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academic transitions to college (Brower & Inkelas, 2010; Inkelas, 2008; Inkelas et
al., 2004; Inkelas et al., 2018; Mayhew, Dahl, et al., 2016; Stassen, 2003). However,
although LLCs have been shown to have a strong association with students' success, it
is the interactions they promote that make them valuable for sophomore, junior, and
senior students.
The findings in this study do not make the case that LLCs in themselves promote
thriving, but rather that the interactions in which students engage influence their thriving.
Students have meaningful interactions across campus, but as long as LLCs continue
to enthusiastically promote such connections, students should be encouraged to
participate. It is critical to understand that merely offering programs such as LLCs does
not guarantee they will have intended effects on student success (Kuh et al., 2010).
Rather, they must be of high quality, customized to meet the needs of students they are
intended to reach, and firmly rooted in a student success-oriented campus culture.
Second, in addition to promoting LLC participation, practitioners should foster
deeper life interactions with sophomores, juniors, and seniors in residential communities.
Deeper life interactions-with either faculty and staff or with peers-were
the only type of interaction that demonstrated significant effects for all five of the
thriving factors. Although social and academic interactions were shown to be strong
predictors of multiple thriving factors, the deeper life interactions proved to be the
most powerful influence on holistic success. Engaging students in academic or
social interactions is fairly straightforward. Deeper life interactions, however, are
more challenging. It is time consuming to connect with students about meaning,
value, and purpose. It takes intentional investment to have conversations about life's
big questions or guide students to reflect on their beliefs and relationships.
One clear way to implement these interactions is for housing and residence life
professionals to weave them into mentoring, advising, and counseling conversations.
Casual conversations in a hall with residents can be an excellent launch point for deeper
life interactions. More serious conversations, such as in conduct situations, are another
opportunity to help students reflect on their purpose or role in society. In the
residence hall, this may occur around sanctions for policy violations, such as drug
possession or noncompliance with certain housing guidelines. With the academic context
of LLCs, this could also include areas such as violations of academic integrity. Not
all campus organizational structures integrate the formal conduct process within residence
halls. However, residence life professional staff, when aware of such issues involving
their students, are in an opportunistic space to spark deeper life conversations.
Although it can be difficult to try to blend policy or conduct violations with discussions
of students' values or beliefs, it is this type of meaningful (and data-driven) thinking
that exemplifies the larger vision of student development and the mission of holistic
learning or growth.
The findings in this study do not make the case that LLCs in themselves
promote thriving, but rather that the interactions in which students
engage influence their thriving.
Volume 48, No. 2 * 2022 23

Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2

Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2 - intro
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