UHV students to increase success by living, learning together
University of Houston-Victoria faculty and staff are busy preparing for a new program starting in the fall that will help increase student success inside and outside the classroom.
The university's Quality Enhancement Plan, a required component of UHV's 2014 accreditation review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, focuses on residential learning communities.
The "Living and Learning" theme highlights how the university will integrate the academic and social aspects of the university, so each group of 20 to 25 students will live and learn together.
The residential learning communities will reinforce student learning in ways that are meaningful, said Jill Fox, UHV director of assessment and QEP co-organizer.
"The theme is a powerful idea that fits perfectly with UHV's goal of becoming a destination university," she said. "We will reach out to students from different avenues, using new technology, community engagement and university resources so that they will have a well-rounded learning experience."
UHV officials anticipate students participating in the QEP will have higher GPAs, better team-working skills, increased engagement with faculty and more likely to return to the university their sophomore year. These outcomes drove university officials to design a program that combines academic and social experiences.
"UHV has changed a lot since freshmen and sophomores joined the campus in 2010," said Jeffrey Cass, UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs. "We wanted to offer a program that would help our students, many of whom are first-generation college students, to succeed in the classroom and be better prepared for the workforce once they graduate."
The residential learning communities program will have six components:
• Linked classes - Same group of students taking a core class and first-year seminar course.
• Student life - Students will participate in group activities outside of class.
• Student success - Students will be provided with resources such as tutoring.
• Support team - Each team will consist of two faculty members, a librarian, a student success coach and a student life staff member to advise a class.
• Living and learning commons - Residential learning communities will have a designated space inside Jaguar Suites for group meetings and special events.
• Learning and teaching institute - Faculty will use this resource to learn innovative ways to improve their students' classroom experiences.