RESEARCH NOTE | Coming Back Together Matters: Housing Program Attendance and Diverse Interactions

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Macmillan Employee
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Coming back together matters! Coming back together can offer many students a chance to interact with people outside of their traditional social circles. This can expose students to new and different ways of perceiving the world and – in the best of circumstances – helping them to develop empathy for others’ perspectives. Intentional programming in on-campus residential living can make a strong contribution to the development of empathy, a crucial component in living in any community.

Using a national dataset constructed from the 2021-2022 administration of Skyfactor’s ACUHO-I/Benchworks Resident Assessment of over 150,000 college students from nearly 200 colleges and universities in the United States, findings show that higher levels of program participation were associated with greater perceived gains in six areas of skill needed in a community setting, particularly skills related to interacting with diverse others as well as respecting and trusting others and feeling accepted by them.