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“I see signs around the school a lot. If you just see a sign … you might not be as apt to participate.”

  • Female student

“We do a good job of broadening their ho zons. Students come to us with very limited exposure to so many things, and we [b ing in outside speake s ; next month, we ll have the state Supreme Court here to do an oral a gument … so in terms of providing them with opportunities to see things and explore things that they’ve not been able to do, we do a real y good job.”

  • Faculty member

14 2009 Findings

Moreover, while about one-third of students (32%) say their colleges provided the support they needed to thrive socially, 75% of full-time students and 87% of part-time students report that they spent zero hours in a typical seven-day week participating in college-sponsored extracurricular activities.

CCSSE is administered in the spring semester, long past the point when most students should have experienced an orientation to college. However, only slightly more than one-quarter (27%) of students indicate that they attended a college orientation program. Although 13% report that they plan to attend orientation, 60% say they did not attend an orientation nor do they plan to do so.

In focus groups, many students indicate that their colleges are providing information about campus activities and events, but they are not connecting with students in mean- ingful ways. As one student explains, “When people come here, they need somebody to talk to … they need somebody to reach out to them.” Another concurs: “I think if they were to announce it and you hear somebody else talking about it instead of just reading a paper about it, it’ll get you.”

On the other end of the spectrum, some colleges expect every person on campus to actively connect with students. Jerry Sue ornton, president of Cuyahoga Community College (OH) notes, “We do a lot of professional development for our maintenance sta.

  • ey oen are the rst line for students. Some of our friendliest, most helpful people

are those who have nothing to do with classroom teaching and learning, but they want students to be successful. I think they realize that if they do something that can help students, it makes a huge dierence.”

Student Services Student services are critical resources, and students say they value many services highly

  • but they are not using these services oen. For example, 90% of students say that

academic advising/planning is very important or somewhat important, but only 56% of students use this service sometimes or oen. More than one-third (35%) say they rarely

or never use it.

Faculty views and actions mirror those of students. For example, 85% of faculty mem- bers say they believe academic advising and planning is very important to students. Yet only 29% refer students to this service oen, and 19% incorporate the use of academic advising/planning into their selected course oen. Similarly, 73% of faculty members report that career counseling is very important to students, but only 14% refer students to this service oen, and 15% incorporate the use of career counseling into their selected course oen.

Making Connections: Dimensions of Student Engagement

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