The Winter 2017 issue of the UT Journal featured the innovative living and learning community of the Honors Program. Here’s the excerpt from the Journal:
LEARNING WHERE YOU LIVE
Students looking for more integration between their academic and residence life can choose to live in one of UT’s learning communities.
Learning communities allow students to reside with those who have similar interests. Almost all residents of McKay Hall, for instance, are enrolled in the University’s Honors Program.
Designed to provide a study-intensive environment, the community also offers special programming organized by the Honors Program directors.
“Instead of a place where students just live, our goal is to make McKay more of a cohesive environment,” said Kacy Tillman, associate professor of English and associate director of the Honors Program.
The school year kicked off with a barbecue on move-in day. In the past, they’ve had a dozen students show up to the kick off, but with the addition of the learning community this year, almost all 440 new honors students showed up.
Other programs, which have seen similar success, include Coffee Conversations, where a small group of residents meet with a professor to discuss topics that are in the headlines, and movie nights on the Tuesday before each Honors Symposium, where the film correlates to the topic up for discussion.
“My hope for the learning community is for students to have the same kind of experience I did, where they take the conversation back to their rooms and debate on a topic well into the night,” said Tillman.
For Mallory Kuba, who is currently enrolled in the MBA 4+1 program, being housed in the Honors floor in the Vaughn Center made all the difference.
“I came to UT not knowing a soul,”Kuba, of Annapolis, MD, said. “But living on the Honors floor was a great opportunity to be around students who were motivated and engaging.”