Two University of Richmond Living-Learning Programs and one Sophomore Scholars in Residence course were canceled for the 2023-2024 academic year after receiving too few student applications.
Earth Lodge and UR Living Well were canceled, making Lavender Living the only themed community slated for next year. Self-Discovery and Social Change was the only SSIR to be canceled, wrote Sage Ober, associate director for new student & transition programs, in an email to The Collegian.
Sophomore Rob Seifrit would have been the resident assistant for Earth Lodge, he said.
“Earth Lodge would give me the opportunity to interact with my residents more,” Seifrit said. “I have a little bit of experience doing conservation work too.”
Seifrit is disappointed in Earth Lodge’s cancellation and is unsure if he will apply to serve as an RA for an LLC again next year, he said.
Heather Sadowski, director of health promotion, was one of the planned advisors for UR Living Well.
Sadowski wrote in an email to The Collegian that 16 students applied to UR Living Well. All applicants were offered admittance into the program, but only three accepted. Two students accepted offers to a different themed community, 10 to SSIRs, and one declined altogether.
“We evaluate programming annually, so we will continue to evaluate,” Sadowski wrote in an email to The Collegian. “[We will] consult with colleagues both across campus and at other Universities and Colleges and keep offering these great initiatives!”
The SSIR courses are only open to rising sophomores and each consist of a one-unit course in the fall and a half-unit in the spring, culminating with a collaborative final project at the end of the year. Each course also includes one fully-funded class experience, domestic or abroad, during an academic break, according to the UR website.
The canceled SSIR, Self-Discovery and Social Change, would have been taught by Rev. Craig Kocher, the university chaplain, and would have had a trip to Vancouver, Canada over fall break, according to the UR website.
LLCs, each centered around their own topic, are open to all rising sophomores through seniors. The Earth Lodge would have focused on sustainability and environmental justice through community outreach and experiential opportunities, according to the UR website.
UR Living Well was centered on self care and balance between academic success and living a good life, according to the UR website. Students would have had experiential learning with on-campus experts. Residents of the community would also be given the opportunity to pursue a well-being related certification in topics like peer education and wellness coaching.
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UR Living Well has operated the last three academic years with an average of 11-15 students. Sadowski believes an effective living-learning community should have at least 10 participants, she wrote.
Programs like SSIRs and LLCs are classified as high-impact practices, which are active learning practices that promote significant educational benefits like student engagement and deeper learning, according to the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Students enrolled in these types of programs typically have a higher satisfaction rate at UR, more interactions with faculty members and better interaction with their peers according to the UR website.
“We have not yet determined what we will offer next year in terms of UR Living Well,” Sadowski wrote, “but we are working on this and open to ideas from the campus community.”
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