Housing and Residence Life creates new living learning communities dedicated to academic success

By Gabriel Donahue, Editor-in-Chief 

The Towson University Department of Housing and Residence Life has created two new living learning communities, housing more than 40 residential students on floors dedicated to academic success.  

Living learning communities are designated floors in residence halls that allow students to connect with individuals with similar interests or academic pursuits. 

A cohort of 20 students are in the new College of Health Professions learning community, housed in Glen Tower B, Assistant Director for Residential Education Jake Garner said in an email. 

These students will be offered enrollment in classes together to “integrate classroom learning with the residential experience,” Garner said. Residence Life also plans to host collaborative events with College of Health Professions staff. 

Twenty-three students will live in Glen Tower C in the inaugural cohort of the TU 4 Baltimore City Scholarship and Program Fund learning community. 

Abbreviated TU4Balt, the program was created by a donor to the university looking to increase access and success of students coming from Baltimore City public schools, Garner said. 

Similar to other living learning communities, these students will share an academic advisor and have the option to take classes together. However, Garner said, Residence Life is also partnering with other on-campus resources such as financial aid and the career center to ensure the TU4Balt residents are adequately supported in other aspects. 

“It’s our hope that a strong base of support will set these students up for success during their time at TU and beyond and that we may continue the program in future years to ensure that TU is serving Baltimore City students effectively,” he said. 

Coenia Sanchez is a student on the TU4Balt floor. It seemed like an opportunity she “couldn’t miss out on,” she said in an email.

Sanchez said she appreciates the combination of academics and residence life, and has made friends with her floormates.

“So far, I have no complaints about the program; I think it is an amazing opportunity, and I’m grateful to be a part of it,” she said.

Previously called residential learning communities, the department recently changed the name of the learning communities to avoid confusion with the residential life coordinators, both abbreviated to RLC, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Kelly Hoover said in an email. 

The Health Professions learning community is the fourth created in partnership with an academic college, Garner said. Others include the Colleges of Education and Business and Economics, and STEM Scholars. 

Freshman Elijah Brantley is in the business learning community. He said he joined to make friends with others in his major. 

“I wanted to share a space with people who share the same goals,” Brantley said. “We can inspire each other.” 

Alongside the creation of two new learning communities, Garner said Residence Life established a new position for student staff, the Community Mentor. These are student employees who have previously lived in the learning community they are working with. 

Community Mentors differ from resident assistants as they are only responsible for community-centric programming and mentorship, while RAs complete administrative and operational duties, according to Garner. 

Additionally, he said no learning communities were suspended this year. Suspension occurs when there is not enough student interest in a program. 

Note: This story has been updated to include additional comments from Sanchez.

Gabe Donahue has held numerous positions within The Towerlight. He started as a writer before becoming the News Editor, and now he serves as Editor-in-Chief.


Success! You're on the list.