OCC’s Living Learning Communities Earn National Recognition

A check is presented to the winners of the Innovation of the Year Award. Pictured (left to right) are Lisa Moore, Vice President of Development and OCC Foundation Executive Director; Dr. Cathy Dotterer, Executive Director of Housing and Campus Services; Liz Goldschein, Assistant Director of Residence Life; Dr. Julie White, Senior Vice President, Student Engagement and Learning Support.

OCC’s residence hall Living Learning Communities are going national. The College has earned a 2016 Innovation of the Year Award from the organization League for Innovation in the Community College. Onondaga representatives will present on the topic at the organization’s national conference in March.

OCC is the first community college in the nation to have a Living Learning Community (LLC).  An LLC provides students who share common educational, social or extracurricular interests the opportunity to live together. Programs are designed around specific majors or content areas. Students become heavily connected with faculty and staff and take advantage of opportunities to explore career paths and build their resumes through activities both on and off campus.

Dr. Cathy Dotterer is OCC’s Executive Director of Housing and Campus Services. She’s overseen the implementation of LLC’s on campus and is pleased with the program’s first two-and-a-half academic years. “The communities have shown positive results in both resident satisfaction and retention in housing. Students have also told us LLC’s have helped their transition to college both academically and socially and with learning outside the classroom.”

The Innovation of the Year award was established over 30 years ago as a way to recognize significant innovations at League Board and Alliance member colleges. The award is designed to recognize innovative programs, practices, partnerships, policies, and activities that improve the ability of institutions to serve students and the community, and to honor the faculty, staff, and administrators who have created and implemented them.

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