A new initiative at the University of Kentucky is enabling faculty and staff to walk a mile in students’ shoes. The university’s “A day in the life” program is enabling staff to experience a campus tour as if it were their first day on campus as a student.
According to an official university release, any Kentucky faculty and staff are invited to partake in the “day in the life” program by signing up to tour one of the campus residence halls. The experience also includes a free lunch at popular campus dining locations.
“Staff and faculty may have heard about the new residence halls, the Living Learning Programs and the new dining facility, Champions Kitchen, but it’s another thing to take the tour with some of the staff who work in the facilities,” says Penny Cox, associate vice president for administration. “Staff and faculty are going to have that opportunity this summer.”
Data now suggests that students are choosing universities, in part, based on the quality of life and student spaces the provide. Facilities like residence halls, dining locations, student centers and bookstores are all factors that affect students’ decisions, in addition to their academic interests and pursuits.
“We want faculty and staff to see first-hand these incredible spaces and what UK students experience as part of their on-campus living experience,” says Nick Kehrwald, dean of students.
Kentucky is also keen to encourage student engagement on campus, citing research that indicates students that live on campus and participate in one of the university’s Living Learning Programs do better academically than those living off campus. As part of program, tour guides will provide tour participants with information on each of the 13 living learning communities along with residence hall information and a rundown of the amenities available to students.
Each “A Day in the Life” tour will consist of a two-hour walkthrough of campus facilities and will show participants model dorm rooms, multi-purpose spaces and a residence hall classrooms.