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 Tuesday, December 12, 2006 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Residential Academic Program Spotlight - Farrand RAP
By Corey Jones, sophomore, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Residential Academic Programs (RAPS) can be found in residence halls all across campus, connecting diverse students with similar interests while promoting extensive understanding in a vast range of subject areas. In this series, we explore these innovative programs that provide many undergraduates with close social and intellectual communities and shared learning and living experiences. Part three of this series features the Farrand Residential Academic Program.

Designed with a focus on humanities and cultural studies, Farrand RAP presents a thorough study of humanities within the larger frame of culture and society.

“We have a philosophy that looks at the relationship between art, literature and society, how they relate to one another and the idea that they are not separate,” explained Janet Jacobs, who began her second year as director of the program this fall. “I think this idea is very important for students to integrate into their education and different academic disciplines.”

Farrand"s outstanding instructional community offers a curriculum that provides a strong foundation of basic skills and fundamental knowledge of the major issues of our culture throughout the past and present.

Freshman John Hallett is a participant in Farrand RAP. “The professors bring together many different viewpoints and allow students to really evaluate their personal outlook,” he said. “Students can readjust their worldviews accordingly and afterwards have a more concrete sense of their identity and their place in our society.”

The two-year program also implements a community service piece along with service-learning classes. “The community service allows students to integrate what they are doing in the classroom with real life experiences,” Jacobs said. These opportunities include involvement with early childhood education at area schools, working at senior citizen centers, and helping with area nutrition programs.

“I think the service learning adds to the magnitude of the class,” explained Hallett. “By incorporating personal experience into the context of the course, students can connect to the material on a different level.” Hallett currently volunteers with BoulderReads! at the Boulder Public Library, where he reads weekly with a 5-year-old reading buddy. Hallett also works at the Birds of Prey Foundation in Broomfield.

The RAP strives to offer many channels for community and outreach activity. “Historically, Farrand has tried to provide the idea that volunteerism is a good value and that volunteering in the community is a good thing. This promotes being a citizen of the community, not only a student of the university,” said Jacobs.

In addition, Farrand provides a variety of cultural and social programs, including an abundance of co-curricular activities. “These activities tend to segue with the community service concept, but they are also about creating a framework for further social involvement,” explained Jacobs. Students are encouraged participate in programs such as Farrand Community Council, Community Retreats, and a theatrical group called the Farrand Players.

Since her arrival, Jacobs has hoped to offer even more outside enrichment programs at Farrand. Recently, the RAP began to incorporate a speaker series that enables students to learn about extended topics surrounding humanities, which provides more opportunity for intellectual discussion.

“Living in Farrand is an adventure, and I would describe the general mentality of the residents as ‘work hard, play hard,"” said Hallett.

Farrand is one of many RAPS working to attract a broader student population, including underrepresented and first-generation students, through a growing scholarship program.
As Jacobs said, “Reaching out to a larger, diverse population would mean providing a more meaningful experience for all of our students.”  

“I think there is nothing more important on this campus than first- and second-year quality education experiences,” she continued. “I really see the difference that this program makes for students here by creating community and a strong connection.”

For more information, visit the Farrand RAP website.

Residential Academic Program Spotlight - Farrand RAP

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