Fostering a Sense of Community in Residence Halls: A Role for Housing and Residential Professionals in Increasing College Student Persistence

Fostering a sense of community should be at the center of every housing and residence life professional’s efforts. Research conducted by Braxton et al. (2014) revealed that students who are able to identify with their residence hall community, interact with peers in this community, and find solidarity within the community experience an increased sense of communal potential. This heightened communal potential is positively correlated with student persistence. Therefore, this article explores Berger’s (1997) three dimensions of community—identity, interaction, and solidarity—by identifying currently implemented policies and practices within residence hall communities that seemingly foster these dimensions of community. These policies and programs, and the like, are strongly encouraged within residence hall communities, especially those housing first-year students.

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