We are making important progress on the priorities set forth in our Kenyon 2020 strategic plan. The following highlights recent initiatives undertaken to advance these goals.
The first priority of the Kenyon 2020 plan involves four key goals: strengthen the first-year experience; make high-impact experiences an integral part of every student’s education; collaborate across the Kenyon community to position students for post-graduate success; and use technology to help students take full advantage of all the resources Kenyon offers as they construct and complete their undergraduate careers. We have made progress on this priority in part by:
In 2014, the College grew its popular Summer Science Scholars program to include paid opportunities for students in the humanities and social sciences. Last year, Kenyon introduced the Cascade program to provide paid summer research opportunities to first- and second-year students with no prior research experience. Around 75 students will conduct research through these programs this summer. Aided by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, Kenyon introduced the Clare Boothe Luce Undergraduate Research Program, which encourages female STEM students to pursue research in close collaboration with a faculty mentor. The College has expanded its research programs with the Ohio State University as well; Kenyon is in the seventh year of its partnership with Pelotonia to provide students the opportunity to pursue cancer research in OSU’s labs, and this year marks the start of a new partnership with OSU that allows Kenyon students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor at OSU in the fields of biostatistics, epidemiology and statistics.
In 2014, the CDO shifted from the Student Affairs Division into the Academic Division in order to strengthen the continuum between students’ academic experiences and their postgraduate pursuits. This alignment will be bolstered with the new West Quad, which brings the CDO, as well as the academic advising office, into the academic core of campus. Kenyon Compass, introduced this past semester, also helps integrate academic and co-curricular efforts and is a useful digital tool for students as they chart their path through Kenyon and into their postgraduate careers.
At this April’s Celebration of High Impact Practices, more than 200 students shared their experiences with internships, research, community-based projects and more. This showcase was made possible by efforts across our Kenyon community: from the growth of the Summer Internship Stipend Fund, which was created in the 2013–14 academic year and provides opportunities to students with financial need to accept unpaid internships; to the work of the Office for Community Partnerships, which helped nearly 200 students enroll in classes that collaborate with community organizations on issues of local concern. A new digital media instructional technologist, a position started in 2017 and supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has helped students and faculty engage in digital storytelling and multimedia projects — a vital component of living and learning in the 21st century. These efforts have already produced modest, but promising, results: in 2017, 38 percent of seniors who completed their Senior Survey reported having two high-impact experiences, and 25 percent completed more than two.