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Important things to consider as you visit colleges: Residential Learning and Theme Communities

A number of colleges in Ohio offer Residential Learning Communities. Each community is organized around a theme which may be either academic or special interest. Students sharing the particular interest are grouped together in a residence hall, assigned upperclass students and a faculty or staff representative who provides on going programming and other activities typically designed around the theme. For example, an Arts Residential Learning Community might provide individual student studio space, arrange field trips to local gallery exhibits, or connect students taking the same classes into study groups. An “Outdoor Adventure” Residential Learning Community might coordinate backpacking, rock climbing, and kayak weekend trips while bringing in well known outdoor speakers.

Statistical evidence shows that students living in residential communities make smoother and more successful academic and social transitions when entering college. They also thrive academically, interact more frequently with faculty and develop a strong sense of communal belonging, which results in a deep-seated connection to the University as a whole.

Not only that, but the cost is typically the same as for a traditional residence hall room. What’s not to like!

Most of Ohio’s public universities offer students a variety of communities to choose from and a number of private colleges do as well. If you want to find out if a college you are considering offers Residential Learning Communities, just search under “residential learning community + college name” to find out. Check out Bowling Green State University’s page as an example. Check out the video while you are there:

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas.