ERIC Number: EJ819182
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
DEEP (Documenting Effective Educational Practice) Colleges and Universities as Communities
Kinzie, Jillian; Schuh, John H.
NASPA Journal, v45 n3 p406-424 2008
The value of establishing a strong community in institutions of higher education has been in the forefront of the thinking of educators for a number of years. As colleges and universities have grown in complexity, establishing and sustaining strong campus communities has been described as challenging and difficult. John Gardner has provided a framework for thinking about and developing communities that is instructive for colleges and universities. Among the characteristics that he has conceptualized for good communities are the following: They incorporate and value diversity, they have a shared culture, they foster internal communication, they promote caring, trust and teamwork, they have group maintenance processes and governance structures that encourage participation and sharing of leadership tasks, they foster the development of young people, and they have links to the outside world. We also believe that strong communities incorporate rituals and ceremonies that celebrate their culture. Using Gardner's framework, we have examined data from the Documenting Effective Education Practice research project (DEEP) to determine the extent to which the concept of community is incorporated and nurtured at the research sites. Our conclusion was that DEEP institutions are strong communities that incorporate the elements of community. This article provides examples for each of Gardner's elements from DEEP institutions. It also provides questions for those institutions that wish to strengthen their sense of community.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Group Unity, Educational Practices, Documentation, Ceremonies, Colleges
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A