FAMU Towers slated to be a Residential Development Community

FAMU Towers is scheduled to open in August. Photo by Cassandra Jean

Coming to a university with an associate’s degree at a state college can be a tough transition. Florida A&M is addressing that transition with the new Residential Development Community (RDC).

Residential Development Communities match students with similar themed interests. Students will live with dedicated student staff, and space to encourage their personal and academic lives to grow.

Spearheaded by William Hudson, vice president of student affairs, FAMU’s RDC is the newest living facility being built.

“(It) provides support services to returning students through residence life programming. This program will have a positive impact on the performance funding metrics, which include retention and graduation rates.  It will also provide opportunities for students to improve soft skills which improves career readiness in the global economy,” Hudson said.

In spring 2019, FAMU broke ground on FAMU Towers, the newest residence hall on campus. It is scheduled to be ready for the fall semester. The facility includes 350 double occupancy rooms with shared bathrooms in each wing and a 10,000 square -foot dinning facility.

“Second-year experience applicants must have no less than 30 credit hours by May 4, 2020 and no more than 59 by August 26, 2020 to participate in the program,” said Herb Johnson, assistant director for student learning and success with university housing.

The program will have dedicated peer mentors and tutors for students, specialized leadership and community service opportunities to be involved in the community and on campus. It will also feature alternative spring break opportunities, and top priority for on campus job positions as they become available.

Students will be housed with a roommate in the same field of study.

To apply students must fill out an application, give a letter of recommendation from a previous college instructor or adviser, and turn it in by 5 p.m. May 1. Students must hand deliver the application to the housing department office in Gibbs Hall or email it to housingRISE@famu.edu. Final decision notifications will be sent via FAMU email accounts.

At the end of the program students will have a grade point average of 2.7 or higher, 30 or more service hours, and an internship secured for the summer of 2021.

The program is opened to current FAMU freshmen residents becoming sophomores with 30 hours or more and newly admitted transfer students. All students accepted in the Rattlers Rise program will be living in FAMU Towers.

“This new addition to the school is knocking down history. I understand why FAMU decided to create new dorms, but they could have also re-vamped the old dorms. I can’t wait to see what this does for our school,” said Kyonna Floyd, a senior theater student.

The Office of University Housing is working directly with Academic Support Services, the Career & Professional Development Center, Transfer Student Services, Office of Student Activities and Office of International Education & Development.

“While the pilot for program is aimed at 100-130 sophomore and transfer students for the 2020-2021 academic year, OUH intends to open the program to the entire second year and transfer student population for on-campus residents in future years. We additionally look to introduce ‘alternative spring break’ opportunities to our campus, which incorporates a service-learning experience into traditional spring break travel fun.OUH plans to open additional Residential Development Communities in the future based around student interests as well,” Johnson said.