Your First Semester

Learn more about what to expect from your first semester at Rollins, including Rollins College Conference, peer mentors, and Living Learning Communities.

Learning Together

Rollins believes that a liberal arts education should be practical (applied), that students learn best by doing, and that classes are most impactful when students and faculty learn together.


In addition to taking exploratory courses in Foundations, your first semester at Rollins will include a Rollins College Conference, or RCC. In your RCC, you'll encounter your Peer Mentors who are sophomore, junior, and senior students who will guide you through your transition to Rollins. In your Living Learning Community, or LLC, students will live together in the same residence hall and meet together in that hall to share reading, assignments, presentations, discussions, and other academic endeavors.

The RCC is a seminar class in which approximately 16 students meet with a faculty member to explore a topic in the professor's area of expertise. The professors are drawn from the full range of academic disciplines encompassing the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

RCCs are generally not connected to a specific major, so you should feel free to explore a topic that truly interests you.

RCC Course Listing for 2015 Coming Soon!

Peer Mentors

Peer Mentors at Rollins are thoughtful and committed sophomores, juniors and seniors who serve as academic and social role models for Rollins College Conferences (RCCs) to better integrate and engage first year students.  Peer Mentors focus their work around the five dimensions of personal and social responsibility:

  • striving for excellence
  • cultivating personal and academic integrity
  • contributing to a larger community
  • taking seriously the perspectives of others
  • developing competence in ethical and moral reasoning

Living Learning Communities

Living Learning Communities bring first-year students, upper-class mentors, and faculty members together to form a tight-knit, cohesive unit aimed at facilitating a smooth transition to college. One of the greatest challenges facing new college students is becoming part of a new community while also accepting all the responsibilities of independence that come their way. Living Learning Communities increase the academic, social and residential connection among first-year students while fostering independence within a supportive academic residential community. All first-year students take an RCC course, which is an academic seminar that includes added attention to integrating and engaging first-year learning.  All RCC courses are Living Learning Communities including Rex Beach Hall, McKean Hall, Ward Hall, and Strong Hall.  Living Learning Community students will live together in the same residence hall, meet together in that hall to share reading, assignments, presentations, discussions, and other academic endeavors.

LLC Faculty Director

This year the Director of Living Learning Communities is Professor Rachel Simmons, a Rollins alumna ('97) and Professor of Art in the Department of Art and Art History. As Faculty-In-Residence, Simmons is looking forward to getting to know our first year students better as the LLC initiative encourages them to "Imagine the Future" through a series of engaging activities and programs. Professor Simmons, her husband Jason Boyette, a filmmaker and teacher, and their daughter Parker, a blossoming creative genius in her own right, enjoy running, biking, soccer and basketball games and paddle boarding on Lake Virginia. You will see them walking their frisky black Chinese sharpei Hunter along the nature trail on campus. Professor Simmons teaches visual journaling, printmaking and book arts courses along with interdisciplinary courses on the intersection between contemporary art and the environment. She enjoys traveling with her students and colleagues and has led field studies for both to the Galápagos Islands and Antarctica. She is thrilled to be living on campus once again with her fellow Tars!