LEXINGTON, Ky. - There’s something about the Living-Learning Program at the University of Kentucky that keeps attracting students success.
“We know that this kind of living and learning space is a strong predictor of student success,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “It’s not just that they graduate, but it’s that they find the deep meaning and purpose in the educational experience.”
Alumni and current students alike refer to their LLP experience as a defining moment, an experience that catapults them to academic success as a student and flourishing careers upon graduation. Nearly 25 years of history and statistics agree.
LLP participants get better grades – in the first fall semester 3.26 GPA, compared to 2.80 for peers not in a Living-Learning environment. And students in the Living-Learning Program stay in school; 88.4 percent more return for their sophomore year, compared to 80.8 percent for their cohort peers. Students are also more likely to adjust more successfully to the academic demands of college, declare a major in their freshman year and find their academic work more interesting. Participating in a living learning community, which incurs no additional cost, helps keep students on track toward graduation by helping them connect with advisors, professors and other staff.
“The relationships one gains in a quality college experience are typically the ones that you take with you your entire life,” said Capilouto. “We are going to offer an environment that really fosters building of those kinds of relationships.”
The students themselves report greater academic self-confidence, more meaningful interactions with faculty, and more diverse interactions and friendships with fellow students. LLP students report that faculty had a greater effect on their career goals and aspirations and their personal growth, values and attitudes.
“The Living Learning Program recognizes that college students learn both in and out of the classroom,” Marcia Shrout, associate director for residential education in the Office of Residence Life, Division of Student Affairs. “The Office of Residence Life has collaborated with our academic partners and other student success partners to compliment the classroom experience.
“Through Living Learning Communities and Residential Colleges we offer students an opportunity to live and learn together in an integrated academic residential environment. This dynamic residential experience offers specialized programming, interactions with UK faculty and staff and a supportive community that focuses on student success.”
Student success has spawned program success. This fall about 1,100 students will participate in 13 programs, a growth of 21 percent from last year. Six more programs will be added in fall 2014, the program’s 25th year at UK, nine times more than in 2008.
This fall, the Living-Learning Programs include the Agricultural Residential College, Arts and Sciences Wired Residential College, Engineering Residential College, Fine Arts Residential College, First Generation Community, Global Scholars Community, Global Village Community, Healthcare Residential College, Honors Community, i-Net Community, Leadership and Service Community, ROTC Community and Wellness Community. Next fall, the Business Enterprise Community, the Communication and Information Connect Community, the EDLIFE Community, Environmental and Sustainability Residential College, the Kinesiology and Health Promotion Community and the Transfer Student Community will be added to the roster.