Published: Fall 2000 in College News

Enhancing College Programs

The mission of Westmont is accomplished through our programs, which include all activities that contribute to the education of our students. Whether attending class or spending time in the residence halls, chapel, art studios, or athletic contests, students are involved in a comprehensive learning experience.

Our programs require continual examination and the careful investment of resources. To best facilitate learning for every one of our students, we must maintain programs at the highest possible level. Through the capital campaign, Westmont will develop new programs and enhance current offerings. Each one plays a vital role as learning takes place through many aspects of a student’s life.

The broad range of programs benefiting from the campaign include those on campus, such as residence life activities, creative and performing arts events, the leadership and character development program, and intercollegiate and intramural sports.

Westmont encourages students to get involved off campus as well, and the campaign will support a variety of study programs throughout the United States and around the world as well as outreach activities and internships in the local community.

One essential goal of the campaign is making Voskuyl Library a more accurate reflection of the strength of our programs. By adding substantially to the print collection and increasing our technological resources, the college will develop a library that is far better equipped to support the growing educational needs of our community.

Committed to making the average collections in the library strong and the strong collections outstanding, Westmont plans to add 200,000 volumes to our print holdings, which is nearly half again the present number and is appropriate for a college of our size.

During the past decade, the library has also become an information center, housing electronic references as well as books and periodicals. Updating the automated library system, providing more computers with Internet access and ports for laptop computers, and purchasing a variety of electronic journals will strengthen our technological offerings.

Technology has certainly transformed the way the world does business, and the higher education world is no exception. Replacing outdated technology, adding more Internet hook-ups, and upgrading existing bandwidth to handle live video feed will extend and enhance our Internet and networking capabilities.

High quality and up-to-date equipment is essential to maintaining excellence in science instruction. Campaign gifts for college programs will provide greater funding for new scientific instrumentation. This greatly benefits Westmont students, who get more hands-on experience with sophisticated equipment than most other undergraduates. Better equipment also promotes research by professors who receive grants from agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

The campaign’s goals also include a series of special initiatives. Westmont-in-the-Arts cultivates appreciation for the arts by providing a limited number of tickets so students can attend Santa Barbara’s Community Arts Music Association. Westmont hopes to expand this program to include more students and events such as the visual arts, ballet, theater and opera.

For 20 years, Westmont chemistry students have participated in summer research programs and conducted research at universities such as Stanford and MIT. Westmont would like to expand this program to include other sciences and the humanities as well, and the capital campaign will provide funding for this initiative.

The Presidential Scholars Seminar will foster a sense of identity among Presidential Scholars, who are selected for their academic achievement. Mentoring by faculty, participation in special discussion groups, and involvement in community service will help these students fulfill their highest potential.

The Westmont Student Union promotes discussion of critical issues and sponsors debates, outside speakers, presentations of student research, and poetry readings.

The Institute for the Study of the Liberal Arts will promote ongoing conversation about the purpose and future of liberal arts education in North America. Based at Westmont and carried out through summer conferences, lectures, and publications, the Institute will explore the liberal arts tradition within an explicitly Christian framework.

The college can ensure its excellence well into the future by providing greater support for these and other essential programs at Westmont.

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