Living Learning Community making a difference at FAMU

Students are gathered to celebrate the Living Learning Community.
Photo courtesy University Housing Living Learning Communities Website

FAMU’s Living Learning Community program connects students with  faculty and staff outside of the classroom.

According to FAMU’s housing website, the Living Learning Communities (LLCs) were designed for first-year students to concentrate on learning through motivating, cultivating and giving a challenge to the residents.

The LLC program, started in fall 2015, is also a partnership between the Division of Academic Affairs and the Division of Student Affairs, and it is closely connected to the housing process.  Students must be accepted into the university, complete the Housing/LLC application, and meet the requirements for the major in order to be accepted into the program.

There are only 10 majors that the LLCs focuses on: agriculture and food sciences, allied health sciences, business, education, engineering, environmental sciences, journalism, honors, science and technology, and nursing.

Brenda Spencer, the LLC program director, said, “The top goals of the LLC program are to foster student engagement, faculty engagement, high scholastic achievement and early exposure to the career field.”

Since this program has started, FAMU has seen an increase in higher cumulative GPAs and higher retention rates for freshman students who have participated in the program. LLC students program are given the opportunity to form a tight-knit network with other students with similar majors, goals and interests from the beginning of their journey at FAMU.

“The journalism LLC program is not only a strong mechanism for keeping incoming freshmen focused on their chosen majors, it is an excellent recruitment tool for the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. Parents recognized that LLC students tend to fair better academically and by having such a program, we have an opportunity to lure high-quality, focused students,” William Jiles, LLC liaison, said.

Jiles has exposed journalism students to what SJGC offers as quickly as possible, including student media memberships, academic advisement and student travel.

“I joined the LLC to have access to extra resources that could help me succeed at FAMU,” said Khyla Bell, a freshman business administration major from Atlanta.  “It hasn’t been that long, but the LLC has already connected me to my peers who are going through the same things that I am currently going through and are willing to work together to complete assignments and have study sessions,” she added.

Bell looks forward to the program because it  alleviates her stress levels, she said. Most of the questions that she asks are quickly answered from her peers who have either understood the material better or put in the effort to work diligently together to find a solution to the question.

Bell said, “To me the LLC means support. Everyone here is going through the same courses and are driven so it’s definitely beneficial to have everyone working together.”