New Living Learning Community coming to Rawlins Hall

New Living Learning Community coming to Rawlins Hall

New Living Learning Community coming to Rawlins Hall
May 31
14:06 2017

Devin Rardin | Staff Writer

A Living Learning Community in Rawlins Hall focusing on first generation African-American males will start in Fall 2017.

Living Learning Communities, or LLCs, are wings dedicated to a specific group of people within the residence halls on campus. The new LLC for Rawlins is called MARTIAL Eagles, which stands for Male Alliance for a Rigorous, Transformative, and Interdisciplinary Approach to Learning.

The heads of the new LLC are Harold Woodard, the executive director for student retention initiatives, and Candi Harris, student services coordinator. Their goal is to work with populations at the highest risk of attrition.

At UNT that population is first generation African-Americans, according to Woodard.

“LLC’s have a pretty good track record for producing students who are successful academically,” Woodard said. “I thought this would be an excellent chance to see if we could develop a program that could attract first generation male students.”

MARTIAL Eagle students will attend a one-hour seminar and are required to take the three-hour sociology core course: Introduction to Race and Ethnicity in America. Even though the LLC is focused on African-Americans, any first generation male student can join. The application process revolves around two essay questions.

It is generally first come, first serve, but they are looking for students that will commit to the program, according to Harris.

MARTIAL Eagles will have a table at freshman orientation where students can learn more about the application.

The LLC will focus on the history and culture of African-American males in the US, specifically through the lens of music. Woodard thought this theme would capture interest while being intellectually stimulating.  

They will start by studying African-American music in plantation societies followed by spirituals, blues, jazz and modern music.

“I want the students to develop an appreciation for how the lifetimes of individuals actually influence music,” Woodard said. “I want them to critically access music as an art form.”

Woodard will teach on the theme of music and history while Harris will focus on academic success.

“[I want] to help students transition from high school into the college rigor we have here,” Harris said.

Woodard hopes students in the LLC will embrace the work required in college, interact with each other while not remaining isolated to the group, and be prepared to take on leadership roles during their college career.

“We hope to demonstrate that with the right attention these individuals, in spite of being in the high-risk category of first generation African-Americans, can excel with the right approach,” Woodard said.

Featured Image: At the southern side of campus on Maple Drive and Avenue D is one of UNT’s newest residence halls, Rawlins Hall. This hall is home to the honors college students, UNT SERVES Living and Learning Community, and soon the new MARTIAL Eagles LLC. Katie Jenkins

CORRECTION: Originally the story stated Harold Woodward is the executive director for student retention initiatives. His name was misspelled. The correct spelling is Harold Woodard. The story has been corrected with this name.

About Author

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell was the Editor-in-Chief of the North Texas Daily from May 2017 to December 2017. He previously served as the Sports Editor and Senior Sports Writer. Reece also worked at The Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV.

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