Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Boise State University is in the process of transforming from a historically "commuter" campus into a metropolitan research university which includes a growing residential culture (currently 8% of students live in residence halls). First time, full time freshmen age 18 or younger have increased from 61% of the incoming class in 2000 to 72% of the incoming class in 2008. To support our growing residential culture, University Housing, in cooperation with six academic colleges, began the Residential College (RC) program in 2004. Key among the five current RC communities is the College of Engineering. The Engineering Residential College (ERC) admits first and second year students with declared majors in one of our six undergraduate programs (civil engineering, computer science, construction management, electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering) and undeclared engineering. The 2007- 2008 academic year was the first during which an engineering faculty member lived in residence, the Faculty-in-Residence (FiR), with the 26 members of the ERC. The physical structure of the ERC supported collaborative work and study with student community members. Daily interaction of student ERC community members with the FiR and structured activities outside the classroom facilitated learning that enhanced engineering academics. In this paper, we discuss the qualitative life skills and quantitative academic successes of this living-learning community facilitated by a live-in engineering faculty member during the past three semesters and make recommendations for improving the overall ERC experience.

Copyright Statement

© 2009 American Society for Engineering Education.