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

May 2016 | Jossey-Bass

Chapter 4 discusses the process of crafting and communicating institutional expectations and values and then aligning those with action through appropriate policies, processes, and high-impact practices. By setting high expectations for everyone and also delivering on promises, the full potential of both individuals and institutions is realized. If all of us—faculty, staff, administrators, board members, and others—believe our students and colleagues can achieve at high levels and if we make extra efforts to help them succeed, we often will see phenomenal results.

Action Principles

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  1. Focus expectations on what matters most to student learning and success.
  2. Communicate, and reiterate, high expectations.
  3. Set expectations early.
  4. Implement policies and practices congruent with espoused expectations.
  5. Help individuals and groups develop the capacity to set and meet their own expectations.

Questions for Reflection

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  1. What are the expectations that your institution explicitly communicates to students, faculty, and staff? What are the implicit expectations the institution communicates? How do the explicit and implicit expectations align?
  2. How clear, consistent, coherent, and explicit are expectations for different constituent groups (that is, students, staff, faculty) at your institution? How are those expectations linked to your institution’s mission and values and focused on students and learning? Where and how are these communicated?
  3. Are expectations for student performance set at appropriately high levels, given students’ academic preparation? Are academic challenges for students balanced with appropriate support?
  4. How do you and your institution encourage and support individuals and groups in setting and meeting their own expectations?
  5. What methods (for example, honor codes, traditions, rituals, formal events, trainings, social media) does your institution use to uphold, reinforce, and celebrate expectations?
  6. How do you address gaps between desired institutional expectations and actual performance?