By Abigail Toms
This September, the Wall Street Journal ranked Cedarville University third in the nation for campus student engagement.
The student engagement ranking is one pillar of a four-part ranking system conducted by the Wall Street Journal, designed to monitor how involved and challenged students feel at their universities.
This ranking was the result of a two-year survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal. Over the course of this two-year period, thousands of students had the chance to rank their school’s engagement techniques. Cedarville University’s students took to the surveys to recognize their school’s ability to engage, challenge, and inspire them.
Brian Burns, Director of Campus Experience for Cedarville University, explained the methods that go into making Cedarville’s student engagement noteworthy. The university’s methods include a three-step process that the Campus Life staff like to refer to as, “equip, empower, and finally, engage.”
Burns explained the reasoning behind the slogan. “We want to equip students with information so that they can have the opportunity to be involved, and then they’ll engage. If we do it with engagement first, then all we’re doing is manipulating.”
He described how Cedarville equips students with leadership skills in their classes, empowers them by allowing them to lead on campus in groups such as the Student Government Association and the Student Center Activity Board, and engages them by offering events such as ALT nights, designed specifically for student involvement.
Burns mentioned that this ranking was not the result of just the Campus Experience office, but of the Cedarville staff as a whole. Dr. Janice Supplee, Vice President for Marketing and Communications for Cedarville University says that Cedarville’s professors play an integral role in helping students feel engaged. Supplee said that Cedarville’s intentional community, which is integrated into every area of the university’s culture, puts it above even the biggest public universities.
Supplee pointed out that this ranking can also serve as both a marketing tool and a testimony to the university.
She said, “The ranking is an outside validation of what we as a school say about ourselves anyway. It proves that we are true to who we say we are.”
Abigail Toms is a sophomore business management major. She is an outgoing girl who loves Disney, warm weather, spending time with friends, and meeting new people.