Student Services Program Initiative

DEI in Asia works together with some of China's top universities to facilitate a better understanding of the rapidly increasing student services needs both in China and abroad, and to develop effective student services programs to promote student well-being and formative education that will help university students succeed well in today's perpetually changing global society.

Understanding Student Well-Being & Student Formation

Student well-being encompasses many elements recognized as being essential to the balanced personal formation of the student as a whole person. These aspects of student formation are variously defined as a person's intellectual, psychological, spiritual, physical, and social well-being as well as their having a good understanding of diversity issues and a strong sense of social responsibility.

Historically, university graduates were well-regarded as excelling in all of these areas of personal formation and would go on to play important roles in society. This emphasis on the nurturing of spirit, mind and body formed an essential part of university education both inside and outside of the classroom. Today, this focus on student formation often takes place through student services programs and extra-curricular activities that complement the academic learning that occurs within the classroom. This "life learning" cannot be studied in labs and libraries, but through social interactions and personal experience. More and more universities are returning to this philosophy of focusing on life learning and student formation of the whole person, a thinking that for a time lay dormant in the rush to emphasize academic programs that were more financially viable in a job market that welcomed college graduates with science and technology degrees.

On issues of student well-being, general concepts have become more defined over years of research and experience to address specific areas of need within the university community. Yet even as these programs became more defined, they likewise became more inclusive and diverse in their offerings. Psychological counseling programs now include contemporary issues of sexual assault and relationship abuse, as well as providing support for faculty and staff; campus ministry programs not only provide spiritual guidance and faith formation to the university community but also engage in interreligious dialogue to promote awareness and understanding; and student athletic groups have expanded their horizons to encompass martial arts, dance, and sports from across a wide spectrum of cultural backgrounds.

Working Together with China's Universities

DEI in Asia visits with China's top universities to better understand the administrative structure and program offerings that promote student welfare and, what is often referred to as, "quality education" 素质教育 outside of the classroom. As each university is quite different in its administrative structure, available resources and student composition, DEI in Asia devotes considerable time to learning how each university develops programs to best achieve its goals to improve student life on campus.

We provide considerable flexibility to work with the varying circumstances that each situation presents to recommend a program model that will be most suitable for a university's specific needs. We realize that universities are at different stages of program development and so we work together to find in what ways DEI in Asia can be most effective in helping to promote the aspects of student well-being that are of current concern to a university. As programming needs and resources change over time, we encourage universities to continue to broaden their own understanding of student formation and well-being.

By working closely together with each university, DEI in Asia can better discover new ways in which we can enhance the universities' efforts to more effectively promote the well-being and formative education of their respective student populations. To this end, DEI in Asia meets with both administrators and students at each university to learn about their own perceived needs and circumstances, which school programs have had a positive impact and where there is room to improve. Through relating some of their own experiences we can often deduct certain other needs which may not be easily recognized on the surface.

Drawing off an extensive knowledge of student services programs at many of America's top universities, we discuss with China's university administrators which programs at U.S. universities have been effective in addressing similar needs. For the programs that they are interested in, we offer them assistance to learn more about implementing similar programs or incorporating certain program aspects at their university.

This interpersonal research and discussion is supplemented with statistical data provided from the university and other resources. This summer, DEI in Asia hopes to prepare several surveys to gather more information geared towards specific program development.

Currently DEI in Asia is working with several excellent universities in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai. We hope that through our work with these universities we will provide for a greater overall university experience for their students as they prepare to enter society as more fully formed and educated individuals.

If you are interested in supporting the efforts of DEI in Asia, feel free to contact us or visit our Support page to find out how you can contribute to a brighter future for the next generation of intellectuals, business professionals and leaders in Asia.