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Articles: Student Success

A recent survey of alumni of institutions confirmed what every university president knows: when asked who set them on a constructive path, at the top of the list are professors who made them excited about learning, professors who cared about them as persons, encouraged them, mentored them, and directed them in projects—what we call “high touch.”

At schools such as Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, therapy dogs are brought in during finals week to help manage student stress. It’s an example of “universal design” because those diagnosed with anxiety aren’t the only ones to benefit.

Common oversights can occur even on campuses where leaders believe they have complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. To avoid running afoul of the law, constant vigilance and ongoing review are essential because there are so many factors to consider.

The Venture Development Center has all the hallmarks of a typical startup: Computers running equations, whiteboards covered with revenue projections and caffeine-fueled meetings about venture capital in glass-walled rooms. But it's more than that: the center is also a University of Massachusetts, Boston incubator that houses dozens of fledgling bioscience and computer science firms.

The numbers should unsettle enrollment professionals: College and university enrollment rates have decreased for each of the last four years and nothing indicates a reversal anytime soon.

Lex O. McMillan III is president of Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania.

If the heart of a liberal (hence, liberating) education is learning to see through the eyes of others—both living and dead—I now see clearly how the bumpy roads of Haiti led us to new learning about others and about ourselves.

College boost: Students in Housatonic Community College’s Family Economic Security Program attend retreats to learn career skills such as public speaking and networking.

An act as simple as handing out bottled water and granola bars before a long evening class can change the course of a college career—especially when the student on the receiving end is a single mother who has just rushed over to campus after a full day at work.

Alice L. Brown doesn’t pull punches when discussing the problems of leadership at the small schools that constitute the Appalachian College Association. Some, she says, are barely surviving and their leaders seem reluctant to take the steps necessary to change course.

Graduates of The Citadel are encouraged to use their ePortfolios when applying for grad school or a job.

Just as websites morphed from digital brochures into versatile multimedia portals, electronic portfolios have evolved from information repositories to robust tools for showcasing student learning. Now, “ePortfolios,” house completed assignments, reflections on learning, photos, creative work and journal entries.

Kelly Walsh, CIO of The College of Westchester in New York, is a UBTech conference speaker. He writes the “Emerging Ed Tech” blog.

The growing availability of custom and commercial software applications allows colleges and universities to transform classroom laboratory experiences into virtual equivalents that offer advantages over their physical precursors.

Celebrating while educating: At Manhattan College, the student group Fuerza Latina performs to share Latin American and Caribbean culture with others.

Three federal grant programs support colleges that qualify as Hispanic-Serving Institutions, or HSIs. The funding covers student support services and other initiatives—such as professional development to train administrators, faculty and staff to work more effectively with students whose first language may not be English.

Anxiety has replaced depression as the most common reason students seek counseling on campus. (Photo: Thinkstock.com/Max-kegfire)

New research finds mental health treatment of students pays off medically and financially. With those students now pressing administrators to increase mental health services, some colleges and universities are expanding their counseling staffs and other services.

As rankings continue to cover the spectrum from the serious to the silly, grappling with their impact on and off campus raises crucial questions of equity, the true meaning of student success and the diverse roles of higher ed in modern society.

Down to business: Students will get a chance to work with foreign entrepreneurs through a new program that will invite startups to launch on CUNY campuses.

A new incubator program at the City University of New York that offers foreign entrepreneurs a path to U.S. citizenship will also provide students with a potential front-row seat to the next wave of business innovations.

Eight years ago administrators laying plans for Guttman Community College in New York City set a goal: The school would make getting students to graduation a primary mission. The approach is now proliferating across the community college sector.

Bill Muse is vice president of administration and finance at Schreiner University in Texas.

Effective collaboration between administration, academic officers and faculty is crucial for effective leadership. Enrollment levels, academic freedom, financial viability and student success could all be affected if these individuals don’t team up to develop an effective strategy.

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