Entering its eighth academic year, Millikin University’s Living-Learning Communities (LLC) are growing into a fascinating program that provides focused living environments geared to certain topics and commonalities between Millikin University students. The communities are built around a particular interest or connection that creates enhanced living experiences for all participants.
“We always advertise the living and learning communities as a unique opportunity for students that maybe worry about meeting friends or not finding that right fit," Millikin University Living-Learning Communities Coordinator Ellen Engh said. “The LLC automatically puts people together that have a common interest such as a major or academic focus, and they are theme related. We have a couple of different options so students right away know that they have that initial connection.”
Several benefits work in conjunction with the Living-Learning Communities such as purposeful programming, an immediate connection with the residence hall, and one-on-one interaction with the Millikin University Faculty & Staff.
“Research shows that academic students such as the LLC students develop a higher GPA and that is due to the faculty & staff sponsors, and support from the professors. The goal is to bring them into the residence halls and see them in a different light, and let them interact on an informal level. The program lets them come into their own environment, and students will love that opportunity, and the service opportunities," Engh remarked.
Millikin Living-Learning Communities require students to be engaged in the programming and events in their residence hall. Additionally, LLC requirements include students working 10 hours of community service and becoming an engaged member of the community.
“The big picture for the students is giving back to the University and themselves, and having them accomplish what we want them to accomplish. Opportunities are available on campus and off campus, and students can do things at home," Engh said.
In 2005, the Millikin University Living-Learning Communities program began as a Pilot Program in Hessler Hall. In its first year, the LLC featured Nursing, Honors, and Commitment to the Arts Communities. For the upcoming academic year, the LLC will feature 10 communities including the new First-Year Big Blue Experience LLC.
“It’s the ultimate experience, and it helps the students experience Millikin University together by attending sporting events, musical performances, and art shows. The First-Year Big Blue Experience can be referred to as the spirit of Millikin," Engh remarked. “The LLC is bred for all students, whether it’s First-Year Honors, First-Year Business, or Commitment to the Arts. It’s an incredible opportunity and students understand the importance of the program after the first semester.”