The Undergraduate Experience
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ISBN: 978-1-119-05074-2

May 2016 | Jossey-Bass

Chapter 3 focuses on the importance of relationships in a successful undergraduate experience. The true value of a college or university education includes the number and quality of deep and lasting relationships that contribute to human transformation and the identification of meaning, purpose, and direction in life.The authors discuss programs, initiatives, and strategies that foster meaningful relationships between undergraduates and faculty/staff members, as well as between undergraduates and their peers.

Action Principles

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  1. Make relationships central to learning.
  2. Create pathways to lead students into relationships with peers, faculty, and staff.
  3. Nurture both learning and belonging through relationships.
  4. Encourage everyone on campus to cultivate relationships.
  5. Celebrate and reward relationship building.

Questions for Reflection

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  1. How does your institution create structures, environments, and programs to encourage meaningful relationships? Who do these structures and programs tend to involve, and who typically is not included? What could be done to broaden and expand participation beyond these individuals and groups?
  2. Are there systemic organizational barriers on your campus that inhibit an integrated approach to relationship building?
  3. Which programs and practices best foster the development of strong relationships between students and faculty on your campus? What programs at other institutions might work on your campus?
  4. What are the most important and effective practices your institution uses to encourage healthy interactions between students and their peers?
  5. Are meaningful relationships with students integrated in areas across your institution such as academic affairs, athletics, and student life or through supervision of student employment?
  6. How are positive relationships supported, rewarded, and recognized on your campus?