Engaged, again

Evangeline Colarossi—Staff Writer

Dordt began Fall 2019 with a new name—University—and a familiar ranking.  For the fourth consecutive year, Dordt was ranked #1 in student engagement by the Wall Street Journal. The marketing department hosted a pop-up booth to convey the news. Before students even read the press release, they sported t-shirts, stickers, cookies, and foam fingers proudly declaring the win all around campus.

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The marketing and communication office typically focus on promoting Dordt to high school students, alumni, and donors, but they seized the opportunity to celebrate with the student body.

“This pop-up booth was a fun way for us to switch gears a bit and have an on-campus celebration with Dordt students, faculty, and staff,” said Sarah Moss, director of Marketing and Communication. “We certainly strive to take student and faculty feedback into account.”

The Wall Street journal uses four key areas ranking schools: resources, environment, outputs, and engagement. These areas are examined with questions that ask if students are engaged in critical thinking and learning, and if their classes challenge them, prepare them for life after graduation, and help students draw connections between in-class learning and outdoor applications.

“We want students not just to learn a subject matter, but to develop deep relationships with others in the learning community and, most significantly, with the Lord,” said theatre professor Dr. Teresa Ter Haar. “Relationships demand a give and take – and this directly affects the way students engage with each other, faculty, administrators, and their coursework.”

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Students that live on campus can testify to Dordt’s level of engagement. Beyond classes and interactive relationships between professors, faculty, and students, there are numerous events planned by various clubs or student activities to keep everyone in community. For students that travel abroad, they still feel this student engagement, even thousands of miles away. Shannon Oostenink is studying in Spain this fall, and along with another Dordt student, was able to do an Instagram takeover with the Global Education department.

“The community that has been built at Dordt is such an integral part of what makes Dordt so special,” said Shannon Oostenink. “Because of the depth of that community, I have still felt connected to campus even while being abroad.”

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