Living-Learning Communities and Second-Year Students

Living-learning communities (LLCs) are relatively common on college campuses. Students who are involved in similar areas of study or who share common interests live in close proximity to each either. The premise is that these students’ resident experiences will be improved through a shared sense of identity, purpose, and support. Furthermore, LLCs are increasingly common as part of broader initiatives to support second-year students, in particular through enhanced connections to peers and faculty, and intentional programming to support academic and career success.

This note explores LLCs by comparing the experiences of second-year students who are residents of LLCs to those who are not. This note also explores some of the factors that characterize successful LLCs, in particular common courses.

Those who are members of living-learning communities benefit socially, reporting higher levels of personal interactions and diverse interactions, a greater sense of community, and higher levels of overall satisfaction.

Living-Learning Communities Participation Rates for Second-Year Students

The majority of second-year students living on-campus are not members of a living-learning community. Of the second-year students surveyed, 78% were not in a living-learning community. Only 9% of second-year students were in a living-learning community.

Key Questions:

  1. What percentage of second-year students are members of LLCs?
  2. How does participation in a LLC relate to broader perception of resident life?
  3. What makes a LLC effective?

Key Points:

  • Second-year students LLCs report higher levels of overall satisfaction and learning than students who are not.
  • LLC students who take a common course report higher satisfaction and learning compared to those who do not take a common courses.

About the Data:

The data used in this research note is from the 2015-2016 ACUHO-I/Benchworks Resident Assessment. The survey was jointly designed by ACUHO-I and the survey development team at Skyfactor. This survey enables institutions to evaluate the experiences of on-campus residents, focusing on satisfaction with the housing experience, facilities, staff, dining and roommates; as well as learning related to community interactions, programs, diverse interactions, sustainability, and healthy habits. For this note, we analyzed data from 78,122 second-year students from 291 institutions.

To access all the data in this robust research note, just fill out the form to the right.