning.

INSPIRING ACTIVITIES—Students get to begin bonding with future classmates on Instant Admissions Day at Unity College in Maine. They also get some certainty about their higher ed futures.

Instant Admissions Day at Unity College in Maine provides benefits beyond the immediate acceptance of students’ applications. This accelerated enrollment approach provides a clearer picture of the 700-student private college’s incoming class.

More than 40 years after it was established, Title IX continues to pose compliance challenges for higher education institutions struggling with sexual assault investigations. Some say the federal government doesn’t provide enough guidance.

Many colleges and universities are investing millions of dollars to repurpose or even expand libraries to make room for collaborative learning, technology centers, dining areas, research support and other academic services.

The impacts of unionization by teaching and research assistants can be seen at several U.S. public universities (gettyimages.com: Daniel Vilaneuve)

Leaders at private colleges concerned about the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling allowing Columbia University teaching and research assistants to unionize can look to their peers at public universities to prepare for coming changes.

President Diana Natalicio’s “access and excellence” formula powers the University of Texas at El Paso's mission. Access means working with local schools to develop talented students of limited resources. On the excellence side, a robust research environment provides the financial and academic fuel.

Wine Spectator Learning Center

Sonoma State University (Calif.)

The $9.2 million Wine Spectator Learning Center will be a 14,500-square-foot centerpiece of Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute, the only school in the U.S. that offers a wine industry MBA.

Pages