It is hard to believe we are already into our second month of the 2023 Spring semester, but with all the activity of University life – the classes, studying, social interaction, campus events – it is no wonder that many consider the college years to be the fastest of one’s life. Maybe because the total experience of college, both inside and outside the classroom, is one of the most rewarding and growth-filled journeys any individual can take.
And experience, as they say, is the best teacher.
Here at The Woods, our commitment to the total student experience is perhaps our most important priority. A year ago, for example, we hired the first Chief Student Experience Officer in WWU’s history, to ensure that all facets of the University – marketing, admissions, academic affairs, student life and alumni relations – were all on the same coordinated page in delivering the best possible college experience to everyone, from prospective student to current student to alum. It was especially gratifying to see us recognized for those efforts in a story in the nation’s higher education publication of record, The Chronicle of Higher Education, just last month: https://www.chronicle.com/article/a-new-job-comes-to-the-college-cabinet-chief-experience-officer
In the meantime, the past month brought three more new examples of how rich the experience is for students at William Woods. First, we announced an exciting new tradition at WWU – hosting the Indie Pop-Up Film Festival each year! (https://news.williamwoods.edu/william-woods-university-to-host-prestigious-indie-pop-up-film-festival-screenings-through-agreement-with-local-pbs-station/) In an agreement with the local PBS station, William Woods will host pre-screenings of independent films eight times a year, before they are shown to a national audience, in events that will include discussions with the production’s creative teams on campus. What a cultural experience for our students!
Next, in still another nod to the quality of our faculty, American Sign Language Professor Jessica Brown achieved her national Certified Deaf Interpreter certification, making her the only individual in the state of Missouri to hold the distinction and one of just 219 nationally: https://news.williamwoods.edu/william-woods-asl-professor-now-the-only-nationally-certified-deaf-interpreter-in-the-state-of-missouri-after-achieving-certification/ Our students truly do learn from the best!
And once again, our athletic department is expanding, and with it, the opportunities for our prospective students and student-athletes. This week we announced the addition of Competitive Cheerleading to its portfolio of intercollegiate sports, coming on the heels of adding Outdoor Life Sports, Bowling, and Wrestling in the past year: https://wwuowls.com/sports/cheerleading?path=cheer
We will always be in pursuit of the next big idea or initiative that will boost the all-around college experience of our students. It is the best way of ensuring that our students are engaged and satisfied with their time on our campus, something I have seen time and again in my own career in higher education.
I guess you could say that I, like our students, speak from experience.
Jeremy Moreland, Ph.D.
William Woods University