You're invited!

Belonging Before Arriving:
A New Community of Practice
 Join this new collaborative by the Institute for Well-being at Butler University and Nearpeer
Join now for our March 2024 kick off

Achieve real impact on your campus and build synergy by collaborating with likeminded leaders focused on improving student belonging & well-being.

This new Community of Practice is for higher education leaders to collaborate on data-driven approaches to intentionally foster a greater student sense of belonging early in the college journey to measurably improve outcomes.  

This is ideal for senior and mid-level professionals working in Enrollment, Student Affairs, DEI, and more.


Community of Practice

Sign-up now to learn more

🆕Read the Feb 5, 2024 news release

Are you seeking to improve the new student experience in any of these ways?

  • Increase sense of belonging
  • Improve well-being
  • Reduce isolation and loneliness
  • Build greater sense of community
  • Enhance inclusion and support for underserved communities

Or improve any of these important institutional outcomes?

  • Student satisfaction
  • New enrollment (yield/melt)
  • First-year retention
  • Equity

If so, sign up to learn more about this new and innovative Community of Practice!

What is the focus?

The Community of Practice comes at a pivotal time for the U.S. as it faces record levels of anxiety, isolation, and loneliness, and the harmful impacts on today's college students.

The collaboration will focus its efforts on “Belonging Before Arriving,” to ensure incoming students feel a greater sense of community and connection before they matriculate. This includes:

  • Take action together, using proven programs from Nearpeer and the Institute for Well-being
  • Learn and share best practices at bi-monthly meetings
  • Highlight your leadership and impact

This initiative is designed to support higher education leaders in enhancing the new student experience and promoting greater belonging, well-being and inclusion. Through the ongoing work of the Institute and Nearpeer’s student impact studies, the partners will focus on the “ABCs” of student engagement, which include Authenticity, Belonging, and Connection.

The Community of Practice will examine the Institute’s body of student well-being research and other resources, coupled with Nearpeer’s student impact studies, to identify what works as incoming students engage with institutions, what gaps exist, and opportunities to build on these programs during students’ first year. All to ensure students feel connected to their peers, their campus, and the greater community, as well as the measurable impact these platforms have on student recruiting, retention, and inclusion. 

What does it cost?

Participation in the Belonging Before Arriving Community of Practice starts at $15,000 per year per institution. The exact cost depends on the size of your eligible student population, and covers:

  • The Institute’s administration of the SWISS survey to your eligible students, assessment, and consulting for your campus, including data-to-action guidance to help you operationalize assessment and survey results, make data-driven decisions, and efficiently use resources;

  • Nearpeer’s Platform for Belonging and high-touch program services, which offers 20X+ ROI and is proven to result in happier, healthier, and more successful students; and

  • Facilitation within the community of practice to ensure effective and efficient knowledge sharing among members to maximize impact.

Building a sense of belonging early is one of the most cost-effective, high-ROI interventions available to improve student well-being as well as traditional institutional objectives, such as enrollment gains, tuition revenue lift, retention increases, and more. 

Leverage the best of the Institute for Well-being's expertise and industry-leading SWISS survey to capture student perceptions of how well their institutions support various aspects of their well-being.

ecampus news article

Apply real-world practice, including from Butler's own journey to improve its student experience with Nearpeer, as reported in this January 2024 article by Dr. Frank Ross

quotes from students about how much they appreciate Nearpeer