In our life of Independent Educational Consultants, professional development is critical. We work hard to stay up to date on higher ed trends, college data, and new academic offerings. One of our favorite professional development opportunities is visiting college campuses.  In the past month alone, College Connectors has visited over 30 colleges and universities. Let me tell you, it’s good to be back on campus after a two year break due to Covid!

Here are some observations we have from our most recent trip to colleges in Illinois.

 

  • Campus life is getting back on track. Colleges are very excited to have students participate and get back to normal campus life proceedings, whether it’s being part of a dance marathon, eating in the cafeteria, or holding end-of-year bashes! When you visit college campuses, be ready to ask what’s going on during the weekends now. You’ll likely see the excitement. 
  • Colleges are moving forward with new programs and opportunities.  It’s great to see that at all of the colleges we visited, new programs are opening up to students to address the demands and projections of the current workplace. Many colleges emphasized research opportunities that are often funded and available to students as early as freshman year.  Be sure to ask what new programs or research opportunities are being developed.
  • Tour guides are a wealth of information and they still walk elegantly and effortlessly backwards. Needless to say, we heard about meal card swipes, free laundry (actually not free, it’s included in cost of attendance), and the 3rd floor silent level in the library at EVERY. SINGLE. SCHOOL. However we did ask some of our favorite questions to help cut through the repetitive information that every school talks about: What is your typical weekend/day like? What is your favorite faculty experience? What do you like about the school? What would you change?
  • We made a point to drive around the community surrounding the campus. This reminds us how important it is for students to feel comfortable on campus and in the space surrounding campus. When you visit campus, eat lunch or grab coffee at a local establishment.  Ask about town-gown relationships and how welcome students feel when they are off campus.