Dalton Institute 2019

Isolation or Inclusion:
Building a Culture of Connection on Campus

In an increasingly hyper-connected world, are we more connected than ever? Or are students and staff alike becoming more isolated into like-minded groups? When many of the high-impact practices that are a hallmark of the profession involve making meaningful connections with others, examining student feelings, successes, and failures related to those connections can paint a different picture than an annual report.

Underrepresented students may not feel like a part of a campus community, but they may find belonging and connections through students with similar backgrounds. Is that student isolated or included? Is that population of students isolated or included? What exactly is the spectrum on which these two ideas reside? And how do we cultivate those connections that may not spring up organically?

The 2019 Dalton Institute will explore how and why we strive to build connections to students, faculty and staff, our campuses, and our larger communities.

Guiding Questions

These guiding questions are not intended as a comprehensive list, but may provide focus for program proposals and a basis for reflection by all attendees.

  • How do higher education institutions conceptualize inclusion? Do student experiences on campus resemble the story told by institutional data and mission statements? If not, how do we allow and encourage students to tell their stories?
  • What does it mean to be connected? In an ever-expanding technological world, what distinctions exist between digital and physical connections? How can we acknowledge those differences to provide the best experiences for students?
  • Who are the students who feel isolated on our college campuses? Included? How are shifting demographics affecting the way we serve students, our campus communities, and society as a whole?
  • How might we leverage spirituality, secular values, and our missions as institutions of higher education to better support learning, development, and fulfillment for students, faculty, staff, and our communities? How can we use the connections we create to improve the lives of many?





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