Home is where the heart is and in the case of Raul Ramos, association professor of history, home is also where the freshmen are. He is the first Faculty-in-Residence of the newly opened Cougar Village freshman dormitories. He and his wife and two small children.
“We’re essentially right there with the rest of the students. We get up to our apartment on the same elevator. We eat at the same dining halls. We walk along the same sidewalk to the building,” Ramos said.
While living in the same building as more than 1,100 first-time freshman may not sound appealing to many, Ramos considered the arrangement an opportunity to gain perspective on student life, lend perspective on college life and build student success.
“One of the things I’ve seen as a professor in the history department is that first-year students often make a mistake—drop out of a class without dropping the class or they stop coming,” he said. “Working with students closely this first year will keep them on track. If they’re on track after their first year I think the chances of them finishing on time and finishing at all are much, much higher.
Ramos hopes the experience builds connections between faculty and students and establishes long-term working relationships that lead to graduate school and beyond.
“By having faculty-in-residence, we’re serving as liaisons to the students, to student life, in order to develop these plans in a way that can lead to academic success for the students,” he said.
Our faculty-in-residence are part of what’s happening at the University of Houston. I’m Marisa Ramirez.
Telling the stories of the University of Houston, this UH Moment is brought to you by KUHF, listener supported radio from the University of Houston.