Living-Learning Communities initiated to give freshmen valuable support

One of the many new programs wrapped into the undergraduate residence hall is the Living-Learning Community (LLC), a program designed to give participating students an enhanced academic experience as well as a more fulfilling college experience by grouping them into a cohort that lives and studies together.

Currently, participating freshmen who enter Augusta University with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are grouped into two communities: students majoring in one of the Biological Science degree programs and students majoring in Chemistry or Physics.

Not only will students in these communities be living with each other, they will be enrolled together in two or three selected courses during the fall and spring semesters. In addition, they’ll participate in regularly scheduled group activities specific to their majors.

The hope is that by structuring a freshman year in such a way, students will not only achieve better academic results, they’ll also be more likely to remain at the university.

“I am very excited that the College of Science and Mathematics is the first college at Augusta University to establish Living-Learning Communities,” said Dr. Rickey Hicks, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. “The LLC is about learning, teamwork, fun and making lifelong friends.”

Though initiated by the College of Science and Mathematics, the Department of Housing and Residence Life was a key partner in developing the program, particularly helping with the recruitment of students and the logistics of getting the students grouped together in rooms and on floors.

“It’s an additional support to make sure that they’re going to succeed here at Augusta University,” said Heather Schneller, director of Housing and Residence Life. “We want them to develop relationships with other students and faculty so that as they progress through their majors, they can take advantage of all the research opportunities and pipelines to get them into graduate school and beyond.”

Seth Pettis, an incoming freshman from Monticello, Georgia, was excited to be a part of the new program.

“I jumped on it really quickly when I learned about it,” he said. “Because you’re going to be working with your peers the whole year, making friendships that will last throughout your entire college career and maybe even through medical school, since a lot of these kids want to get into medical school.”

School officials hope that future freshman from other colleges will have similar opportunities to learn in such a way.

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Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson is publications editor at Augusta University. You can reach him at

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Written by Eric Johnson

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