Living Learning Communities increase chances of student success

Aug. 14, 2007 by Bryant Million NMSU News Center

Studies have shown that students are more successful when their academic experiences are integrated into their lives. So New Mexico State University’s Housing and Residential Life Department and cooperating colleges have set up several Living Learning Communities in on-campus residential areas that give participating students opportunities to interact with other students, academic staff and faculty from the college of their major.

“Data has proven that living and learning communities increase students’ satisfaction at school and in residence halls, increase the chance of them graduating within four years and also increase their interaction with faculty,” said Julie Weber, director of Housing and Residential Life.

First-year NMSU students living in Garcia Hall have the option of staying in one of the several Living Learning Communities that are divided into different career fields, each with a residential assistant as well as a peer advisor chosen by the college of the particular community. The students are assigned to a floor in the residence hall according to their community; promoting ongoing dialogue with peers and their peer advisors, which helps students to draw personal meaning from their academic experiences.

Garcia Hall hosts the Agriculture and Home Economics, Biological Sciences, Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Health and Social Services and Professional Golf Management communities. There also is an Aggie Exploration Community for students who have not yet decided on an academic major that helps them explore NMSU’s academic programs.

The Honors Residential College, located in Monagle Hall, provides a residential environment for students in the Honors College. Students must enter NMSU in the Honors College to be eligible to live in the community, which has programming focused on topics of interest to honor students as well as tutoring by the peer advisors.

Stacey Stokes, a mentor for Monagle’s Honors Residential College and a microbiology major, said she tries to get to know all the residents personally, stays involved with on-campus activities and helps create social and academic programs for the residents to learn different things while they meet new people or hang out with old friends. She also tutors in chemistry and biology.

“I enjoy getting to know people and helping others,” Stokes said. “Tutoring students who come back and tell me they’ve improved their grades after studying with me is the most rewarding part of my job.”

For more information on the Living Learning Communities, contact NMSU Housing and Residential Life at (505) 646-4466 or go to

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