Housing and Residence Life collaborates with other departments to create supportive learning environments within the residential community. The learning communities are based on Tinto's model of student retention and focus on enhancing student commitment to and integration in the university setting. Learning communities allow a group of students from the same major or with similar interests to take two to three of the same courses together. The living and learning communities allow students to live with their classmates within the same residential area.
According to Jodi Levine, a nationally recognized educational researcher and scholar, participation in learning communities provides students and faculty/staff with many benefits. In particular, Levine (1999) asserts that learning communities:
- Improve student learning and retention
- Provide opportunities to integrate courses in an interdisciplinary manner
- Help students to form academically-based social networks among peers
- Increase student involvement in learning and college life
- Provide opportunities for faculty/staff-student interaction
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