A great deal of research has been conducted nationally and on the Austin College campus regarding first-year students. The most critical period of the college experience is the first year. How successful a new student is in making the transition will impact the rest of his or her college career and may very well determine whether or not that student proceeds to graduation.
(Front Loading Our Opportunities and Resources)
Project F.L.O.O.R. is a comprehensive program designed to help first year students benefit from peer support and more structured intentional interactions. This proactive program complements the academic mission of the College by providing first-year students with the best resources the College has to offer when they need it most. Also, these resources are delivered where they impact students the most: where students live. Some topics in the Project F.L.O.O.R. program include time management, academic skills, dealing with change, roommate relationships, sexual health, summer job searching, and financial aid.
The fundamental assumption upon which the first year experience is built is that first-year students benefit from peer support. With this in mind, first-year students are assigned “clusters.” Clusters, which are exclusive to first-year students, are assisted by RAs who have been specially trained to foster an atmosphere of community and provide a positive learning environment. Clusters enable the College to put first-year students in contact with necessary resources, while enhancing positive interactions with upper-class students as well. Clusters provide first-year students with several benefits:
- No longer are first-year students assigned rooms by what is left over by upper-class students, but instead cluster rooms are set aside before room selection for upper-class students begins
- First-year students will only be assigned other new students as roommates
- First-year students will not be isolated from other new students
- Lasting friendships
At Austin College, part of the learning experience includes learning to function within a community. Hence, first-year students are required to have roommates. A student may request a specific roommate before June 1st as long as both students request one another, or one will be assigned by the residence life staff. New student roommate matches are made using lifestyle questions and the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator that is completed by incoming students. Incoming students will be mailed a housing application, meal plan agreement, and the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator once their matriculation deposits are received by the Office of Admission.
Notification of roommate assignment generally occurs mid to end of June. All correspondence concerning assignment of rooms in the residence halls should be addressed to the Director of Residence Life, Austin College, 900 N. Grand Ave., Suite 6J, Sherman, TX 75090-4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.