Incoming WT Freshman Offered Enhanced Learning Experience Through New Housing Plan

Chip Chandler Apr 19, 2023
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Incoming WT Freshman Offered Enhanced Learning Experience Through New Housing Plan

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CANYON, Texas — Incoming West Texas A&M University freshmen will be part of an innovative new housing program that will establish learning communities across campus.

Through the Meta Majors program, incoming freshmen will be clustered with students from the same general courses of study in an effort to promote social and academic networks that enhance the learning experience.

“It is exciting for our Office of Residential Living to provide these enhanced opportunities for students and help to cultivate an environment of intellectual growth and collegial community,” said Dr. Chris Thomas, vice president for student affairs.

Studies show that participation in learning communities can enhance academic performance, increase student gains, provide easier social transitions, and strengthen students’ connections to the institution, said Chance Haugen, assistant vice president of campus community and engagement.

Students can choose their residence hall from among four different price points and will be assigned a room within one of 10 major-based clusters: agricultural sciences; chemistry and physics / life, earth and environmental sciences; Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business; College of Engineering; political sciences / sociology / psychology; education; art / theatre / dance / music; communication and humanities; health sciences; and nursing.

An additional “exploring” cluster encompasses students who haven’t declared majors and students pursuing applied arts and sciences, general studies or interdisciplinary studies degrees.

Only incoming freshmen will be part of the Meta Majors program upon its launch. They will get to choose their room at their New Student Orientation.

If freshmen find a roommate at their NSO or already have one picked out otherwise who would not be part of their cluster, Residential Living will work to place the students together within the Meta Majors community of either student.

Designated rooms have been set aside for returning students, who currently are applying for housing.

“Cultivating a strong sense of belonging among our students is a critical way we can help ensure they have the best-possible university experience,” Thomas said. “We are making these changes to help students find their ‘people,’ so to speak, early on in their educational journey. This is a new way of thinking for WT, but we have faith that we ultimately are creating an environment in which students will benefit greatly by connecting with others academically and socially.” 

Offering an excellent residential education experience is a key maxim of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $120 million.




About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.