Chicago Term

North Central College academic opportunities grow with new housing options

Jun 27, 2016

For fall 2016, the Office of Residence Life has established two new housing opportunities for students. College Scholars will transition to a new living-learning community in Ward Hall, and students involved in Chicago Term will live at the Flats at East-West University, a new housing option in Chicago.

Ward Hall will be transformed to become a fully equipped living-learning community for the College Scholars Honors Program. It will offer residential spaces for honors housing, a study space, a multi-purpose space, an honors classroom and program offices—including office space for Kristin Geraty, director of College honors programs and associate professor of sociology, outside of her departmental office.

An overwhelming number of students applied for this new honors housing option. In comparison to previous years where only a few upperclassmen students showed interest in honors housing, nearly 40 applied this year. The new community will also house incoming first-year and transfer honors students.

“This is an improvement in amenities for students living in honors housing,” says Geraty. “More importantly, this initiative allows us to build community across cohorts in the program for mentoring purposes and breaks down some Student Affairs/Academic Affairs boundaries which will be beneficial for the program.”

Many campuses across the nation are implementing new living-learning communities—communities that join students with academics and administration on a new level.

“The value and benefits of living-learning communities directly correspond to positive increases in student engagement and persistence,” adds Jenny Alexander, associate director of residence life. “For North Central, the hope is to find success with the expansion of the College Scholar living-learning community with the hope of potentially adding a few new communities in the coming years.”

The Office of Residence Life is also improving housing options for students taking part in North Central’s Chicago Term. This single trimester immersion experience provides the opportunity for students to live, study and work in Chicago. The College recently leased an apartment in The Flats (photo, left, top floors) at East-West University at 829 S. Wabash Ave.

The apartment offers six beds and is fully booked for the fall 2016 trimester. Located near Millennium and Grant Park and adjacent to East-West University, the Flats offer North Central students many amenities, including a fitness center, computer lab, library and café. Students will be a short walk from the museum campus to the south and the business, shopping and entertainment district to the north. They can enjoy beautiful views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline from their window.

“The South Loop area, where the East-West University is located, is fast becoming one of the most dynamic parts of Chicago, in fact any major city in the United States,” says Lou Corsino, professor of sociology and coordinator of urban and suburban studies. “For some students, this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience Chicago and its riches firsthand. It’s an exciting time to be in the city and see urban processes at work.”

By Lauren Baltas ’16