CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Freshman will be required to live in the dorms at Oregon State University as part of a plan that officials said will enroll more returning sophomores. The move is a part of the First Year Experience program at the university, put together by a task force of OSU students, faculty and staff.
The program is aimed at increasing the current freshman retention rates through getting students more involved with the student body and better connected with their piers. OSU currently has a freshman-to-sophomore rate of just over 80%.
The FYE program concluded that the best way to accomplish these goals is to have a policy that puts each freshman in an on-campus dormitory.
Co-chair of the FYE committee and associate provost for academic success at OSU Susie Brubaker-Cole said that students return to the university if they have a connection with the campus their first year.
"A lot of this (connection) happens in the classroom, but much of it is an extension of classroom learning that reaches into life on campus and the experiences you have as a member of the campus community." Brubaker-Cole said.
The students enrolling as freshman in the Fall of 2013 will be required to live on campus for their first academic year.
Brubaker-Cole pointed out that the schools with the top retention rates all have this policy in place.
The director of University Housing and Dining services at OSU said that they will have adequate space for all incoming freshman to live on campus. They have a new dormitory building in the works that is scheduled to house students as soon as Fall term 2014.
Officials said that the new rule can be waived in some instances, the specifics of which have yet to be determined.