June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
In traditional and non-traditional universities, many campuses have developed activities around the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) umbrella, one of which is called STEM living communities. Living communities are on-campus housing arrangements that bring together students, who are majoring in similar types of fields or majors, such as the STEM disciplines, in one residential location. Students who choose to reside in these living communities share similar interests and majors and because of their proximity to each other are more likely to go through the same educational and campus life experiences together. The overall purpose of these living communities is to stimulate greater educational success through academic and social endeavors. Smith indicates that students who choose to be involved in STEM learning communities receive additional perks and benefits compared to commuter and Greek students, which are specifically designed to help students develop positive academic and social relationships (2015). Wai-Ling states that STEM learning communities create an environment that promotes positive learning through small classroom sizes, programs, constant peer interactions, and face-to-face time with faculty members and mentors (2012). One of the features that makes STEM living communities special compared to other groups living together are that they allow students to continue their learning experience outside of the classroom environment by surrounding students with their STEM classmates, in addition to giving students constant contact with STEM faculty members, which extends the learning experience. Working together, students and faculty members have the opportunity to form a strong bond, students can share personal feelings, allowing faculty members to listen and become aware of how to best assist the student with his/her learning goals (Golde & Pribbenow, 2000; Eighmy & Frazier, 2012).
A national pilot study was conducted to identify: what activities STEM living communities conduct to retain students; determine how well STEM students are doing socially and academically; discover what programs are being offered to students at STEM living communities; discover how involved faculty members are in living communities; and the status of STEM freshman programs at different universities. This paper will identify the status of STEM living communities from the pilot study and it will take a look at a new STEM living community developed this year.
Eighmy, M., & Frazier, W. (2012). Themed Residential Learning Communities: The Importance of Purposeful Faculty and Staff Involvement and Student Engagement. Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts.
Golde, C., & Pribbenow, D. (2000). Understanding Faculty Involvement in Residential Learning Communities. University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Smith, R. (2015). Magnets and Seekers: A Network Perspective on Academic Integration inside Two Residential Communities. Ohio State University.
Harding, R. S., & Fox, P., & McIntyre, C., & Talbert-Hatch, T. L. (2017, June), Board # 64 : The Status of STEM Living Communities Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27897
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