Strategy Three

Develop a Comprehensive Student Engagement and Development Program

Students who are actively engaged in not only their academic program of choice, but also out-of-class experiences provided by Henderson will have a more satisfying and successful college experience. Services and programs provided by Henderson should not be simply extra-curricular in nature. They should provide learning outcomes that relate to specific time-frames in a student's collegiate experience. Research based on student-development theory should be utilized to determine what types of support programs will be either enhanced or developed.

To ensure that all students have a sense of community, students will ideally experience a level of interpersonal interaction outside the classroom. Participation in clubs, academic groups, and the Greek system provides an increased sense of belonging and structure, which could increase the likelihood of persisting to graduation.

This initiative focuses on the creation and enhancement of activities and programs that focus on the academic, social, and developmental needs of students at individual points during the collegiate experience. Non-traditional, commuter students, and international students, as well as traditional students, will be provided with and educated about appropriate resources available on campus.

Action and Elements

  1. There are currently a number of programs in place that should be enhanced and encouraged to work cooperatively. These include (but are not limited to)
    • Greek Life, Heart Start, Residence Life, leadership development, student activities and organizations, Student Government Association, Intramural Sports and Recreation, Reddie Reads Program, Henderson Seminar, Reddie-to-Serve Day, mentoring programs, money management, study abroad opportunities, League Initiative, Career Services, alumni mentoring matching, academic organizations, conferences, and research presentations. 
  2. Many programs to support student development and involvement can be coordinated through the University College. A comprehensive student engagement program will include: 
    1. Freshman Year Experience - Programs and services will support full-time freshman students’ transition from high school to Henderson and help develop more of a sense of independence. Activities and programs will focus outcomes based on the developmental needs of students and individual points during the collegiate experience.
    2. Sophomore Year Experience - Continual presence and support of resources for sophomore students will be reinforced. The sophomore year for students has often been called “the lost year.” Significant resources are often in place for the student’s freshman year but many fewer support services are targeted at the student during the sophomore year.
    3. Junior Year Experience - A career class will be created and offered as an elective course where students are taught career-related skills and made aware of shadowing opportunities, preparing for grad school, etc.
    4. Senior Year Experience - A four-part series of career events (including researching jobs, shadowing, résumé writing, and mock interviewing leading up to a networking dinner with alumni and other community leaders) will be provided.
    5. Transfer Year Experience - Transfer students will be provided with resources to help them acclimate to the new environment and academic expectations.
    6. Non-Traditional Students Experience - An orientation and resources will be provided to non-traditional students to help them make a successful transition to college life.
    7. Commuter Student Resources - Commuter students will be provided with resources, space, and a student organization to ensure that they opportunity to participate fully in the campus community.
    8. International Student Resources - Programs for international students will be further developed to provide resources for a growing international student population. Multicultural programs will provide a learning environment for both international and domestic students.
  3. Faculty and Staff will be included in the development of activities and resources.