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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Costs of Education

Congress is looking at making costs of education more transparent. This is a critical issue for students and families making huge financial commitments for college. As the Division of Student Affairs puts the final touches on its strategic plan, emphasis will be on continuing assessment of our services. These assessments are often called learning outcomes. For example, by living on campus, how have students changed? The Division and the Residential Life Office has aked these questions in past assessments. This has, in part, led to the creation of the initiatives that are part of the upperclass task force recommendations. By demonstrating that programs such as REAL LIFE have made a difference, and that the Sophomore College has shown promise, the department has been able to increase staffing and to improve the student experience, including learning outcomes. The Student Affairs strategic plan will show what the division values, express the importance of our residential mission, and focus on goals related to collaboration with faculty, social responsibility, student development, and assessment. The better we do, the greater value we create, which will hopefully justify the costs of attending Trinity. While much of the value is about the classroom, the Student Affairs staff sees learning outside of the classroom as equally valuable, and deserving of the same kind of development of the academic side of the University.

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