August 22, 2011
11-139

Sara Lynn McCall Graduate Assistant, Communications Unit

New 'House Calls' Program Encourages Faculty and Staff to Connectwith Students Outside the Classroom

VALDOSTA -- The Office of Housing and Residence Life has been busy preparing for new opportunities to engage students and further their academic success. A new program called “House Calls” has been implemented to connect VSU’s faculty and staff with first-year residence life students in a casual environment.

“With involvement from knowledgeable faculty and staff, we can not only help our students thrive intellectually during their time at Valdosta State University, we can also help them understand the value of life-long learning outside the classroom,” said Assistant Director for Residential Education Sarah VanKuiken.

House Calls will be a two-night series, held on Sept. 6 and 7, where faculty and staff visit the different residence halls to check-in with students. A training session for faculty and staff will be held both nights from 5:45-7 p.m. with dinner provided. After training, faculty and staff will make their “house calls” to students until 9 p.m.

“By hosting House Calls, we can enhance the sense of support our students feel from the university as whole and continue to communicate that our students matter,” said VanKuiken. “Additionally, sometimes it’s just nice to have someone ask how you are doing and take a moment to listen.”

The idea is to facilitate a more personal relationship between faculty and students and to provide students with connections to faculty that will prove helpful as they continue throughout their college career. Students that are home during House Calls will receive a mini-stapler as a thank you and will also be entered into a raffle for additional prizes, including a gift card to the bookstore.

To find out more information about House Calls, contact Sarah VanKuiken at slvankuiken@valdosta.edu or 229-333-5920.