Room and Bored? Not at Baylor.
Where does your student's Baylor education really take place? If you think it only happens during class (with occasional visits to the library sprinkled in between), you may want to take a closer look and discover answers to several common questions.
What does it mean to integrate "living" and "learning"?Education, preparation and meaningful connections are at the forefront of all Baylor student activities. Integrating "living" and "learning" means academic pursuits follow students from the classroom, around campus and all the way back to the residence hall. Whether students live in traditional housing, campus apartments or a living-learning residence, Baylor offers a variety of opportunities to encourage continual learning through collective study, faculty interaction and career planning.
What is the purpose of an academic living community?
In Living-Learning Centers (LLCs) such as North Village Residential Community and Allen and Dawson Halls, residents are grouped together by academic discipline to foster a sense of community and build camaraderie among students interested in related fields.
"The biggest benefit of living in an LLC was being surrounded by people who were in my classes," Julia Saari, a junior mechanical engineering major, said.
Living with other engineering and computer science majors in Heritage House in the North Village Residential Community created academic synergy for Julia and her classmates.
"We were able to get to know each other and study together outside of class," Julia said. "And that's really the main point of the LLC--to encourage group study."
But what if your student's study group has a burning question?
Do students have access to faculty outside of class?
Engaged Learning Groups (ELGs) and Residential Colleges facilitate helpful interaction by incorporating faculty advisors into the community living experience. Faculty-in-Residence, Faculty Partners and Faculty Masters work with residence hall directors and community leaders to facilitate dynamic connections between students and professors.
"The Faculty Partner program addresses the invisible barrier that often separates students and faculty," Eric Gilchrest, a Religion professor and Faculty Partner for Penland Hall, said. "It gives students a new lens through which they can see their professors. As the professor-student relationship changes, the classroom experience is enriched."
Social activities within the residential communities encourage healthy interaction between students and their faculty sponsors and create "out-of-the-box" learning opportunities.
Dr. Laine Scales, who is the associate dean of the Baylor University Graduate School, a professor in the School of Education and the Faculty-in-Residence for Kokernot Hall, hosts a number of events that integrate socialization with a chance to learn something new.
"We have a program called "Kouch Konversations" (K for Kokernot), and we invite people like Kevin Jackson, vice president for Student Life, to come speak with the students in a smaller setting," Dr. Scales explained. "Part of my role as the Faculty-in-Residence is to introduce students to faculty and staff at Baylor who they might not otherwise meet."
How do all of these experiences prepare my student for life after college?
To put all the pieces together and help students determine a viable career path, Baylor's Career Counseling department offers a number of helpful resources. Recently, Campus Living and Learning has partnered with the Career Counseling Center to conduct special career planning sessions with residents of the Arbors and East Arbors apartment complexes.
The sessions include personality assessments, which help students understand how personality impacts their calling and vocation. They also learn techniques for researching jobs and potential careers, based on the assessments. All of this leads up to a one-on-one meeting with a career counselor to complete the process and solidify a potential career path.
But fear not, parents! This experience is modified from the Career Counseling Center's three-step career planning process, which is just one of myriad resources available to all Baylor students through the Paul L. Foster Success Center.
Baylor strives to create residential environments that facilitate academic success and offer students practical tools for identifying a purpose and a calling through vocation. If you have any questions about Living and Learning programs, please contact Campus Living and Learning or visit the CLL website.