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The New American College Town

'The New American College Town' cover image

The New American College Town

Designing Effective Campus and Community Partnerships

A new perspective on the relationships among colleges, universities, and the communities with which they are now partnering.

Colleges and universities have always had interesting relationships with their external communities, whether they are cities, towns, or something in between. In many cases, they are the main economic driver for their regions—State College, Pennsylvania, or Raleigh, North Carolina, for example—and in others, they exist side by side with thriving industries. In The New American College Town, James Martin, James E. Samels & Associates provide a practical guide for planning a new kind of American college town—one that moves beyond the nostalgia-tinged stereotype to achieve collaborative objectives.

What exactly is a college town in America today? Examining the broad range of partnerships transforming campuses and the communities around them, the book opens by detailing twenty characteristics of new American college towns. Subsequent chapters invite presidents, provosts, planners, mayors, architects, and association directors to share their views on how college town relationships are shaping new generations of students and citizens. The book tackles urban and rural institutions, as well as community colleges, and closes with predictions about what college towns will look like in twenty-five years. Contributors include presidents from Lehigh, Portland State, New Jersey City, and Connecticut College, along with five college town mayors and the current or former executive directors from the International Town-Gown Association, the Association for the Study of Higher Education, and others.

The book also traces how town-gown relations are expanding into innovative areas nationally and internationally, moving beyond familiar student life programs and services to hundred-million-dollar downtown developments. The first comprehensive, single-volume resource designed for leaders on both sides of these conversations, The New American College Town includes action plans, lessons learned, and pitfalls to avoid in developing transformative relationships between colleges and their extended communities.

Contributors: Robert C. Andringa, Aaron Aska, Beth Bagwell, Katherine Bergeron, Kelly A. Cherwin, Phillip DiChiara, Lorin Ditzler, Mauri A. Ditzler, Kevin E. Drumm, Erin Flynn, Michael Fox, Joel Garreau, Susan Henderson, Andrew W. Hibel, Patrick Hyland, Jr., Jay Kahn, James Martin, Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Fred McGrail, Kim Nehls, Krisan Osterby, Tracee Reiser, Stuart Rothenberger, Kate Rousmaniere, James E. Samels, Rick Seltzer, John D. Simon, Jefferson A. Singer, Allison Starer, Wim Wiewel, Eugene L. Zdziarski II