Surveying the Field

The Student Experience Committee had a great second meeting Oct. 31 in which members reported on their research of peer/aspirant peer colleges and universities. Each member selected one institution from the administration’s list and chose one additional institution, then collected data on what kinds of strategies these places use to engage, inspire, and educate students. The strategies ranged from investing heavily in STEM to rejecting the STEM paradigm in favor of ‘knowledge for knowledge’s sake’, from targeting the sophomore experience to senior capstones, and from engaging the local community to encouraging every student to study abroad. The committee agreed that having a sense of the ‘big picture’ is very helpful to now turn our attention to what we do at UVM. Our next task is to identify and catalog the many strategies currently in place to engage, inspire, and educate UVM — and particularly CAS — students, and link those to our strategic goals and action plan. We have a great start thanks to Lynne Bond and some work she’s done using previous assessments and we hope to flesh this out further at our next meeting, Thursday, Nov. 14.

We welcome comments and suggestions on approaches currently in place in CAS (or maybe just your department/program?) that you feel are particularly effective for improving student experience, or perhaps you have an idea you’d like to submit that would lead to improvement? Feel free to post here or email Meghan Cope ( directly.

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