How Human Connections Drive Success in College
In Relationship-Rich Education, Felten and Lambert demonstrate that for relationships to be central in undergraduate education, colleges and universities do not require immense resources, privileged students, or specially qualified faculty and staff. All students learn best in an environment characterized by high expectation and high support, and all faculty and staff can learn to teach and work in ways that enable relationship-based education. Emphasizing the centrality of the classroom experience to fostering quality relationships, Felten and Lambert focus on students' influence in shaping the learning environment for their peers, as well as the key difference a single, well-timed conversation can make in a student's life. They also stress that relationship-rich education is particularly important for first-generation college students, who bring significant capacities to college but often face long-standing inequities and barriers to attaining their educational aspirations.
Drawing on nearly 400 interviews with students, faculty, and staff at 29 higher education institutions across the country, Relationship-Rich Education provides readers with practical advice on how they can develop and sustain powerful relationship-based learning in their own contexts. Ultimately, the book is an invitation—and a challenge—for faculty, administrators, and student life staff to move relationships from the periphery to the center of undergraduate education.
About the Authors
"The content of this impressively researched book has the potential to transform institutional culture. The voices of these students grabbed me in powerful ways, enabling me to understand more deeply the value of rich relationships to undergraduate success across institutional types and student status."—Louis Albert, Arizona State University
"Education luminaries Peter Felten and Leo M. Lambert challenge us never to forget that undergraduate education is at heart a relational enterprise. Relationship-Rich Education offers a cogent practitioner's guide to the art of teaching and mentorship—and a stern challenge to institutional leaders to prioritize and celebrate relationship-rich cultures. A game-changer in higher education."—W. Brad Johnson, United States Naval Academy, author of On Being a Mentor: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty
"This book takes an innovative approach to student success interventions, focusing on the essential role of relationships in shaping student experience and long-term success. The book includes numerous and detailed examples of how to create relationship-rich environments and incorporates the voices of faculty, staff, administrators, and students to bring its big ideas to life."—Adrianna Kezar, Pullias Center for Higher Education / Delphi Project on Changing Faculty and Student Success, University of Southern California, coauthor of The Gig Academy: Mapping Labor in the Neoliberal University
"At a time of unprecedented transformation, Felten and Lambert demonstrate why the future of higher education must be grounded in the creation of welcoming campus communities that encourage a sense of belonging. They offer a compelling, insightful guide to fostering relationship-rich undergraduate education and fulfilling the burgeoning equity mandate at institutions of all types."—Lynn Pasquerella, President, Association of American Colleges & Universities
"This is the right book for a challenging time. Whether on campus or online or somewhere in between, relationships matter, perhaps now more than ever. In this wonderful book, Felten and Lambert remind us of that truth and show us practical examples of relationship-rich environments for students, faculty, and staff."—Ted Mitchell, President, American Council on Education
"Anyone who works on a college or university campus—administrators, faculty, and staff—will come away from this book with fresh inspiration to form supportive and meaningful relationships with students. Readers will also find here a trove of creative, practical strategies for achieving that goal."—James M. Lang, Assumption College, author of Distracted: Why Students Can't Focus and What You Can Do About It
"As our country becomes more diverse and our institutions serve the new majority—first generation students, students of color, and/or low-income students—colleges and universities must learn how to build trusted relationships that demonstrate authentic caring, respect, understanding, validation, and love. Relationship-Rich Education provides guidelines for institutions to follow to ensure success for all students."—Mildred García, EdD, President, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
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