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ZAP Welcomes 5th Living-Learning Community

TAMPA, Fla. -- National data show that student engagement greatly contributes to student success in college, and less than a month into the new academic year, 27 first-time-in-college mass communications students take the school’s introductory class together and have met more than half the faculty.

The school’s fifth Living Learning Community cohort moved into their pod in Juniper-Poplar Hall in August, immediately immersing themselves in the School of Mass Communications and the University of South Florida. Although many students don’t enroll for their first mass communications course until their sophomore year, these students already have two classes together and have met local industry leaders during private field trips to Bay News 9 and the Tampa Bay Lightning. USF officials said that such engagement enhances the college experience.

“Student engagement leads to interest, which drives learning,” said Robert Potter, associate dean of graduate and undergraduate students for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Funded by the school’s Zimmerman Advertising Program, these high achievers were selected by application and come from as close as Tampa suburb Palm Harbor and as far as Frankfurt, Germany. Although culture shock radiated through the first floor pod of JPH (as it’s known), ZAP LLC adviser Kasandrea Sereno works tirelessly to make the transition a seamless one.

“By starting early in college, they are able to take advantage of opportunities and have experiences that make them incredibly marketable come graduation,” Sereno said.

Universities across the nation work to retain students and ensure they graduate on time. Living-learning communities immerse students in their majors from the first day by having students live together, take classes together, and learn the culture of their majors by special events with faculty.

“The living-learning community is a comforting environment that has renewed my passion for telecommunications, mainly because of the support from the faculty and my podmates,” first-year mass communications student Vanessa Foster said.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Mass Communications    
Author: Staff Report