The Importance of Establishing "Micro-Communities" Within Campus Activities

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For years, research in higher education and student development has delved into the concept of campus communities and the benefit of a campus community. However, much of the research has not been functional for the practitioner. While Ernest Boyer’s work Campus Life: In Search Of Community (1990,Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching) brought to light the importance of developing a sense of campus community, it is not the most practical of documents for campus professionals. The six principles of campus community espoused by Boyer are admirable, the document provides good examples from various campuses, and we agree with Boyer’s argument that “building community in higher education calls for leadership at the highest level” (p. 64). However, recent research indicates that campus activities can have a significant impact in creating a sense of community and that those who work on the front lines, directly with students in their activities, can have a significant impact on the development of a sense of community. So, the question remains to professionals on campus: how do you create a sense of community?


This article was originally published as Noël-Elkins, A. V., Elkins, D. J., Forrester, S. A. (2010). The importance of establishing "microcommunities" within campus activities. Campus Activities Programming, 43(5), 27-30.