Nugent Hall to house James Scholars and Campus Honors Program students

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Nugent Hall to house James Scholars and Campus Honors Program students

A group of freshman entering Nugent Hall. From the left, Graham Hubbert (Business), Dennis Damico (Agro-Bio), Conor Lipinski (Comp Eng), and Peter Sokalski (Mechanical Eng) on October 17, 2015.

A group of freshman entering Nugent Hall. From the left, Graham Hubbert (Business), Dennis Damico (Agro-Bio), Conor Lipinski (Comp Eng), and Peter Sokalski (Mechanical Eng) on October 17, 2015.

Justin Wolfe | The Daily Illini

A group of freshman entering Nugent Hall. From the left, Graham Hubbert (Business), Dennis Damico (Agro-Bio), Conor Lipinski (Comp Eng), and Peter Sokalski (Mechanical Eng) on October 17, 2015.

Justin Wolfe | The Daily Illini

Justin Wolfe | The Daily Illini

A group of freshman entering Nugent Hall. From the left, Graham Hubbert (Business), Dennis Damico (Agro-Bio), Conor Lipinski (Comp Eng), and Peter Sokalski (Mechanical Eng) on October 17, 2015.

By Daniel Corry

The change creates the 10th Living-Learning Community, or LLC, at the University. The communities are distinctive programs in the residence halls for students sharing common interests, according to the University’s Housing website. SO

Each community offers its own special traditions with ties to education.

On Oct. 15, spaces for returning students for the new honors LLC filled up in a little over an hour when students registered for housing, said Kristen Ruby, associate director of housing for communications and marketing. University Housing has also reserved spaces for incoming freshman who will apply for housing this spring.

“The response has been just amazing,” Ruby said. “Students are telling us that they want it, and they want to live there, and they want to become a part of this new community.”

Ruby said students who apply to live in the honors LLC are engaged and love the experience.

She said faculty and staff are very focused on ensuring the creation of the LLC goes smoothly.

First year residents of the honors LLC will be required to take a one-credit-hour course, which will introduce students to the community, their fellow honors LLC students and honors programs at the University.

The community will be composed of 50 percent returning students and 50 percent first-year students. SO

Nathan Sanden, assistant director for Residential Life for Academic Programs, said creating an honors community has been talked about over the past several years. Sanden oversees all of the LLCs and worked on creating the honors community for the last few years.

“We really wanted to create an LLC that would involve all of those different colleges on campus, and honors seemed like a real way to go for that — given that each college has their own James Scholars program, plus the campus honors program,” Sanden said. “We wanted to create an LLC that would be interdisciplinary and would encompass all of the colleges.”

He said the University hopes having honors students from different backgrounds living together will create positive outcomes and new developments.

“It’s a great opportunity for honors students to be able to learn from each other and be creative to work with some of the most high achieving students from across colleges,” Sanden said. “I think it applies students with some unique and interesting projects to develop with the ‘best of the best’ students.”

Charles Tucker, vice provost for Undergraduate Education and Innovation, received the formal proposal for the honor’s LLC after Sanden worked on the development. Tucker said honors communities have been very successful at other universities and with the University’s’ highly structured LLC program, “it felt like good time to do it.”

Tucker said a lot of time and thought goes into the creation of LLCs, but students opinions are always encouraged when new communities are being created.

“I don’t know where we’re headed in terms of numbers of LLC’s, but if what we’ve heard about honors living-type communities in other universities holds true here, we have the potential for this honors LLC to grow in size quite a lot going forward,” he said.

Before creating a new LLC, Tucker said the University ensures the community will be a good value to students — greater than the investment made in them — and that there’s evidence to of a strong demand among students.

“I’m just delighted that our campus is doing this and is offering it to students,” Tucker said. “We think it’s going to be very popular and that’s going to be great for the students at U. of I.”

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