Student Life Philosophy

The Philosophy of Student Life at Saint Michael's College

The Office of Student Life strives to integrate the mission and goals of the College with an educational approach to student development. Critical to this achievement is student awareness of these goals and objectives which apply to their learning experience. Once a complete understanding of these goals is accomplished, the Student Life Office can work with students cooperatively to assist them in their development. The keys to this educational process are communication and interaction.

Education is viewed as a total process. It is believed that instructional and academic goals cannot be met effectively unless the students are given the appropriate channels to accomplish them. Total growth is achieved and facilitated by the Student Life Office through their efforts to integrate a complete college experience. Consequently, learning is understood to be a series of experiences that the student is having now, which are supported through the processes of growth and development from a variety of sources. Thus, we realize that not only does an individual read, write, and think, but that he/she also feels, worries, hopes, loves, and hates at the same time.

The Student Life administrators serve to demonstrate how these various aspects are integrated in the student so that he/she can have a common understanding of their experience. They ideally provide students with the opportunity to develop understanding and to assist students in realizing their individual and community objectives. Therefore, they are concerned about the total environment found not only in the classroom, but also in the social, recreational, and residence hall settings.

Specifically, this philosophy translates into specific action and activities within the Student Life environment. Housing needs are of central concern. This includes the basic goals of providing students with adequate facilities and maintenance. In addition, establishing guidelines for cooperative living conditions, developing an atmosphere conducive to learning, and providing opportunities for growth and development are also necessary.

Students need to learn to live, to expand, and to develop human relationships. We seek to facilitate these goals through the recognition of student needs and communication, and in helping the students to integrate these experiences. We seek to contribute to the growth and development of students in helping them to discover how personal and educational experiences fit together. In addition, counseling, advising, and working with students also provides necessary means by which to achieve these goals. These common experiences will ideally develop meaningful relationships and group responsibilities among students.

The Residential Mission:

The Division of Student Affairs, informed by our Catholic tradition, creates an intellectually vibrant and diverse residential community to expand a student’s educational experience beyond the classroom. As educators, we create a living-learning laboratory that cultivates the pursuit of life-long learning, and an understanding and appreciation of human difference. Through our programs and services, we teach students the skills of reflective thinking, conflict resolution, self-care, and resiliency. We cultivate multi-dimensional communities based on trust and unconditional support, where students learn how to not only succeed, but also how to fail. Consistent with the College Mission Statement, the Division of Student Affairs aspires to educate students to live purposeful and satisfying lives.

The Residential Vision:

Student Affairs creates a collaborative campus environment to support students in their individual development and prepare them to engage and impact a diverse, dynamic world.