THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University will offer its students the opportunity to enrich their academic and social perspectives with the addition of new residential options that bring together students with similar interests.
This Fall, Nicholls will introduce the Honors Program Living Learning Community (LLC), with two more LLCs planned for the Colonels Retention of Winners Network and Colonel Catholics. The Honors LLC debuted Spring 2020 in Scholars Hall but has been interrupted by COVID-19 restrictions.
LLCs are residential communities housing students with shared academic, cultural or organizational interests. Typically sponsored by a specific university department, organization or faculty member, LLCs bring students together in the same residence hall. There they live with and attend events geared toward enhancing their knowledge of the subject and fostering a connection to the campus.
The Honors LLC organized by Dr. Bridget Scott aims to connect freshman honors students with their peers. This provides the students the chance to find study partners, friends and mentors early on in their time at Nicholls.
Dr. Michele Caruso, vice president of student affairs, said there are plans for more LLCs in the future.
“If done correctly, the success has a tremendous impact on student outcomes by the end of the academic year, and when they graduate,” Dr. Caruso said. “Our LLCs will be intentional and strategic when it comes to determining how they will be implemented. This brings together student affairs, housing, institutional research and in some cases academic affairs and other collaborative areas with the goal of helping these students become the best versions of themselves.”
According to a study published by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, first-year students who lived in an LLC experienced “higher levels of academic self-confidence, were more likely to be a mentor for other students, and remained more committed to civic engagement” throughout their academic career.
With their roots dating back to the social clubs of Harvard, Yale and Cambridge in the early 20th century, LLCs have expanded rapidly across American campuses since the early 1990s. Examples of LLCs from across the country encompass political interests, underclassmen or upperclassmen, honors, diversity, women, foreign language, cultural and civic and social leadership, among others.
Multiple studies also show higher academic success rates, graduation rates and satisfaction among the students who live within those communities.
Students who live in LLCs develop skills such as critical thinking and multidisciplinary analysis, get involved in more student and civic organizations and volunteer for more service learning, according to the AACU study. Additionally, LLCs are effective in introducing first-generation students to the college environment.
“These communities provide students with better access to faculty mentors, staff and students with similar interests,” said Alex Coad, director of residential living. “They also create specific co-curricular activities that combine academic, cultural, social and professional knowledge all depending on the community-based topic.” For more information, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 448-4022.