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Faculty and Student Affairs Educators Partnering to Enhance Student Learning

The Division of Student Services is committed to creating co-curricular connections that enhance classroom learning with out-of-class learning opportunities. We have developed these programs and initiatives within the context of a liberal education, as articulated by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU), around a robust set of specific learning outcomes designed around the LEAP (Liberal Education & America’s Promise) Essential Learning Outcomes.  Among them:

  • Foundations and Skills for Lifelong Learning
  • Civic Responsibility
  • Integrative Learning
  • Critical Thinking
  • Intercultural Knowledge and Competence
  • Ethical Reasoning

What does a co-curricular partnership look like?

The integration of academic and student affairs can take many forms, from individual efforts to university-wide initiatives. Examples include:

  • Utilizing programming as a tool for classroom learning (e.g. organizing a speaker around specific course content, co-creating experiential learning that highlights classroom themes, etc.).
  • Partnering with faculty to increase student engagement through support programs, internships, service-learning, tutoring, student organization membership, Laker leadership programs, Laker for a Lifetime efforts, etc.
  • Mentoring students through tailored programs that serve under-represented students (e.g. Laker Connections Programs; mentor programs for Students of Color that include Brothers, Hermanos, Niara).
  • Participating in bridge programs that give new students an introduction to college life or introduce specific skills.
  • Involvement in living-learning communities where students have chosen to live and learn together in order to expand their knowledge through shared learning experiences. Each community builds upon a specific theme, major or area of interest and faculty and student affairs educators work to create a rich learning environment.

Collaborations between academic and student affairs highlight the importance of learning both inside and outside the classroom and GVSU students benefit from this dynamic partnership!  

For more information contact Marlene Kowalski-Braun, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Dean of Students Office, at or (616) 331-3585.