Published: March 22, 2019
Academic advisor meets with student

A report calling for the expansion of residential academic experiences for all incoming first-year students and making that experience financially accessible to all students has been posted for a 30-day community review.

The report of the First-Year Experience Transition Committee, chaired by Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education Mary Kraus, provides a comprehensive analysis of first-year experiences at CU Boulder. It looks carefully at the costs and benefits of such programs, and makes recommendations for a new first-year experience for CU Boulder.

“We’re recommending that all incoming first-year students, whether in residence halls or commuting to campus, participate in a living-learning community, or what we’re calling a first-year academic experience.

“The report details data from peer institutions and higher education organizations, as well as focus group input that we gathered, all of which indicate a strong correlation between residential living-learning communities and improved student learning and sense of community for first-year students,” Kraus said.

The report recommends that, to make such experiences more affordable and accessible, CU Boulder end the current RAP fee of $850 and modestly increase the current housing confirmation fee to help extend the programs to all students and allow them to participate in the community of their choice.

“We are interested in hearing from the campus community about these and other recommendations in the report,” Kraus said.

For the next 30 days, the community can provide input on the report via the First-Year Experience Transition Committee’s webpage in the form of comments or the submission of response papers of no more than two pages. Individuals, groups and academic units can also request an input session from April 5 through May 1 with Kraus; committee co-chair Kevin MacLennan, assistant vice chancellor for Enrollment Management; and select members of the committee by emailing Kraus at

Following the review and input period, the committee will make necessary additions and modifications and submit the final report to Provost Russ Moore by May 7. The report also requests that Moore, upon acceptance of the final report, appoint an implementation committee to begin designing the new First-Year Academic Experience program for CU Boulder.