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McDonald Hall to house freshman men as part of new living, learning community
McDonald Hall

June 29, 2004

ACU's McDonald Hall, which opened in 1929 and formerly housed sophomore women, will now house freshman men in a new type of learning community for students.

The freshman men invited to live in the McDonald Living and Learning Hall will be members of Bible-related learning communities and business-related freshman seminar courses. 

A learning community is made up of 15 to 25 freshmen who all enroll in two or three common courses.  The teachers of the courses coordinate the content to complement each other, and to create a complete and coherent learning experience.  

A unique characteristic of the hall is that all residents will have private rooms.  The residents may invite the students who would have been their roommates in one of the other halls to live next door or nearby.

This new living arrangement will act as more than just a solution to the overcrowding in freshman men's residence halls, said Dr. Mimi Barnard, director of residence life education and housing. 

"It is a pilot program to create a pedagogical approach to living and learning, and it gives the university a purposeful way to move from just housing students to truly developing a venue for meaningful interaction," Barnard said. "ACU has a holistic vision regarding the development and education of students.  We educate them both inside and outside the classroom."

Research has shown that 70 percent of learning at a residential university such as ACU takes place outside the classroom, and the residence hall is certainly a place where this can and should be true, Barnard said.

"Think of the meaningful conversations that can happen late into the evening -- conversations about the marketplace and Christian leadership and responsibility in a complex, fallen world," Barnard said.

Also see related Optimist story.

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