Opinion

Winthrop socially engaged

The typical guides used by high school seniors to select a college or university can offer useful information. But they fall well short of telling the whole story.

For example, most college guides won't tell inquisitive seniors that the students at Winthrop University are more socially engaged than many of their peers at other schools. That information comes from the National Survey of Student Engagement, which each year measures how involved students are in their academic and campus lives.

The survey consists of five categories: level of academic challenge; active and collaborative learning; student-faculty interactions; enriching educational experiences and a supportive campus environment. Results show how often students participate in class, how often they interact with people of different economic, social and racial backgrounds and how much they participate in community-based projects.

For both participating first-year students and seniors, Winthrop's results were high in all five of the benchmark categories. These findings are used by the university both to attract students and to tailor campus activities to encourage more social engagement.

A full and enriching college education is not limited to what occurs in the classroom. A successful education is determined to a significant degree by the qualities measured in this survey -- the fostering of diversity, community involvement and intellectual curiosity.

Winthrop should be proud of its high ranking, and prospective students should take notice.

Annual survey seeks to measure how much students are involved in social projects.

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