NCSU students walk past Alexander Hall.

Where Learning is a Way of Life

NC State’s Living and Learning Villages provide students with an experiential education outside the classroom.The 14 villages, along with two community initiatives, also help create a sense of community in a campus with more than 35,000 students.

“When the first task force for planning the villages met in 2002, we wanted to find ways to enhance the on-campus learning experience,” said Susan Grant, director of University Housing. “We were looking for ways to better collaborate with campus partners to offer an enriching residence hall experience, and to make a big university seem a little bit smaller.”

These close communities focus on shared interests, ranging from a passion for the arts or environment, to major-specific villages, to ones surrounding cultural identities. When students come together in these unique spaces, and get to know their neighbors, their chances of academic success rise.

“Students living in villages tend to have higher GPAs than their non-village peers, their retention rates are higher, and they are more likely to graduate on time,” said Grant. “They benefit from highly involved faculty, who often are involved in village-sponsored events, and sometimes even live in the residence halls of specific villages.”

Faculty get to know students better, mentor them through their academic careers and connect residents with the mission and vision of each village. The mutual benefits reflect NC State’s commitment to creating a welcoming and open campus for all.

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Originally published September 7, 2017. Written by Emily Packard.

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