Academics in Our Halls
University Housing is committed to the academic success and personal development of all students at the University of South Carolina. Within Residence Life, Residential Learning Initiatives (RLI) supports this mission through the promotion and enhancement of academic support services, residential living and learning communities and faculty involvement within all residence halls at the University of South Carolina. The following are descriptions of some of our residentially-based academic services and programs.
Academic Centers for Excellence (ACE)
In 1995, University Housing created the Academic Centers for Excellence (ACE), which is a collaborative effort between University Housing, the Student Success Center, the Department of English’s Writing Center and the Department of Mathematics. ACE offers after-hours writing consultations, individual and small-group math tutoring, academic success/recovery coaching and online services such as the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI). ACE offices are located in Bates House, Columbia Hall, Sims and the Student Success Center/Thomas Cooper Library. The resources and services offered by ACE are free and are available for all USC students. Now, ACE is a program within the Student Success Center. For questions, please call the SSC hotline at 803-777-1000 or visit www.sc.edu/ACE.
At the beginning of the spring semester, Academic Centers for Excellence (ACE) academic success coaches hold confidential meetings with residential students who had academic difficulties during the fall semester. These meetings connect students with appropriate academic support resources and their academic advisor. University Housing also partners with the Academic Centers for Excellence to intervene with students who have excessive classroom absences during the fall and spring semesters through the Class Absence Referral program. Students returning from academic suspension are supported through the Fresh Start program offered by ACE.
Capstone, Columbia Hall, East Quad, Honors Residence, Maxcy, Patterson, Preston Residential College, Sims, South Quad and West Quad all include one or more classrooms. All residence hall classrooms are “smart” in that they include computers, DVDs, overhead projection units or TVs, laptop hook-up and hard-wired Internet access. Over 80 sections of various undergraduate and graduate classes are taught in our residence halls, including sections of USC’s renowned University 101.
The University of South Carolina offers admitted first-year students the opportunity to enroll in Common Courses. This program allows students to take a University 101 course and a core first-year course with peers who live in their residence hall. The goal for Common Courses is to assist students with their transition to college and provide a strong foundation for their experience. Common Courses supports the academic mission of the institution, while building personal relationships with peers. This program is a partnership involving University Housing, University 101 and the College of Arts and Sciences.
Research consistently suggests that college students who live in residence halls their first year are more likely to persist to their second year and persist to graduation. Much of the difference for residential students is attributed to belonging to a community where they can interact with their peers and become involved in campus life. University Housing enhances this naturally occurring phenomenon by implementing a community building model, "The Six I’s," that consists of introduction, interaction, involvement, influence, investment and identity. Community programming works toward students experiencing all Six I’s during their time in the residence halls.
Prior to the advising period each semester, USC academic advisors from various departments hold informal meetings in select residence halls. During this time, students can learn about the advising process and how to maximize the effectiveness of their appointments with advisors.
Each year, University Housing offers three $500 scholarships, the Allen B. Harman Memorial Scholarship, the Melinda Quiring and Lawrence Nettina Memorial Scholarship and the James R. “Red” Smith Memorial Scholarship to students who are active leaders in their residence halls. The applications for these scholarships are available online in the spring semester and are awarded in May.
University Housing promotes student learning through an environment that motivates and inspires students to devote time and energy to educationally purposeful activities. Our communities are characterized by empowered, informed and responsible life-long learners. These communities emphasize student involvement, inclusion, service and appreciation of the diversity at the University of South Carolina. Complementing the academic mission of the institution and Carolina Core, the staff of University Housing will actively support students in their Academic Progress, Awareness of Self and Awareness of Others through a guiding philosophy titled "The A-Frame." A-Frame inspired interactions educate and support students in all three areas of the model. Community Education Teams (involving residents, Housing staff, faculty and other campus partners) influence programmatic elements of learning communities through ongoing conversations and planning.
Residential Learning Initiatives and the Academic Centers for Excellence provide support for residentially-based study groups. Study groups liaisons, typically upperclass role models, help residential students maximize peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Study groups allow students to dedicate more time on task, particularly for coursework from large first-year courses.