Colorado School of Mines’ Department of Residence Life is a featured program.
Colorado School of Mines has a very focused academic curriculum on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. Our students are committed to the study of a STEM field when they walk onto campus as first year students. There is very little room academically for them to explore passions they may have in areas that are not Quantum Mechanics or Reinforced Concrete Design. Our job in Residence Life is to help them find outlets for cultivating existing passions and exploring new. We do this through Themed Learning Communities (TLC), our way of building in an experiential living and learning environment, for areas outside our resident’s very structured academic lives. Our students can live together in community with others who share an interest in something outside of their shared curriculum. We know that encouraging passions outside the classroom helps our students perform well inside the classroom so we’ve established TLCs in a broad array of interest areas.
Oredigger Leadership is a community focused on developing skills and knowledge around leadership. They explore topics such as ethics and social justice while also exploring themselves through self-assessment (true colors, MBTI) and reflection. Our Adventure Leadership Community builds leadership skills by exploring the National Park on foot, ice climbing up a mountain or white water rafting. We have a Visual and Performing Arts Community that hosts open mic nights on campus as well as creates art together as a community or explores Denver’s performing arts scene. The Athleticism and Wellness community does 10 pm Abs every night in the hallway as well as outperforms lots of other teams on the intermural fields. We are exploring the addition of two more TLCs for the fall of 2015, Nucleus, a First Generation Community and the Grand Challenges Community, which will explore the environment and social justice through the lens of Engineering’s biggest challenges.
These communities help our students thrive on campus. Through the leadership of their Programming Assistant (PA), a leader and alum of a TLC community who plans the programs and events for the students with the help of the RA, each TLC is unique and growing on campus. We are proud that each TLC is associated with a Faculty Friend, a faculty member who works with the PA and the RA of the community to create even more of a connection between the residents and the larger Mines community as a whole. The Faculty dedicate their creativity, time and energy and often times dinner tables, to the residents of these communities. The students in TLCs are successful academically and have a strong connection to the university, besides, how many other college students can say that they regularly go skiing with their faculty?
Submitted by Mary Elliott, Associate Director of Residence Life