College students have both expectations and goals when they enter college. They put their trust in the colleges they attend and the leaders who operate those colleges. In return for student commitments, colleges make promises both actual and implied.
Important promises include:
A Great Education – Colleges promise to provide students with a great education in their fields of study. That is important. Students want to be assured that they will receive the information, tools and experiences that lead to jobs in their areas of interest.
Concerned and Active College Leaders – Students and parents alike expect college leaders to look out for the best interests of students. That can only happen when college leaders are truly concerned about their students and are out there fighting to serve their best interests.
Dedicated Professors – When Professors want students to be successful, they go the extra mile to make certain that students understand the most important and complicated information, concepts and procedures. The best Professors tell stories, facilitate discussions, provide examples, use classroom demonstrations, bring in guest speakers and take students on tours, in order to maximize the learning experience. Importantly, these Professors create an environment where students want to learn.
A Supportive Learning Environment – Since some students will face learning difficulties, a supportive learning environment is essential. Concerned counselors, electronic classrooms, learning laboratories, modern library facilities, study groups and tutors are all helpful and often necessary for student success. When Instructors are willing to stay after class to clarify a concept hold a discussion or invite students to lectures, seminars and professional association meetings, learning becomes easier and a supportive learning environment is created.
Individual Attention – Nearly every student will need and appreciate some individual attention when problems arise. Students do not want to feel that they are just one of a million. That’s why some colleges promise individual attention when their students face difficulties and challenges. With individual attention, more students can be successful.
A Safe Campus – Students and parents want and expect college campuses to be safe. They can find few reasons to attend a college where students do not feel safe. College leaders are expected to assure us that student safety is at the top of their priority list.
An Enjoyable College Experience – College students want and need a place to learn and grow that can be fun and interesting, a place where friendships can be formed. Students need a place where there are a variety of organizations, activities, clubs, athletic programs, as well as cultural, artistic and musical forms of entertainment. They all need ways to reduce the stress and rest their minds and bodies.
Comprehensive Help in Preparing For The Senior Year Job Search – Students are not natural born job hunters. They need help in learning what to do, how to di it and when to do it. Because all of that cannot effectively be done in the senior year, students greatly benefit from the information, tools, experiences and strategies that are acquired as they move through the college years. Without ongoing and quality assistance from college leaders, counselors and Professors, many graduates will be unprepared to compete for the best jobs.
A College Where Graduates Attract Interest From The Best Employers – Students and their parents expect that the reputation of the college, the quality of the education and the performance of good students will work together to attract interest from the best employers. College leaders are expected to work hard to make this happen. Without a good job, most graduates get off to a slow start and have difficulty launching their careers.
Not all colleges make these promises. Others make the promises, but do not keep them. Therefore, High School students and their parents should carefully evaluate the colleges that are being considered by asking questions of college administrators, Professors and current students. Asking for examples, statistics and proof is not out of bounds. Students need that information, so they can make good decisions. Why not ask each college, “What promises does this college make to students?”