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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. 

Successful firsts: MIT’s First Generation Program website includes personal snapshots from first-gen students, alumni and faculty.

Along with issues of retention and completion, many first-generation students face day-to-day challenges as they navigate social, academic, financial and administrative challenges. Here are 24 ways colleges can support first-generation students in every aspect and stage of student life.

New football teams continue to take the field at colleges and universities each fall, overcoming criticism—from within higher ed and from outside—that sports programs not only suck up money desperately needed by academic departments but also drive up tuition and student fees.

Institutions have implemented more innovative waste management practices since a major stream of recycling revenue dried up.

For many colleges and universities, there used to be gold in garbage. Or, at least, there was some revenue to go along with the recycling stream. But two years ago, the whole landfill landscape changed.

Columbia College in Missouri is vastly expanding its athletics program, but  officials have no plans to add a football program.

The athletic department at Columbia College in Missouri will have tripled in size by the 2016-17 school year. But it has no plans to field a football team, says Cindy Potter, the associate director of athletics.

In 2012, the college—which has about 1,100 students attending class on its “day” campus and another 25,000-plus in various evening, extension and online programs throughout the country—added men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s cross country, and women’s soccer. By 2016, the Columbia Cougars will also compete in men’s and women’s track, and baseball.

Active 24/7, b-school buildings are often a campus within a campus and tend to be the envy of educators in other departments. They are the technology-rich, active learning environments designed to feel welcoming and bright at any hour of the day, with multiple gathering spaces that provide venues for everything from a small event to a gala reception.

Preventing flu at Mizzou: University of Missouri got more students to get a flu vaccination by  folding the cost into the per-semester student health fee and by offering the shot at locations throughout campus.

Advance planning the key to preventing and managing infectious diseases on campus. College and university officials acknowledge that the most common communicable disease they must address is the flu, but they're also creating emergency preparedness plans to help prevent outbreaks of rarer illnesses like meningitis.

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