The Undergraduate Experience: Focusing Institutions on What Matters Most
April 2016, Jossey-Bass
The Undergraduate Experience is a guide for significantly improving student learning and institutional performance in the rapidly changing world of higher education. Written by recognized experts in undergraduate education, this book encourages college and university leaders to rethink current practices that fragment the student experience, and to focus on creating powerful, integrated undergraduate learning for all students. Drawing from their own deep experience and the latest research, the authors reveal key principles that enable institutional change and enhance student outcomes in any higher education setting. Coverage includes high-impact practices for engagement, the importance of strategic leadership, the necessity of setting and maintaining high expectations, and insight on fostering excellence through systematic planning.
Through its core themes and action principles, this book can be a valuable resource for faculty, staff, administrators, and governing boards at all types of postsecondary institutions. The book provides a practical framework for achieving excellence in undergraduate education by focusing on:
The value of an undergraduate education is under greater scrutiny than ever before, and campus leaders must be able to convey the value of their institutions to students, boards, donors, and legislators. Is a college or university degree worth the increasing cost? Are today's students academically adrift? What's the difference between a degree and an education? Responding to these questions requires focused action by individuals and institutions. The Undergraduate Experience offers practical guidance for creating and sustaining excellence in the face of disruption and change in higher education.
About the Authors
Chapter 1: What matters most
Chapter 2: Learning matters
Chapter 3: Relationships matters
Chapter 4: Expectations matter
Chapter 5: Alignment matters
Chapter 6: Improvement matters
Chapter 7: Leadership matters
Chapter 8: Acting on what matters most
Appendix A: Core themes and action principles
Appendix B: Discussion questions
Appendix C: Institutions and programs referenced in the book
PETER FELTEN is executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning, assistant provost for teaching and learning, and professor of history at Elon University.
JOHN N. GARDNER is senior fellow and distinguished professor emeritus at the University of South Carolina and president of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.
CHARLES C. SCHROEDER is a past president of ACPACollege Student Educators International and former vice chancellor for student affairs and professor of educational leadership and policy analysis at the University of Missouri.
LEO M. LAMBERT is in his eighteenth year as president of Elon University.
BETSY O. BAREFOOT is cofounder and senior scholar of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, and coeditor of New Directions for Higher Education.