I loved this post from Kamran Swanson, one of our faculty members. One of the guiding principles during our Reinvention research is that students who feel more connected to faculty and the College are more likely to stay and complete.
I joke to people who ask me how may students we have at Harold Washington College that the reports I read tell me have 8,500 students, but I keep seeing the same 100 students over and over again. We have groups of students who do an outstanding job of finding or creating a community at our school. We need to find more opportunities for all members of our community to feel connected to our school and each other.
I like Kamran’s ideas about creating a space where we can come together. Given the Mayor’s guidelines, we won’t be spending college money on the coffee, cups, or other textiles, but I commit to figuring out a way to bring us together in community to share.
I’d like to ask Kamran to take the lead on this and come back to me with some ideas based on what people are telling him. My job is then to figure out how to fund it and make it happen.
One thought on “Community”
Totally agree that we need to build a stronger sense of community for our students to keep them engaged. We need to find out what is important to them, and then make it our priority. Using technology will likely be the best way to keep them connected…. for example getting creative with mass text messages…we may also want to consider utilizing surveys to gain insight on students' perception of "community" at CCC & build from there . Part of the challenge of educating college students today is adapting to education being a portion, rather than the focus, of a student's life. With the majority of students now working at least part-time and engaged in other activities, using technology could help augment the traditional face-to-face relationship. Student radio shows may also be a good idea to consider- through the use of blogging and podcasts, radio shows can saved in a downloadable format, then available as a mass medium to tell students what's happening on campus and update them on campus resources. Students can link to the podcasts from the college's homepage.Also, we may want to look at the best way to maximize the use of our WYCC network for student centered programming to further enhance a sense of community.