What does your environment say about you?

By Dylan Ruffra

Have you ever thought about what college really is? There are many different environments on the college campus that can affect your university. It is important to know how your student population feels about their campus. The students have the most important needs while at the university. The structure of your buildings and the layout of campus can affect your environment as well. You want to have buildings that are structured to meet everyone’s needs. Your academics are a big part of your environment as well. With your university you want your students to go classes that will help them succeed. As I am in my first year of grad school we are learning how your environment can affect your university.
As my cohort has been viewing other college environments, we have been trying to see how the student population fits into the campus. It is good to see the student’s perspective of the university. The students are the one that the policies are directly affecting, so it is important to know how they feel about them. With viewing the university, we also try and see how much pride the student body has. While going to college you want each and every student to be proud of where they go to school. As the university is trying new and different things it is important for the college environment that they are having the backing of their students.

With the environment of your university the structure and layout will make a big difference. Having a good structure and a beautiful campus is able to bring in more students and will let you have better retention. You want to have a place where students feel like they can learn effectively. If a building looks nicer and is better maintained students will want to come to class. If your campus is the opposite and buildings are dirty and look like they are about to fall apart students are less likely to want to learn. You want to create an atmosphere where students are learning freely. So when you can create a space where learning is encouraged and tools are provided your environment will look better. Within your campus it is important to create an environment where students feel that they can freely express themselves and be accepted.

When you are creating a good environment for your students, you want to make sure that they have academic opportunities as well. It is important to make sure that students are getting the information that will best help them in classes. As students may not always do well in a class, it is good that they know where to go for help. When students are taking a class you want to make sure they are being challenged in what they know and succeeding in their rigorous course work. Having different majors and minors within your university you want to make sure they are staying up to date and providing students with the best education. As students feel that they are getting the best education possible they are more likely to come back to their college environment.

When thinking of your college, it is important to know how your environment is perceived. You want to create an environment where students are happy to learn and feel like they matter. Your college environment is a big predictor of how well you are going to do with retaining students.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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