Skip to main content

Supportive Community

Students enjoying the homcoming carnival


The Department of Residential Living offers a variety of programs and events specifically designed to promote student success.

In partnership with faculty and staff from across campus, Residential Living provides regular study halls, academic workshops, and a variety of involvement and social activities.


Students Studying Outside


Western Carolina PEAKS is our residential first-year experience for freshmen. PEAKS is a caring community that provides new students with a strong foundation for their academic career at WCU. PEAKS offers students opportunities focused on helping them transition to WCU and succeed both personally and academically. The PEAKS program works with students to help them connect with others and meet the academic challenges of college. PEAKS students develop meaningful relationships with faculty and staff and work to clarify their goals and aspirations.

The supportive community in PEAKS is continued in EXTREMES for sophomores and juniors living on campus. EXTREMES is a cooperative venture of faculty, staff and students to support the continued development and success sophomores and juniors. Students who participate in EXTREMES programs will better define academic and personal goals, create a map of coursework for future semesters, and keep a checklist of activities to be completed to stay on track to graduate.

Leadership Opportunities



Residents also have the opportunity to gain leadership experience by getting involved with their Residence Hall Council or the Resident Student Association.  Through these organizations, students represent their halls on a variety of campus-wide topics and work directly with the Department of Residential Living’s leadership team.  Students also have the opportunity to represent WCU at various state, regional, and national conferences.

These communities encourage learning both in and out of the classroom. Students with similar interests and goals take classes together and are housed together on themed floors. Living – Learning Communities have a high degree of faculty and staff involvement and make the student experience richer and more meaningful.

The Academic Success Program (ASP) enrolls students during the summer prior to their first year of college. Students continue as a community of learners enrolled in a leadership course focused on civic engagement.

This community focuses on leadership through the thematic lens of masculinity. Students explore opportunities to express emotions in an appropriate manner and in a setting where individuals rely on one another for support toward reaching and utilizing their potential.

Students in this community are challenged to look at the world through different eyes and think critically about differences they see. Topics such as diversity, civic engagement, globalization, and personal responsibility are explored.

Students in this community will look at culture and its powerful impact on our lives and perceptions. They will discuss crossing cultures and how to be mindful and open to new learning in that journey. They will consider what it means to have a global worldview. The aim of this community is to develop an awareness of the realities, opportunities, and complexities of the world outside of the United States.

Located in Harrill Hall, this community examines the principles of leadership through the thematic lens of sustainability. Students examine concepts of sustainable development and global climate change evaluating the ecological, social, and economic impacts in our society and beyond.

This floor is intended to serve students who apply to participate in the Freshman Leadership Initiative or Cat Camp. The goal of this floor is to provide a brief introduction to widely known leadership theories using an interdisciplinary model.

Located in Harrill Hall, this program invites science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors to become a part of a supportive living learning community. Learn from faculty and peers, live in an environment that supports academic success, gain hands-on research experience (other benefits include priority registration and a scholarship), and build a network of colleagues and friends. 

This community examines the relationship between leadership and women's empowerment. Students will explore their personal strengths, skills, and values that will prepare them to be an active participant throughout their holistic career at Western Carolina University.

This community is designed for future teachers and it explores what it means to be a leader in the field of education. This community is also an Academic Learning Community, which enrolls students in a class for the spring semester.

Office of Web Services