The RESEARCH Agenda

Administrator Perspectives on the Relationship between Campus Environments and Campus Visits and Student College Choice and Persistence

The reasons a student may choose to enroll and matriculate at a particular postsecondary institution are many. Yet a sense of belonging and a strong emotional connection often supply all the incentive students need. Campus environments play a central role in the college choice process as the ecology, climate, and culture of an institution profoundly influence student perceptions and behaviors. Higher education leadership must take this into consideration if they hope to increase and maintain enrollment numbers. Yet the literature rarely reports the institutional point of view. This study surveyed higher education administrators to discern whether they heed student messages regarding the significance of campus environments and visits to college choice and persistence. Statistical and subjective analysis—via independent samples t-testing and open-ended questioning—concluded that administrator perspectives concerning the campus environment closely correspond with prevailing student perspectives. This is good news for higher education.

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