Colorado School of Mines’ Department of Residence Life is a featured program.
Providing academic and personal support for students was some of the key roles that were previously missing at Colorado School of Mines for upperclassmen. The Department of Residence Life knows that the second year of college can be a challenging one, sophomores are no longer new to the university and trying to find their way, they are experienced students with a good foundation and understanding of the expectations of college life at Mines. The Department of Residence Life added Mines Park Apartments in 2014 under the Department umbrella to better support students in both capacities for an upperclassman experience. Mines Park is able to provide students with an engaging learning environment in which the conditions have been established for engaging students with the community, the campus, and with one another.
Mines Park mixes together programming, resources, and mentoring and the Department of Residence Life at Colorado School of Mines has created a second-year experience, specifically designed for our STEM Students. Mines Park Apartment staff focuses on support and ensuring success as they enter their next phase at Mines. As students move from their first year in college to their second, there are many transitions and expectations that are required of them at Mines. Students are required to declare a major for the course studies as they transition into their sophomore year. The staff has provided faculty dinners with students interested in the professor’s area of study. This opportunity allows students to get more information about majors they can declare or get to know faculty in their already declared area. Mines Park staff also focuses on the personal support with our students in their wellness. Staff has focused on mental and physical wellness throughout February. Colorado School of Mines has a vigorous course load and the Mines Park staff focuses on supporting them through healthy outlets. Mines Park provides students support and information on how to succeed and transition into college during their second year living on campus. It is the Mines Park mission to continue to provide those students with resources and support to build the success throughout their sophomore year.
Mines Park is a diverse community, and for a second-year experience to be successful the staff is assessing through a yearly survey the application process, engagement of residents, and helpfulness of the staff. The staffing at Mines Park was new for the 2014-15 Academic Year. The Department wants to know the best way to serve the residents’ needs and engage our residents in programming. The Department’s desired outcome is for residents to feel connected to campus, engaged as an apartment community, and supported academically. The staff is constantly adapting to serve the needs of the community and to reach the desired outcome for Mines Park.
Living in Mines Park Apartment plays a vital role in student success. The experience can enhance and complement academics, provide support and a sense of belonging, build community and engagement, help develop leadership and life skills, and create lasting friendships. One year on campus is fundamental; two years allows for deeper exploration and better-prepared students for a transition to the next step of their collegiate experience. As student affairs professionals and with the creation of our second-year experience, we can support students by creating opportunities for them to reflect on their developing selves so that they feel prepared to move towards making tentative choices.
Submitted by Kevin Caputo, Residence Life Coordinator for Mines Park