The University of Denver has a bold vision for how we can build upon our 159-year history to do even bigger, better things. We are listening to the needs, desires and values of current and future college students. We are looking carefully at societal change—increasing globalization, complexity and division, big shifts in the labor market and economy—all coupled with technology upending or altering decades-long norms. And we’re responding.
The DU 4D Experience is designed to align with and best serve the students who are on campus today, not 20 years ago. We built the 4D Experience with the goal that all DU students can graduate with the knowledge they need, the life skills they can put into practice wherever they go and the confidence to tackle life’s biggest decisions and act as leaders in their communities. In short, a DU education is an incredible degree—and so much more.
The 4D Experience comes to life for our students through a combination of signature DU experiences, a constellation of mentors and moments of reflection.
Here, we pair educational research with industry best practices to offer an educational experience where the sum of all its parts is uniquely DU. That experience includes small class sizes that allow for personalized learning; hands-on research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students; a complementary campus in the Rocky Mountains offering connection, inspiration and skill building; a nationally recognized study abroad program; and a robust career center that serves our students from day one. These, and much more, are DU signature experiences that show the world who we are.
Through each student’s constellation of mentors, they receive the advice, advocacy and trusted guidance they need during a formative time in their lives. And the mentors are as diverse as our students—faculty, professionals, coaches, peers, alumni—teams of experts and champions who serve as sounding boards, supporters, trainers
All of this—the knowledge built in the classroom, the experiences savored in clubs, sports and internships, and so much more—is where we employ what I think of as our secret sauce: reflection. Learning happens not upon the encounter, but through reflection of that encounter. We aim to help students build a reflective practice, which they can lean on, again and again, across their lives. Throughout their time at DU, on their own and with their mentors, DU students will be asked to engage with big and meaningful questions about who they are, what they value, where they want to go and how their learning and experiences inform the answers to those questions. Through reflection, DU students will build the foundation of their character. There is nothing better to prepare them to be agents of positive change in the world.
The 4D Experience is who we are. It is our philosophy of education. We believe that when students are given ample opportunity to build knowledge and skills that help them advance their intellectual growth, promote their well-being, explore their character, and pursue a career and life of purpose, we have served them well. We have prepared them to flourish, not just at DU and not just in the workforce, but in their lives. I can’t wait to see where they will go.