Captivating Campuses: Proven Practices that Promote College Student Persistence, Engagement and Success

by Nicholas D. Young (American International College), Christine N. Michael (American International College), Jennifer A. Smolinski (American International College)

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'Captivating Campuses: Proven Practices that Promote College Student Persistence, Engagement, and Success' is a must-read for all who work with today’s college students. In an age in which so many attend post-secondary institutions, but so few graduate on time, or graduate at all, it is imperative that we as faculty and administration do all we can to put in place effective strategies for student success. The authors have covered many useful topics and have pragmatic suggestions, culled from the best of theory and research, to assist campus personnel in investing their time and energy in developing programs that work. Additionally, they stress that the most important investment of all lies in the relational realm of education, making connections in and out of the classroom an even greater priority for all institutions.

Richard B. Holzman, Ed.D.
Senior Advisor for External Affairs, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Springfield, MA

In an era when college students expect to be engaged at all times, Captivating Campuses: Proven Practices that Promote College Student Persistence, Engagement, and Success offers practical and research grounded strategies to ensure success. The book delves into what the college, professors, and students can do to improve engagement, what barriers exist and how to deal with them, as well as solutions to some of the more-weighty issues such as first generation college students and those for whom the expense seems overwhelming. This book offers post-secondary faculty and administration, and others interested in the field, a substantial and well-developed look at the necessary ingredients to success for the contemporary college student.

Elizabeth Jean, EdD
Professor, Van Loan School of Education, Endicott College, Beverly MA

'Captivating Campuses: Proven Practices that Promote College Student Persistence, Engagement, and Success' takes a critical look at today’s higher education students who access academics in a completely different way than ever before. Beginning with detailed descriptions of the theories of, and barriers to, engagement and then moving on to strategies and practices that enhance currently learning, there is no lack of current research to back up the suggestions. While the post-secondary student plays a prominent role within the pages of this book, the authors go to great lengths to discuss the necessity of self-care of those who teach. This book will certainly be an asset to all higher education administrators and faculty as well as those wishing to make their way to those ranks.

Judith L. Klimkiewicz, Ed.D.
Professor, American International College, Springfield, MA

What role does student engagement play in educational achievement on the post-secondary campus? And, what factors affect each student’s ability and motivation to engage with the full college experience, both in and outside of the classroom?

It is now widely acknowledged that post-secondary institutions must not only focus on facilitating the transition from high school to college, but that they must also make a concerted effort to listen to the needs and experiences of their students in order to achieve maximal involvement within the college environment. Students need to be captivated by at least one element of their college experience - whether that be in the classroom, dorm, or extracurricular activities - in order to form a bond with their institution and feel motivated and attached enough to put in the hard work until graduation. Campuses that capture their students’ interests and passions, provide spaces for them to develop as individuals, and opportunities to form meaningful professional and personal relationships have a far greater chance of both retaining their students to graduation and helping them develop as whole human beings who will contribute.

This book studies the many facets of student engagement as it attempts to define student engagement, differentiating it from involvement, and covers seminal theories of college student engagement. The contributions to this volume discuss the powerful role that relationships play in helping students identify their interests and talents, and other examples of best practice when it comes to creating engaging classroom experiences, such as collaborative projects with peers, study abroad, and learning that is situated in real-life problems that are of importance to the student.



Chapter One
Connecting to Campus: Theories and Requisites for College Student Engagement

Chapter Two
Student and Campus Challenges: Contemporary Solutions to Engagement

Chapter Three
Preparation for Postsecondary Success: Promoting Positive Campus Transitions

Chapter Four
Leadership for Learning: Leveraging Potential in all Students

Chapter Five
Connections Outside of the Classroom: Building College-Community Partnerships

Chapter Six
Advancing Academic Advising: Assets-Based Approaches to Student Development

Chapter Seven
Inviting and Potent Instruction: Best Practices to Cultivate Learning

Chapter Eight
Beyond Academics: Enhancing the Educational Experience through Extracurricular Activities

Chapter Nine
Educational Equity: Promoting Access and Success for Diverse Students

Chapter Ten
Passion and Purpose: Engaged Students Need Engaged Faculty and Advisors


About the Authors

Nicholas D. Young, PhD, EdD, MBA has worked in diverse educational roles for more than thirty years, serving as a principal, special education director, graduate professor, graduate program director, graduate dean, and long-time superintendent of schools. He was named the Massachusetts Superintendent of the Year and has published widely in the fields of education, counseling, and psychology.

Christine N. Michael, PhD, is a more than forty-year educational veteran with a variety of professional experiences. Her previous work has included middle and high school teaching, college teaching, higher education administration, and educational consulting. Dr. Michael has published widely on topics in education and psychology.

Jennifer A. Smolinski, JD, has worked in higher education for more than three years. Her roles in higher education include teaching criminal justice, legal research, and creating and directing the Center for Disability Services and Academic Accommodations at American International College located in Springfield, MA.

College retention, improving college campus life, higher education for the future, student engagement