By Daniel J. Howard
Executive Vice President and Provost
New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University is engaged in a comprehensive effort to improve student success and ensure that more of the undergraduate students who begin their studies at NMSU achieve a four-year degree. A new requirement reflecting our commitment to student success is the first-year residency requirement that will go into effect in the Fall of 2017.
The move to a first-year residency requirement is motivated by research demonstrating that students who live on campus in their first year are better connected to a university community, more likely to attend class, and more likely to graduate.
Nevertheless, the university recognizes that living at home while attending a world-class university is one of the factors that makes NMSU attractive to local residents, and this option will continue to exist.
Exemptions from the first-year residency requirement will be available to students living with their parents, legal guardians, or immediate family members (aunt, uncle or grandparents); students living with a spouse/domestic partner or dependent children; students who are 21 years of age or older; and students who are veterans or on active military duty. A complete list of exemptions is available on the First-Year Residential Experience Web site: https://housing.nmsu.edu/exemptions/.
Accompanying the first-year residency requirement is a concerted effort on the part of our Housing and Residential Life staff members, led by Director Matt Crouse, to develop the First-Year Residential Experience (FYRE) that will encourage self-discovery and a thirst for learning. The number of Living Learning Communities (groups of students with shared interests and courses) in the residence halls will be expanded, there will be a greater emphasis on outreach to students by the residential staff, and there will be more leadership development activities for students in the form of residence governance opportunities.
Improving connections with faculty members is a key objective of the FYRE program and this will be achieved through socials and events with faculty members, known as FYREstarters, who will be affiliated with a residential unit.
Student satisfaction with the undergraduate experience at NMSU is high. We have confidence that the FYRE program, coupled with other student retention initiatives, will enhance this satisfaction while increasing the number of students who achieve their degree goals.
© 2013 New Mexico State University Board of Regents
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