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Colby's Division of Student Affairs supports and enhances the College’s mission to provide students with a broad acquaintance with human knowledge designed to enable each student to find and fulfill his or her own unique potential. The student affairs staff provides instruction, advice, and support to help students become critical thinkers, effective communicators, ethical leaders, engaged citizens, and creators of knowledge with broad exposure to, and understanding of, human difference and diversity.
Student life at Colby is centered on the notion that learning extends beyond the classroom into all aspects of the college experience. The departments and programs that make up the Division of Student Affairs serve a wide array of functions including but not limited to advising, health and wellness, multicultural/diversity education, residential life, housing, religious/spiritual life, outdoor education, and leadership development. As such, the work of the division straddles two essential though sometimes competing purposes: out-of-class learning and student support services.
First and foremost, the Division of Student Affairs strives to provide opportunities for students to learn and practice important life skills such as self-governance, independence, personal accountability, civic responsibility, and respect for themselves and others. The educational approach to student life requires staff to serve as teachers, coaches, and mentors in holding students accountable for decision making and problem solving with respect to the central issues in student life (residential hall governance, student social life, etc.)
Colby 360 asserts as its guiding principle the idea that a residential college affords students opportunities to learn and develop in all aspects of their college lives. However, where traditional approaches to student affairs in residential colleges tend to focus on creating policies and procedures, Colby 360 establishes a setting for student life designed to achieve five specific learning outcomes: 1) development of life skills; 2) appreciation of and engagement with diversity and human difference; 3) understanding democracy and civic responsibility; 4) promoting wellness and healthy lifestyle choices; and 5) leadership education for the 21st century.