Encouraging Student Intellectual Engagement Beyond the Classroom

Administrative Structures and Student Programs

Topics: Academic Affairs, Residence Life, Student Experience, Student Affairs, Experiential Learning, Career Services, Living-Learning Communities, Student Retention and Success

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Research Questions

  • How do other institutions’ organizational structures foster collaboration between academic affairs and student affairs administrators?
  • What guidelines do other institutions recommend for increasing effective collaboration between student affairs leaders and academic affairs leaders?
  • What programs have other institutions found effective in promoting intellectual engagement outside of the classroom?


This brief examines administrative structures, for example designated liaisons and joint committees, that encourage collaboration among academic affairs and student affairs at small, private, liberal arts colleges.  Additionally, this brief provides guidelines for increasing administrative and programmatic collaboration in order to further student intellectual engagement beyond the classroom.  Programming examples include common reads, summer research grants, visiting speakers, community service-based learning, and academic-focused residential programs.   Finally, campus-wide event calendars and physical spaces conducive to intellectual engagement are considered.

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