Bethany President Speaks at WVASPA Annual Conference

BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College President Dr. Scott D. Miller addressed student life administrators from around the state at the 2014 West Virginia Association of Student Personnel Administrators Conference held at Wheeling’s Oglebay Resort Thursday.

Dr. Miller spoke of the changing wants and needs of today’s college students, and how amenities and student services have become an important expectation of the college experience.

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Vanessa Keadle, WVASPA President; Andrew Lewis, WVASPA Treasurer and Bethany's Director of Residence Life; and Bethany President Scott D. Miller.

“Take comparison-shopping students and families, add a demand for high-end living and student life experiences, and sprinkle in a mix of more services for special populations, and you get high expectations and increased challenges,” Dr. Miller said.

“I have come to realize that a student’s 168-hour week consists of 18 hours in the classroom and 50 sleeping; for the remaining 100 hours, it is a partnership with the student for an intimate learning experience.  It is up to us to provide the entire educational experience,” Dr. Miller noted. 

Bethany has tackled these new responsibilities with The Bethany Plan, a comprehensive learning experience that aids students in identifying with and becoming a part of academic, co-curricular and extracurricular activities.

“Students at Bethany can take advantage of global study-abroad trips, career-focused internships and research opportunities,” Dr. Miller said, as well as joining athletic teams or a Greek organization.

Also of growing importance to students and their families is the safety of the campus community, Dr. Miller said, citing the increasing number of reporting requirements institutions of higher education must meet.

“All of us have our work cut out for us,” he said. “And you are continuing to play a central role in student-centered education, by far the biggest growth area in higher education today.”

WVASPA provides services and resources for students and those who work in Student Affairs and Student Services at both public and private colleges and universities throughout West Virginia. The organization’s three-day annual conference brings together programs and people on the cutting edge in student affairs work.

Bethany, a small college of national distinction, is located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus. Bethany, the oldest degree granting institution in West Virginia, was founded in 1840 and traces its origins to the founding of Buffalo Seminary in 1818 at what was then Bethany, Virginia.