Ivan Chavez /Correspondent
Imagine looking outside of a college dormitory window, and instead of seeing a tiny palm tree in the dirt, you see an airplane taking off. That is the view that the new Honors Program students get to see this semester on the 5th floor
of the New Residence Hall.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Honors Program is a program designed to pull in and retain high achieving students and give them an enriched learning experience. Part of this is experience is taking designated Honors courses, attending lecture series, and being a part of research projects. Additionally, another big part of the program is the Living Learning Community, which manifests into all new Honors Program students living together on the same floor of a building. Since its inception, the Honors Program has grown to be quite large. This growth, while exciting, has caused some problems, especially regarding the Living Learning Community.
“We had outgrown our space in the Student Village,” Honors Program Associate Director Michelle Howell said. “For the past several years we were occupying about two floors of Adams. This physical separation of our group on two floors was preventing us from having a genuinely cohesive Honors community.”
Besides from keeping the Honors Program students together physically, the directors of the Honors Program wanted to provide a space so the students could live in a place that “allows them to support one another intellectually and emotionally.” For this reason, they chose one particular location.
“Once we received a tour of the New Residence Hall, we knew that we wanted to speak with Housing staff to see if we could move to that location,” Associate Director Howell said. “The study and community spaces in the New Residence Hall are phenomenal. Our students are academically driven, and we wanted to give them the best study space possible.”
However, the true value of something is not what one someone puts into it, but what someone else gets out of it. Luckily, new students in the Honors Program have begun to form a positive opinion about their accommodations.
“I like living in the Honors community because we all have roughly the same classes and mentality,” freshman Jack McDonald said. “It is nice to have a space that promotes studying and teamwork, as well as to hang out.”
This year, the Honors Program students are breaking ground on the 5th floor of the New Residence Hall, being the first people ever to live there. The students there feel “pretty lucky” to be residing in a space with a great view and places to study.