National Collegiate Honors Council


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From: Housing Honors, edited by Linda Frost, Lisa W. Kay, and Rachael Poe. National Collegiate Honors Council Monograph Series (Lincoln, NE: 2015).


Copyright © 2015 by National Collegiate Honors Council.


For the past 30 years, intentionally structured living-learning communities (LLCs) have sprung up across residential college campuses in the United States. Recent research has suggested that LLC participation facilitates faculty and peer interaction (Blimling, 1993; Schoem, 2004), influences student learning and the development of critical-thinking skills (Terenzini, Springer, Pascarella, & Nora, 1995; Whitt, Edison, Pascarella, Nora, & Terenzini, 1999), improves retention (Campbell & Fuqua, 2008; Daffron & Holland, 2009), reflects a commitment to civic engagement, and promotes smooth academic and social transitions to college life (Inkelas, Daver, Vogt, & Leonard, 2007; Stassen 2003). In fall 2005, in response to growing university enrollment and expressed student interest, Residential Life at the University of Nevada, Reno, expanded its campus housing options to include a living-learning program. To capitalize on the strong partnership with Residential Life, the honors program offered its incoming class of honors students the opportunity for a living-learning experience. The goals of the Honors LLC were to build a community of like-minded scholars by providing meaningful learning, innovative teaching, and the shared goal of intellectual engagement in a residential educational setting. Residential Life managed the facilities, budget, and program operations; the honors program created the learning opportunities: honors courses, co-curricular programming, community engagement, and faculty-student interaction.