We will invest in:
- The Residential Experience: We will develop a comprehensive four-year residential plan, which includes a three-year residency requirement, that supports retention, learning, and personal growth. This will require a significant renewal of our residential experience, including building additional attractive residential capacity, renovation of existing residential space, development of additional student community space, strengthened staffing, an expanded residency expectation, and on-campus programming.
- Student Financial Assistance: To attract the talented students of tomorrow, Rhodes will have to provide extensive merit scholarship and need based financial aid. The education we provide is expensive and rests on the special relationship between students and faculty and high impact experiences like study abroad and internships. Our ability to enroll the student body depends heavily on an ever increasing proportion of institutional grants and our families’ willingness to take student or parent loans. Institutional grants, which come from endowment proceeds and a significant proportion of current operations, have more than doubled in the last ten years. We will need transformational financial endowment support for scholarship and need based aid as we move into the future.
- First-Year Engagement: We will redesign our first-year experience to emphasize belonging and community building. We will encourage collaboration between faculty and student life staff to enhance advising, co-curricular programs, and entryway to the major. We will invest in building better-defined pathways for students into their majors, support for faculty and staff who work with first-year students, and programming that encourages students to explore career paths.
- Passionate Connection to a Field of Study: We will support efforts by academic departments and interdisciplinary programs to build a culture of belonging and inclusion among their majors and minors. Students who have deep connections with peers and faculty in their major tend to persist at the college and complete their degrees in four years. Providing events and spaces where students can work closely with each other and develop a deep connection to a field of study is important to their sense of belonging while at Rhodes and throughout their careers.
- Career Ready Skill-Building: An enhanced Career Services staff will provide experiential and practical skills to prepare students for post-graduate career readiness in today and tomorrow’s professional work environment. We will develop a structured four-year career exploration process to assist students in building a path beyond Rhodes and expand opportunities for internships and other career readiness experiences.