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Campus Connection: Why being involved in college is important to your student’s success

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February 7, 2024

Get involved! Your student has heard this over and over since arriving on campus. Alexander Astin’s theory of involvement* has stood the test of time, as research shows that students who are engaged at college both academically and co-curricularly are more likely to succeed and retain their university campuses. 

That’s where you come in: Encouraging your student to find ways to be involved on and off campus can be a positive addition to their experience in college. 

A great place to start would be student learning and activities. The Department of Student Learning and Activities supports students by providing opportunities for leadership development and campus community involvement. There’s a variety of programs offered such as: 

Community engagement and leadership  

Supports OSU students in identifying leadership opportunities and development. Their goal is to engage students in self-exploration, community-engaged learning, direct service, and advocacy in the greater Corvallis community, they cultivate leaders and change-makers in hopes of creating more caring and equitable communities. 

Experiential learning and activities  

Empowering students to direct their own out of classroom learning experiences that support personal growth, professional development and student success. ELA encompasses student clubs, Orange Media Network and our OSU Programming Council.  

Diversity and cultural engagement 

Students platform for collaborating to build an inclusive, just community. Enriched by differences, DCE programs and initiatives empower students to develop multiple perspectives and foster self-awareness. 

Cultural centers  

OSU has seven different cultural centers to coordinate safe environments in which students can share their multiple identities and learn about issues of culture, heritage, history, identity, and self-expression in an atmosphere of positive engagement and mutual respect. 

In addition, OSU has many other avenues to explore to get involved, below are just a few additional based on your students possible interests. 

Associated Students of Oregon State University (ASOSU)  

If your student is interested in politics, government, or just wants to know more? ASOSU is our student governing body and a great place to learn more. They exist as an organization to promote academic excellence, encourage the intellectual, social, cultural, and physical development of the student body, and enable the student body to assert its varied interests as citizens and members of the academic community through democratic representation. Within ASOSU there are paid, volunteer, short-term, and long-term opportunities for students to get involved. 

Adventure Leadership Institute  

If your student is interested in adventure and getting outside, Adventure Leadership is the perfect place to get connected. From clubs, to Oregon outings and trips, to courses and training, and even challenge courses — Adventure Leadership Institute has it all for our students who love to explore the outdoors. 

Study abroad or exchange programs: If your student can’t wait to travel outside of Oregon or the United States, there are plenty of opportunities for them to get this experience here at OSU.  Depending on your students academic standing, they’ll need to meet with an academic advisor to see when these experiences would fit best into their plan to graduation. 

Study abroad  

OSU GO provides more than 200 international opportunities for education, internships and research in more than 70 different countries around the world. 

College of Business exchange programs  

We have 16 partner institutions around the globe that offer international academic experiences for our business and design majors. Some of these are exchange programs, which means you’ll be paying your tuition to OSU. 

*Astin, A. W. (1984). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25(4), 297–308.
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