Colleges Design New Housing to Engage and Retain Students

Colleges Design New Housing as an Experience to Engage and Retain Students 1

Brandon Thibodeaux for The Chronicle

A new housing complex going up at Southern Methodist U., called the Residential Commons, is intended to help foster a sense of community among students and live-in faculty members.

Knute Axelbrod, 64, starts college lonely in a short story by Sinclair Lewis. "Lacking the stimulus of friendship, it was the harder for Knute to keep up the strain of studying the long assignments." He eventually meets a classmate and shares an evening of history, music, and poetry, devouring "all the art of life he had come to college to find."

That tale represents an ideal for colleges' residential renovations, efforts to engineer the sort of engagement Knute achieves. A copy of