Enrich student life beyond the classroom

Learning Beyond the Classroom report

The group’s scope includes:

  • Mission and structure of the co-curriculum (religious/spiritual life; athletics; arts; community engagement; social justice; leadership development, internships; etc.)
  • Residential life system
  • Student well-being, support services, and organizations
  • Connections between the curricular and co-curricular

Group Members

Bilal Ansari, Davis Center and Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity
Meg Bossong ’05, Office of the Dean of the College
Steve Klass, Office of Campus Life
Steve Kuster, Department of Athletics
Essence Perry ’22, Student
Brenda Xu ’20, Student
Li Yu, Department of Asian Studies

Working Group charge (draft)

Student development is an essential purpose of higher education and includes cognitive, physical, moral, social, emotional, spiritual, personal, and intellectual dimensions. Williams believes that growth along this entire continuum of attributes is enhanced both inside and outside the classroom.

This working group will articulate the guiding principles for future development of the optimal student-facing programs, services, staffing, and facilities to enhance the aforementioned qualities and competencies with which we aim to equip our students including:

  • Holistic student wellbeing
  • Residential life
  • Religious and spiritual life
  • Experiential education, community engagement, and career exploration
  • Co-curricular activities and programming (including music and performing arts, athletics/recreation, registered student organizations and clubs, etc.)

This working group should consider the following questions:

  • How can we take full advantage of the small residential liberal arts college experience to prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed to be leaders of our global society, including: empathy and perspective-taking; resilience, persistence and problem-solving; moral courage derived from coherent values and ethical standards; inclusiveness, mutual support, and collaboration; and creative risk-taking?
  • What are the characteristics and dimensions of a student community where all students will feel equally valued? How can appropriately resourced co-curricular programming best support the intentional engagement of students in that community?
  • In what ways can we enhance the connections between our curricular and co-curricular pedagogical aims?
  • How can our co-curricular planning and resources most effectively support year-round learning?
  • To what extent do our co-curricular learning goals connect to preparation for life after Williams?

Each working group will collaborate with the Office of the President on a list of resources needed for its work, including internal data sets and models from peer institutions. In addition, each working group is charged with:

  • Developing an open and inclusive process for gathering input from all sectors of the campus;
  • Developing a communications strategy throughout the fall and early spring of 2019-20;
  • Coordinating with other relevant working groups and the Coordinating Committee as necessary;
  • Recognizing that resources are limited and thinking carefully about ways to achieve programmatic change without necessarily increasing total spending;
  • Operating with the understanding that new initiatives may replace existing ones and thus an inventory of possible reductions/eliminations should be developed.