The residential college advantage at WashU started in the early 1990s. The university had the opportunity to build residence halls from the ground up that had features and components that would enhance the living and learning experience for our students. There was also desire to integrate faculty into the fabric of the culture, which would make the residence halls into a residential college experience.
Here at WashU, we have designed spaces that enhance student learning and enrich community. For example, there are ample small study group spaces, classrooms, seminar rooms, and large lounges that foster an integrated living learning community.
Before the first residential college (WGE) opened, there was very little faculty involvement on the South 40. We built apartments in each ResCollege for a faculty member and his/her family. Professor Michael Wysession was the first FF in WGE in 1998, and we currently have 9 Faculty Fellows and their families living on the South 40 and one FF on the Village. The FA program began in 1997-1998 with 6 FAs in Liggett/Koenig. As of 2018, there are 54 Faculty Associates (all first year floors have an FA and many of our sophomore communities). We are excited to celebrate 20 years of faculty engagement and connection in our ResColleges.
Washington University’s investment in the residential college model stems from our commitment to creating intentional communities where every student is known by name and story, where every student has the opportunity to thrive, grow, and learn, and where every student feels a sense of community and belonging. We have developed spaces and programs that foster an inclusive, diverse community and promote thriving, and implemented a staffing model including faculty, professional staff, and student staff who support students in the residential college community.