Housing and Residential Life is excited to introduce three new colleges at CSULB: Hillside College, Parkside College and Beachside College. These new colleges represent the expansion of the residential learning college concept and come just three years since the Residential Learning College was implemented at the university’s student housing complex on the grounds of the former Brooks College. The success of the Residential Learning College prompted the reorganization of the student residence halls into three distinct residential colleges. The implementation of the new colleges brings about more than merely renaming existing residence halls; it kicks off a complete restructure and transformation of student housing at CSULB, the first university in the CSU system to implement the residential learning college model.
Uniting students and faculty through programming and courses, making a large school feel smaller and promoting community were a few of the achievements that made the RLC, now renamed Beachside College, a destination of choice for residents. Soon, all students living on campus will have the opportunity to take classes together, receive academic advising from an on-site advisor and interact with faculty-in-residence from all three colleges. Students also will be able to participate in thematic living-learning communities which will provide an opportunity for residents to live, learn and interact with others who share similar interests.
Feedback and participation from residents was an essential component in the formation of the colleges. During spring 2012, residents participated in focus groups where they shared their experiences in university housing. The same semester, residents had the opportunity to design shields for each of the residential colleges, vote on the entries and select the winning shields (right). During fall 2012, residents continued to contribute by selecting the living-learning communities they would like to see offered in the future.
Although many of the changes are yet to come, President Alexander’s vision of creating community through residential learning colleges was apparent from the beginning of the semester. Residents immediately began to identify by their college. Across campus, residents may be seen proudly wearing t-shirts representing their college and student programs have been created to encourage friendly competition between the colleges. Banners sporting the new shields are seen throughout each college and plans are underway to increase professional staffing to support the many initiatives planned for the future.
Ultimately, it is anticipated that the colleges will increase retention and graduation rates, foster student learning and personal development and provide a one-of-a-kind residential and educational housing experience for CSULB’s residential students.