Living Learning Program Task Force Report offers 20 recommendations

Living Learning Program Task Force ReportThe Office of the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs are collaborating with the colleges to expand the Living Learning Program (LLP) as the University builds new residential space for students. In 2013, the Provost charged the undergraduate community to increase the number of students living in Living Learning Communities to 60% and appointed a task force to lay out the standards for quality for the Living Learning Communities (LLC). This task force comprised primarily of deans and academic associate deans was led by Ike Adams, Dean of the College of Social Work and Dan O’Hair, Dean of the College of Communication and Information. The LLP Task Force is to be reconstituted into the UK LLP Steering Committee with representation from the colleges and from Student Affairs as well as administration.

The LLP Task Force Report was submitted to the Provost earlier this spring and the full report is available for download from the Provost’s website. Twenty recommendations for addressing UK’s LLP quality were organized into four key areas: academic standards, assessment and measurement, staffing and structure, and financial issues.

Academic Standards

  • each LLC should require courses embedded within formal academic settings with standards linked to UK’s strategic plan and competencies established for UK Core
  • LLC academic outcomes should, when feasible, be linked to those of the college or department for which the LLP is designed
  • pursue and promote active learning as well as account for a variety of UK’s student needs
  • recognize the diversity of the student population and address those needs through a mix of residential environments
  • collaborate across multiple units, especially academic units, Student Affairs and Admissions

Assessment and Measurement

  • each LLC should have a comprehensive assessment strategy that includes measures of student success (demographics, environmental and engagement measures) as well as student-oriented data to rank perceived learning experiences and development
  • LLCs should be assessed both at the macro (program) and micro (individual) levels
  • collaboration between partner units should be assessed with help from the Assessment Office
  • LLCs need strong partnerships with campus experts to plan assessment
  • each LLC should develop a “report card” that assesses outcomes frequently and to measure progress toward expected outcomes

Staffing and Structure

  • create a University-wide LLP Steering Committee
  • create a LLP External Advisory Board to review the LLCs annually
  • assessment is the responsibility of the colleges and the Assessment Office
  • UK should host a periodic, regional LLP conference
  • colleges need to develop external relations/development campaigns and win sponsorships for their LLCs
  • new positions in the colleges should be created to accommodate LLC growth, e.g., LLP director, academic director, recruiter, academic advisors and graduate assistants

Financial Issues

  • clarity is needed about financial support for the Living Learning Program at UK
  • a mixed-model funding approach that benefits both the University’s goals and the college’s/unit’s capacity for funding expansion of LLCs
  • requests for new LLCs or continuance/growth of existing ones should be based on income projections calculated on expected revenue from the LLC
  • baseline costs, services and amenities need to be established since these vary widely among current LLCs

You can see the list of UK Living Learning Communities on the UK Campus Housing website: http://www.uky.edu/Housing/undergraduate/llp/communities.html.

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About UK Student and Academic Life

Undergraduate Education is now recreated within the Division of Student and Academic Life in the Provost's Office at the University of Kentucky.
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