Living-learning communities (LLC) offer unique living and learning opportunities to campus residents. Research shows LLC students have higher cumulative grade point averages (GPAs) and increased interaction with faculty. At Virginia Tech, we offer four types of living-learning communities so that you can choose the best fit for you. Read on to learn how participating in a living-learning community can help you make the most of your time at Virginia Tech.
What are they?
Academic major learning communities bring together students pursuing a common professional field such as engineering or biological and life sciences. The majority of the participants are first-year students. Students are encouraged to continue living in the community serving in various leadership roles and creating a multigenerational living environment.
inVenTs - The Engineering and Sciences Community
The inVenTs Living-learning community brings together students from all academic levels providing a multidisciplinary environment that enables students to explore their ability to innovate and create the future. Students who elect to reside in the inVenTs community have access to a wide range of professional, academic, and personal growth activities that are proven to promote success. Faculty interact with community members sharing their knowledge and expertise. Participants from industry work within the community hosting design competitions and sharing their knowledge of the workplace. Upper-class students have the opportunity to serve in various leadership roles within the communities, with the option to live in the community multiple years.
The community is home to Studio 1 and 2, unique spaces within the residence hall that provide access to design, create and presentations tools, including a 3-D printer, laser cutters, and a media center for creating posters and presentations. Innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial students will love living in inVenTs!
The four Academic Major Learning Communities housed within the inVenTs Living-learning community are: Curie Learning Community, Galileo Engineering Community, Hypatia Engineering Community, and Da Vinci Living Learning Community.
Curie Learning Community
The Curie Learning Community, located in Lee Hall, is an interactive-learning environment designed to promote academic success and engagement with the scientific process and community. Students majoring in the physical and quantitative sciences in the College of Science are eligible to be residents. Those majors are chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics and statistics.
All Curie Learning Community participants live together, creating a conductive environment for group studying and social interaction. All members will be enrolled in common sections of chemistry, physics and mathematics.
Hypatia Women in Engineering Learning Community
The Hypatia Women in Engineering Learning Community, located in Lee Hall, brings together female engineering students in a residential environment to provide encouragement and support in pursuing a career in engineering. First-year college students can apply to live in the community and are encouraged remain in the community beyond their first year.
The Hypatia program is a full academic year commitment. Participants are required to enroll in a fall-semester seminar course that meets twice per week. Class topics include professional development, academic success strategies, diversity, personal development and exploring critical issues surrounding women's roles in predominately male fields. Student leadership is developed through community service projects that involve encouraging pre-college students to learn about engineering. Students are also block scheduled together in their first semester classes, providing an environment that complements their residential activities. During the spring semester, students are offered opportunities to continue building relationships with their peers and the Virginia Tech community.
Hypatia is sponsored by the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity within the College of Engineering.
Note: As of May 5, 2013, all the female rooms in Da Vinci have been filled. New female applicants will be placed on a waiting list for the 2013-14 academic year.
Da Vinci: The Biological and Life Sciences Learning Community
Founded as the Biological and Life Sciences Community, Da Vinci, located in Lee Hall, is an interactive-learning environment designed to help students succeed in first-year science courses including general chemistry and principles of biology. Students majoring in animal and poultry science, biochemistry, biology, dairy science, food science, human nutrition, foods and exercise (HNFE), and who are members of the College of Natural Resources and Environment are eligible to apply for admission to this community.
All participants live together, forming a creative environment for group studying and social interaction. All members will be enrolled in a one-credit hour seminar each semester that will focus on college success skills and life science careers. Members will also enroll in a General Chemistry lecture and lab and a Principles of Biology lecture.
Galileo Engineering Learning Community for Men
Galileo is located on the sixth and seventh floors of Lee Hall. It focuses on issues that engineers face in the growing competitive marketplace. First-year college students can apply to live in the community and are encouraged remain in the community beyond their first year.
The Galileo program is a full academic year commitment. Participants are required to enroll in a fall-semester seminar course that meets twice per week. Class topics include professional development, academic success strategies, diversity and personal development. Student leadership is developed through community service projects that involve encouraging pre-college students to learn about engineering. Students are also block scheduled together in their first semester classes, providing an environment that complements their residential activities. During the spring semester, students are offered opportunities to continue building relationships with their peers and the Virginia Tech community.
Galileo is sponsored by the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity.
Enhanced-learning communities explore a specific area of interest (e.g., service learning or leadership) through academic courses and co-curricular experiences. These communities are open to students of any academic major.
Students Engaging and Responding through Volunteer Experiences (SERVE) is a living-learning community where students actively live out Virginia Tech’s motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) on the hall, in the classroom, and in the surrounding community. Students take a SERVE-specific section of LDRS 1015-1016 Exploring Citizen Leadership while also doing a variety of community service activities throughout the region. There are also significant opportunities for SERVE-led immersion trips (domestically and abroad) and students are encouraged to work with specific organizations aligned with individual passions to satisfy service-learning components of the program. For those interested, there are also leadership opportunities for continued involvement beyond the first year including the ability to pursue the Leadership and Social Change Minor.
SERVE is a signature program of VT Engage: The Community Learning Collaborative and is a partnership with the Department of Housing and Residence Life. SERVE is housed within Prichard Hall though SERVE students quickly find themselves calling both Pritchard Hall and the beautiful New River Valley their home as they live, learn, and serve throughout the region surrounding Virginia Tech.
Residential Leadership Community
The Residential Leadership Community (RLC) is an academic leadership studies and development program maintained through a collaborative effort of the Division of Student Affairs, the University Honors Program, The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research and the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education. It is a one or two-year program and gives students the option to complete a minor in Leadership and Social Change.
The curriculum of the RLC teaches comprehensive historical and social leadership theories while developing communication, leadership and group skills specific to individual students' majors and career goals.
Located in Peddrew-Yates Hall, a co-ed residence hall, the RLC is open to individuals from all majors. The small and close-knit community encourages responsibility, diversity and growth through service learning and is conducive to a productive study environment.
The Hillcrest Community, located in Hillcrest Hall, is a four-year, live-in residential honors program for students who have demonstrated superior academic ability. Students come from every academic college at Virginia Tech.
Students are nominated to participate based upon a review of the honors applications and are invited to join by a selection committee. Each student must participate in a two-hour colloquium each semester. Special events of academic, intellectual and social interest are planned each semester. Interested students are encouraged to discuss the community with University Honors Program staff members.
With so many majors to choose from, it's common to have trouble deciding which career options will best suit you. REACH is a living-learning community designed to bring together first-year students like you as you embark on the journey of career exploration. So take advantage of this unique opportunity to live and study together as you learn more about the opportunities that await you at Virginia Tech.
Deciding on an academic major or choosing among career options can be some of the most challenging decisions you will make. Research suggests that up to 80 percent of students entering college are not certain about what they want to study and approximately 50 percent of first-year students change their major at least once before graduation. Choosing satisfying academic and career paths can take time and effort.
REACH offers you a group of peers with whom to work through the career exploration process. Here you will find encouragement and support from career advisors as well as other students as you learn more about who you are and how your unique strengths, talents and attributes impact your choice of major and career options. REACH is housed in Newman Hall.
Corps of Cadets
The first and oldest living learning community at Virginia Tech, the corps’ goal is to graduate leaders of character who are dedicated to the university’s motto, Ut Prosim, “That I May Serve.” There is both a citizen-leader and military-leader track for students in the corps. Students gain hands on leadership skills in both the classroom and in cadet life in a 24-hour-per-day, 7-days-per-week leadership laboratory. Cadets study leadership, learn from experts, and practice what they have been taught while leading the over 1,000-member Corps of Cadets.
Cadets repeatedly achieve great success at Virginia Tech. Four cadets have been named the University Man of the Year. Cadets have won eight of the last nine University Undergraduate Student Leader of the Year awards, and recently, the #1 graduate from Marine Corps Officer Candidate School was a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. The corps as a whole was also awarded the Governor’s 2009 Volunteerism and Community Service Award and each of the past two years has volunteered over 10,000 hours in the local community.
The Thrive living-learning community is designed to provide first-year students with an opportunity to build community, develop relationships and actively engage in programs that will enhance their first-year experience at Virginia Tech and help them stay motivated throughout their time at the university.
Thrive is a community where residents form meaningful relationships with hall mates through a strengths-driven philosophy that helps students discover their inherent talents and then teaches them how to use those talents to benefit friendships, relationships, careers, and more!
The talents are also used to help students see the commonalities and interests they share with their peers. This leads to a more connected, engaged community where students are encouraged to learn and grow together in their new home in Pritchard Hall.
Virginia Tech's residential colleges are multigenerational and multidisciplinary and host first-year, sophomore, junior, senior and graduate students from a full range of academic backgrounds. The residential colleges are led by a live-in faculty principal and a student life coordinator from the Division of Student Affairs, as well as a host of faculty and staff Fellows who mentor students.
Members of the residential colleges are expected to participate in governance, budget management, event planning and student conduct. Curious and engaged students will love living in one of our residential colleges. Students may elect to live in a residential college for as many as four years.
Honors Residential College at East Ambler Johnston
The Honors Residential College is a community of faculty, staff, and students who share a deep intellectual curiosity. This program fashioned after a traditional residential college model offers first-year through senior-level university honors students and graduate students an interdisciplinary opportunity to capitalize on the rich history and tradition of Virginia Tech while living and learning with faculty and students in a unique and intentional environment. The HRC is led by two live-in faculty principals and is supported by over thirty faculty, staff, and community members.
Residential College at West Ambler Johnston
The Residential College at West Ambler Johnston connects students to faculty, administrators, staff, and fellow students. Members participate in a variety of academic and social activities. The goal is to create a sense of community and tradition that fosters an environment where students know and are known. Led by a live-in Faculty Principal, the Residential College at West AJ is divided into four smaller communities called “houses.” Each house is led by a live-out Associate Faculty Principal and a live-in Graduate Residential Fellow.
Themed housing offers students with common interests the opportunity to live together. Residents are encouraged to create a community by engaging in shared activities. These programs are open to first-year through senior-level students.
Located in Newman Hall, the World offers a unique living experience for both international and domestic students. This housing option is designed to foster community as well as provide a home-away-from-home during university break periods.
The World is designed to allow students to live in a cross-cultural setting. Special programs such as language conversation groups, the International Friendship Host program, foreign films and international cooking are some of the activities which may enhance your living experience.
Many students do not go home during university break periods (Thanksgiving break, winter break and spring break). The World allows you to remain in your room during break periods for a nominal fee, saving you the expense of flying home or finding a temporary place to live. Newman Hall is close to the library and downtown Blacksburg, making it an excellent choice for those who do not have cars.
A modified kitchen with cooking and dining space is available throughout the year so that you may prepare special meals (all residents are still required to have a dining plan). This kitchen will also be available for use during periods when the dining centers are closed.
Oak Lane Community
The Oak Lane community has 18 buildings that house fraternities and sororities at the edge of the Virginia Tech campus. Each group leases its building from the university to use the space for living and programming initiatives. In addition, residents pay for their room and a dining plan. The community is located in the northwest sector of campus beyond the overflow parking as you turn off of Duckpond Drive.
Recreational fields, volleyball courts, basketball courts and a central outdoor pavilion are also located in the Oak Lane Community.
The Wellness Environment for Living and Learning
The WELL program, located in Newman Hall, includes a student-run community board that you can join to gain valuable leadership experience and learn important practical skills. Community board committees include:
- Standards Committee: decides what guidelines (in addition to university policies) that members of the WELL will live by
- Programs Committee: gains practical experience in leadership, teamwork, time management and other valuable skills as you work with others to develop programs, activities and resources for the good of the community
- Public Relations Committee: gains practical experience in public relations, marketing and advertising of programs and activities, developing newsletters, and maintaining the WELL student website