EHHS living-learning community helps freshmen find their place on campus


From left to right: Macey Ungrady (bottom row), Dan Meder, Emily Ankenbrandt (bottom row), Christine Morrison, Sarah Horvath (bottom row), Brynn Roberts, Bryanna Meloon 

Located in Manchester Hall, a housing-based community helps students from a wide variety of majors inside the College of Education, Health and Human Services find their place at Kent State.

Students with similar majors and interests can opt to live in the dorm where the community is located. The College of EHHS has 18 undergraduate programs with majors ranging from hotel hospitality to elementary education, and the living-learning community, LCC, aims to help students feel connected to each other.

“It just feels nice to know that you’re not alone in college because I feel like that’s something a lot of people struggle with, especially because everything is new,” said Bryanna Meloon, a freshman integrated social studies major.

Meloon is a part of the LLC and is grateful she had the option to join a program that links her up with other education majors.

“Everyone in the learning community is in one of the majors in the college,” said Christine Morrison, the director of the LLC and higher education and student personnel graduate student. “But it is probably 70 percent education majors and the other 30 percent is between hospitality, sports management, American Sign Language and social psychology.”

Morrison graduated from the University of Akron in 2010 with an undergraduate degree in early childhood education and taught in a school for four years. After realizing that teaching young children wasn’t what she wanted to do as a career, Morrison came to Kent State to get her graduate degree in higher education and student personnel.

“You have to have a graduate assistantship in the program,” Morrison said. “This sparked my interest because there are a lot of education majors and education is a really important part of my life and I value what it stands for.”

“Christine is my BFF, the glue that holds this together,” said Brynn Roberts, a freshman integrated mathematics major.

Roberts also said one of the best parts of the LLC was getting to move in two days early at the start of the fall semester.

“It was really fun. I liked coming here early and actually getting to know people instead of having no one to talk to,” she said.

According to Kent State’s student success indicators, participating in a LLC gives students greater access to academic support, more frequent interaction with faculty and staff outside the classroom, a more positive perception of the residential experience and a better connection to the university as a whole. The student success indicators also state that the average GPA of students participating in an LLC is 3.11, where a non-LLC student’s is around 2.93.

“I knew there would be people that are in similar majors, so that means we are going to see them for the duration of the time that we are finishing out our degrees,” Meloon said. “I’ve got friends that I’ll have classes with for the next four years. I feel like it would be different than a regular residence hall for the simple fact that we actually stay together.”

Morrison created a program in the EHHS community called learning lounges, which aims to get students excited to study their coursework by allowing them do so in a collaborative and helpful environment surrounded by their peers.

“The first semester they all take similar classes,” Morrison said. “That sparked the idea of the learning lounges to get them to study for the classes they have together.”

There are currently 11 living-learning communities in dorms across campus, and Eastway Center houses one other besides the EHHS LLC.

Global Village, while not a community based on majors, was created in Clark Hall to give domestic and international students a place to feel welcome and to share their collective cultural experiences with others in similar situations.

Other LLCs not based on majors include the Honors College and LGBTQA communities.

Augusta Battoclette covers the College of Education, Health and Human Services. Contact her at [email protected].