Lessons from CU Boulder

It’s non-stop for the AMOSSHE / NASPA exchange team! Yesterday the NASPA host was the University of Colorado in Boulder.

CU Boulder is a world-leading institution: in the official 2014 government assessment of the university’s research, the following 12 areas were found to have world-leading research: Allied Health Professions; Architecture & Built Environment; Art & Design; Business & Management Studies; Communication, Cultural & Media Studies; English Language & Literature; Geography & Environmental Studies; History; Law; Music, Drama & Dance; Psychology; and Social Work & Social Policy.

On the visit the team met NASPA colleagues from the university’s Student Affairs Leadership Team, discussing critical incident management, the use of technology and social media, equality and diversity, mental health programs and more.

CU Boulder

The AMOSSHE team at CU Boulder

CU Boulder works very closely with the parents of their students to ensure success. This differs quite significantly from the UK, and four things stand out:

  • They have a partnership with parents to ensure the students’ welfare, retention and ultimately their success.
  • They have weekly newsletters for parents
  • They organise a series of parental networks across the country, which usually take place in the city where the football team is playing.
  • Parents of current and former students make monetary donations to support Student Services activities.

This is developing a relationship with parents throughout the whole student lifespan from pre-application to alumnus. In addition to this, CU Boulder have a lot of first generation students, and have acknowledged that for these families it is not just the student coming to university for the first time but the whole family. In response to this CU Boulder has introduced a range of programmes to offer additional support for first generation students, including learning communities and scholarships linked to additional educational support programmes.

You can find more information about this theme from the AMOSSHE team’s visit at www.colorado.edu/parents – and of course the team’s workshop at the AMOSSHE conference!

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