It’s a question that comes up a lot around bigger universities who are considering or currently have Living and Learning Programs (LLPs) — do they really work? Some mention the increased rate of retention freshman to sophomore year is the purpose behind such programs.  Others will tell you it’s simple for new students to build friendships with common-minded individuals.  No matter what you have heard, you must define a clear goal and mission for your LLP.

Every university has different ways of handling such programs, but these 3 questions must be asked before a full evaluation of the LLPs:

  1. Are you focused on equity and access in your LLPs?  How so?
  2. Would the students in the LLP most likely be retained without the program?
  3. What benefit are students getting in the LLP that other students are not?

Be different in your programming and ensure that the students are not becoming overwhelmed with mandatory events, along with everything else they have going on.