Po29 – The value of “involvement”

HyeKyung Hong

University College / Yonsei University

Assistant Professor of University College in Yonsei University

Summary

“Involvement” is key to a successful university experience. Yonsei has seen students show greater growth in individual capabilities, and higher satisfaction and retention rates under the RC environment where living and learning are not separate.

Abstract

Yonsei University is a major player among the best universities in Korea with around 20,000 undergraduates in total. While it has long been acclaimed for its excellent entrants and quality courses, the university’s size may cause students to feel less cared for on an individual basis, or to have less sense of a community. Hence Yonsei has reformed its university college system to have all freshmen students receive Residential College education since 2013.

Due to lack of dormitory facilities, in 2013, freshmen received one semester of RC education each, which from 2014 on elongated to a year each as first planned. Through the RC program, Yonsei aims for a holistic education in which living and learning are integrated. For this purpose the university provides with a Residential College office, Academic Advisors, and Residential Masters and Assistants for 12 Houses.

RC education pursues a synergy effect through the integration of in-class courses, various extra-curricular programs, and living with students of different majors. The interaction among students when 2-6 come together to study and debate until late in the community rooms, seminar rooms, and even laundry rooms is one of the positive indicators being observed.

Indicators of the same note are realized through “First College Year Survey” and “Residential College Survey” results:

1) Students have shown to grow at greater degrees in individual capabilities (Communication, Creativity, Convergence, Leadership, Cultural Diversity) in proportion to their participation of extra-curricular programs.
2) Entrants of 2013 and 2014, who have received RC education, have shown higher retention rates than entrants of 2011 or 2012 who have not.

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