In your discussion or seminar classes, you probably have encountered a peer who has identified or introduced themselves as a “Residential College (RC) Student”, and perhaps you have wondered “What does that even mean?”
Well, it means a lot of things, but in a technical sense it refers to their belonging to the living-learning community and academic specialization housed in East Quadrangle and called the Residential College. Our classes are small seminars, in which you will (probably) be asked to call your professor by their first name. They will know yours, and it’s not unheard of for them to invite your class over to their house at the end of the semester. You will see the same people in your classes, your hall, the dining hall, but you will never grow tired of talking to them because of all the wonderful ideas bouncing around in our brains. RC students can choose to concentrate or minor in one of the five areas unique to the RC, as well as combine any minor or concentration with an LSA major and minor.
RC majors and minors are as follows: (majors) Arts and Ideas in the Humanities, Creative Writing and Literature, Drama, Social Theory and Practice, an option to self-direct in the Individualized Major Program and (minors) Crime and Justice, Drama: Text-to-Performance, Peace and Social Justice, STS: Science, Technology, and Society, and Urban Studies.
As an RC student, there are a few requirements you must meet in addition to the general LSA Distribution:
Start out their freshman year by taking an RC First-Year English Seminar.
Live in East Quad for their first and second years. (This was modified for current sophomore and junior RC students, as their live-in requirement was split between East and West Quad during the 2012-2013 renovations to East Quad).
Complete, by passing the proficiency exam and completing one advanced reading course in, one of the six intensive language programs offered (French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish).
Or by passing the equivalent in LSA if the language of student interest is not offered through the RC.
Explore their artistic side through an RC Creative Arts practicum.
Elect to take four additional RC Courses.
And when one does graduate from the RC, their transcripts look wildly different as well – for every RC class taken, the RC professors offer a paragraph’s worth of review about the academic personality of the student. So, when one sends that off to graduate schools or future employers, they are allowed a more holistic view into the reasoning behind the grade.
Being an RC student is so much more than just the credentials, requirements, and opportunities, though. It’s about the connections made between like-minded (and non-like-minded) individuals, between student and subject, and mentee and mentor. The subject matter addressed in any RC class will seemingly turn the world on its head for any academically inclined and socially progressive student, so passions run high in RC courses – and the instructors are always there to direct that passion into productive conversation and expression.
If this basic review of the Residential College has sparked interest with you, feel free to roam the RC homepage or pay a visit to East Quad and ask some students about the specifics.
Informing students of Michigan,
Marijke & Shelby