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Student Development Vision/Direction Statement

STUDENT DEVELOPMENT VISION AND DIRECTION

Revised September 8, 1998

In keeping with Hope College's mission to encompass the liberal arts, being a residential college and founded on Christian faith, the vision of Student Development is committed to the enhancement and development of these dimensions. While diversity, primarily, is not stated specifically in the mission of Hope College, it is an important commitment for all of us. We acknowledge that our community needs to reflect a welcoming, understanding, and learning dimension in relationship to diversity.

Student Development provides many services and activities, which are essential for students. These services and activities include a clean environment, healthy and good food to eat, quality recreational opportunities, and many others that allow Hope College to become comfortable and meaningful. However, the real important events are those experiences where students are challenged, supported, and cared for as it relates to the liberal arts, membership in the community, understanding and experiencing faith in action, and comprehending diversity. Student Development must constantly be aware of teachable moments as well as create intentional occasions so that students have a richer and more meaningful understanding of their head, heart, and soul. This approach to teaching requires initiative and the willingness to engage and not be passive or reactive. Four years is a short length of time. If we are successful at this endeavor we will have created a community which involves:

    Common Enterprise

    Sense of Stability, Involvement, and Belonging

    A Community of Faith and Hope

    The Beginning of an Integrated Life

    Expanded definition of academic and individual learning

    Understanding & developing appropriate response to diversity

The list of statements that follows is intended to guide Student Development and the individual units that make up the division. These broad directions represent the priorities of our division. It is expected that each unit and the individual people that make up these units will devote their efforts and resources to successfully accomplish these goals.

LIBERAL ARTS

Articulate an understanding of the liberal arts and develop purposeful events with students, faculty, and staff in relationship to liberal arts.

    Reduce the isolation between the classroom learning and life.

    Create opportunities for the classroom to be extended in different physical spaces and programs.

    Be seen and involved in the liberal arts culture.

    Develop our unique voice as educators and "servant leaders" of the academic and nonacademic culture.

    Create opportunities to educate students' lifelong competencies (e.g.: oral and written communication, analytical thinking, questioning and decision making, ability to adapt to changing roles and differing values.

RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE

Develop the residential community of the whole college and the processes, which are central to the institution.

    Reduce the distances between the different parts of the institution.

    Create a culture of civility and understanding of responsibility.

    Develop an understanding of how differences can add to the whole in a constructive manner.

    Create ways to unify the educational and co?curricular experience. Develop innovative ways to involve faculty and staff in residential units and programs in all areas of student development.

    Create purposeful opportunities that stretch the mind, the heart, and one's faith.

CHRISTIAN FAITH

Encourage, explore, and learn with students as they participate in their Christian journey. Also demonstrate respect for and willingness to learn about different religions and how they relate to the Christian faith.

    Seek ways to reinforce the College's commitment to the Christian faith.

    Create opportunities for the Christian faith to be explored, experienced, and understood more fully.

    Develop an ecumenical approach to the multiples of Christian faiths on campus.

    Be willing to share the Christian faith.

DIVERSITY

Provide leadership and initiatives that create an understanding and respect for diversity, and the way we work together. The primary focus of this effort will be to increase minority participation at Hope College and to more effectively prepare the majority student to understand the racial, ethnic, and cultural differences.

    Provide intentional programming which develops a greater understanding of diversity.

    Be clearly identified as supporters/leaders of diversity issues on campus and seek as well as utilize teachable moments.

    All planning should have diversity as a first thought and not an after thought

    Be involved in an ongoing process to develop your own professional competence with respect to diversity.

    Create intentional opportunities to assure that environment is welcoming to all.

    Seek diverse students in all aspects of organizational work (e.g.: OAs, RAs, student group leadership positions, judicial board members, etc.

ASSESSMENT

Assessment is a critical element in all of our work. Each area will develop goals and processes to achieve the goals that are clear and understandable. As part of this careful planning each goal will have an assessment element which identifies whether the goal has been reached by the processes which have been used.

    1. Articulation of clear goals for each area of Student Development.
    2. Each goal should have an identifiable process (es) which will result in students being, doing, or knowing a particular outcome.
    3. Assessment should not take place at one point in time but should be continuous to maximize feedback and awareness.
    4. Effective assessment programs should build over time and not try to do everything at once.