Housing option helps IT freshmen live and learn

For most students, the first year of college is an exciting and

challenging time of enormous change. Last fall, IT and the University's

Office of Housing and Residential Life began a new program designed

to make that transition easier, thanks in part to a generous gift

from Mrs. George Taylor, a longtime IT benefactor.

Taylor's gift launched the Explorations in Engineering and Sciences

House, where IT freshmen live and learn in a community setting.

Students enrolled in the program live together in a block of rooms

in Centennial Hall and take courses together. They also participate

in special educational, social, and developmental programming that's

designed to broaden their horizons and ensure their academic success.

"Students and parents really love this program," says Susan Kubitschek,

who coordinates the program for IT Student Services. "It makes the

University less scary and gives students a real sense of community.

Those things, in turn, support [students'] academic achievement."

Explorations in Engineering and Sciences House is one of 21 new

subject-based living and learning communities available to first-year

students at the University. Others focus on disciplines from art

and design to biology and foreign languages.

The enhanced programming makes living and learning communities

more expensive than traditional dormitory housing, says Kubitschek.

Students who participate pay higher housing fees to cover part of

the cost; the remainder comes from private sources.

"Mrs. Taylor's gift really made it possible to get this program

off the ground," says Kubitschek. "Now that we know the program

is a success, we're looking for ways to serve more students."