Student Engagement at Urban Institutions

Topics: Student Experience, Student Affairs, Student Organizations and Activities, Student Activity Fees

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Institutions in urban areas often experience lower levels of on-campus student engagement because of the prevalence of off-campus activities. This project explores on-campus programs that engage students at urban institutions: types of programs offered, strategies to compete with off-campus events, program funding, and program marketing. The project also surveys outcomes of increased student-engagement initiatives and methods for program assessment.

  • Key observations from our research:

    1. Administrators at institutions in urban environments use on-campus programming to foster a community distinct from the city.

    2. Programming administrators host off-campus events to encourage alcohol-free engagement with the city.

    3. Student-led programming efforts gain immediate student buy-in, experience high turnout rates, and accurately reflect student body preferences.

    4. Staff in charge of program marketing must leverage channels that students access regularly to attract event attendees.

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