Fostering Student Engagement
Finally spring has arrived, and although temperatures are still pretty chilly, we look toward the promise of beautiful days to come. It certainly will be great to see our students once again engaged in so many outside activities.
Speaking of student engagement, one of my favorite campus events is about to take place in a few weeks. On April 19th, the Center for Engaged Learning will host the 10th Annual Celebration of Student Scholarship and Creativity. This event “showcases the excellent scholarly, creative, and service work that Providence College students are doing on campus, in the community, and indeed, around the world.”
I love how this celebration provides an opportunity for us to recognize students’ engagement in their learning on so many different levels. Through the years, when I have walked around and talked with the students showcasing their work, two consistent themes have come through. First, they are clearly passionate about their work and about what they have learned throughout the process. Second, students are eager to talk about the strong collaborative relationship they developed with a faculty member while developing their project and conducting their research.
Research certainly backs up the importance of both of these themes throughout a student’s college career. Data revealed by the Strada-Gallup Alumni Survey confirms the critical role of faculty as mentors in helping students to find their passions and to pursue their goals. A powerful combination, for sure.
So, parents, if your students have not already done so, I encourage you to remind them to seek out a professor, an advisor, or a dean to explore ways to engage in meaningful collaborative relationships outside of the classroom. They can learn about research opportunities within their own disciplines, independent study possibilities, summer projects, and so much more.
Well, it’s time for me to get outside and enjoy this early spring weather.