Apart from their homes, school is where students spend most of their time. So, it’s important to them and their mission in college that they feel safe. College is where they get to create their path to life’s success, so it should be violence-free ad safe for them. They must be able to grow, learn, be carefree, creative, uplifted and encouraged in this environment. Only when they feel safe in college can they explore and participate in many activities that help build them and ensure that they flourish. College safety ensures they can learn more effectively, be absent fewer times, and get high grades. Violence negatively impacts students’ mental and physical health and ultimately affects their education and life.
What makes a safe college environment?
There might be many ways to define college or school safety, but a safe college is generally where violent activities don’t disrupt the teaching and learning process and threats to life are minimized. While preventing college shootings is important, it’s not the only factor involved in college safety. College safety includes everything that ensures the physical protection of students and educational staff, such as security practices and personnel, disciplinary actions, environmental design features, emergency operation plans, etc. There’s also the psychological aspect of college safety, and it’s important to balance psychological and physical safety measures. An article on the buy dissertation platform states that some behaviors, such as drug abuse, alcohol, bullying, suicide, and criminal activities, make college unsafe, but beyond the physical effect, they also have underlying psychological effects on the students.
When assessing the safety of a college environment, here are a few things to note:
- Academic achievement is the main focus.
- Involved communities and families meaningfully
- Have positive and clear rules
- Treat students and staff respectfully
- Emphasizes a positive relationship between the staff and students of the school
- Ensures a pathway for staff members and students to show their concerns.
- Develops and encourages links to the local community
- Provides an engaging environment and inviting classrooms
- Promotes good character and citizenship among students and staff
- Supports students with their transition to adult life and professional industries.
- Prioritizes the mental health of the students and staff and makes mental health resources readily available.
How safety impacts student success
Safety is known to bring about a positive school climate and academic development. According to a study, parent’s perception of a college’s safety as part of the college’s climate influenced the students in three ways:
- Their overall perception of the school and attitude toward schooling
- Their engagement with the college
- Whether they choose to attend that college
Safety and perception are very important, and they have significant impacts on college students. Here are three major ways that college safety impacts students:
- Academic performance
A study of the connection between college safety and students’ academic performance showed that students that felt safe showed more attentiveness and efficiency in class. Those who didn’t feel safe struggled to focus and concentrate in class. This decreases the learning potential of these students and affects their performance.
- Mental health
Some studies prove that students show signs of depression when they feel unsafe at school. This means that college safety affects the behavior and emotional health of students. Depression in students has also been linked with a low chance of graduation and involvement in risky activities such as drug abuse, alcohol, and weapons such as guns.
Another rapidly growing concern about students’ mental health is the effect of bullying. Suicide-related behaviors have been linked closely with bullying. Young people reported to be involved with bullying behaviors have also reported a high-level of suicide-relation behaviors than those that haven’t been bullied or involved with such behaviors.
- Student attendance
Research proves that students who reported being bullied are likely to experience several health complaints, such as anxiety and depression. This lack of safety also leads them to skip classes and drop out of school. They feel that being away from school will help them avoid their bullies, so it’s safer for them to skip classes. The frequent absences will consequently affect their overall performance and academic achievement if they don’t drop out.
How to keep your college safe
If your college currently feels unsafe for students, here are some options to make it safer:
- Ensure there are more non-academic supports for students. For instance, you can create a hotline for victims, and witnesses can anonymously report incidents.
- Use software to track incidents and investigate them. This makes it easier to support victims, identify risks and resolve issues.
- Get the community involved in keeping the college safe. Talk to the parents and the local community about improving physical features to make the school safer.
Ensuring the safety of a college campus environment is very important to the student’s success. It’s often the difference between their success and failure as students, as it significantly impacts everything they do.