Seneca – EPIC (Part 4)

EPICLiving in a residential college thus far has been a great experience for me.  Coming to college was a new experience for me and like all freshman I didn’t know what to expect. My first semester of my freshman year at UCA I stayed in an apartment, so when I found out about EPIC I had my doubts at first, as I am sure everyone does in general about new ventures.

I didn’t know whether I would fit in. But I decided to take a chance and I don’t regret it for a second. The best college decision I have made is joining EPIC. Through EPIC I have made many positive connections with other EPIC students and we have come together on a few projects with amazing results.

I think Residential College Life is the best life one could have in college. Not only do we work on projects together, we do things outside of EPIC together. We play Xbox 360 and ultimate frisbee. We make connections that go beyond  what any classroom could teach and that could possibly last for many years.

I look forward to more good times for as long as I choose to stay in a Residential college.  That is my experience thus far. But I have a question for you. What have you got to lose? Why not make lasting connections outside of high school and class? You are on one of the best teams at UCA. Residential college life is a blast because of the connections that one makes. It is hard not to get involved when you are in EPIC.

My hope is that you come to college looking to not only make a difference, but have fun doing it. Make a difference in EPIC. Not only will you have memories that last a lifetime, but your time in college will be spent wisely by choosing to be in a residential college because of the higher graduation and retention rate that staying in residential college is known for. While no doubt that is a great reason to be in EPIC, the most important, to me at least is the connections that you will make with other residents.

The people I have met in EPIC are some of the most awesome, hardest working people I have met since being in college and it is an honor to work with them. I know that after living life in a residential college that you will feel the same way as I do and will never want to go back to a normal residential hall again.

Jackson – EPIC (Part 4)


Residential College Life and Making Connections with Other Residents

One of the best parts about living in a Residential College at UCA is that there is almost always a program or activity going on, so when you have finished up your homework and studying for the day, the evening holds some fun without having to go far.  Resident Assistants (RAs) put on programs that are relevant to students and usually provide entertainment and some kind of snack.  These programs range from various cultural awareness events to ways to improve your study habits.  In STEM my freshman year, the RAs hosted a Halo tournament, with the winners receiving a Target gift card!

 I have enjoyed my time in EPIC and STEM because I have made some of my best friends here.  When you live with, do projects with, and study with a group of people consistently, you obviously are going to get to know them pretty well.  Because Residential Colleges allow you to live and work with people who share similar interests, it is so easy to make great friends here!  Even after two years apart from many of my friends from STEM my freshman year, I still keep in touch with them and still call them some of my closest friends.

If you are worried about fitting in or finding your place here, I assure you that your worries will fade the moment you start interacting with your fellow Residential College residents!

Jackson – EPIC (Part 3)


When you initially hear the word diversity discussed regarding an institution or organization, what comes to mind?  Most people think of racial diversity, working together as one cohesive unit.  While this is found within all of UCA’s Residential Colleges, that is not all that diversity encompasses here.

We have a wide variety of Residential Colleges that fit multiple fields of interest.  This diversity allows for everyone who comes to UCA to find his or her perfect fit.  Diversity can be seen even within these individual programs, which is pretty remarkable if you think about it.  With EPIC, teams are created to tackle projects that nobody in particular is an expert on, so that everyone is able to contribute their points of view.  In the group for my most recent project, we had a Marketing major, Chemistry major, Music Education major, Physical Therapy major, and a Pre-Medical Biology major.  Because of this, we had methodological business minds, creative artistic minds, and analytical science minds all working as a unified group to complete our project.

Having projects with such diversity allows students in Residential Colleges to experience more than those who are not, both in projects than they can participate in, as well as the huge variety of friends they will inevitably make.  UCA’s Residential Colleges are an amazing way for people to meet and interact with others from all walks of life.

Seneca – EPIC (Part 3)

EPICEPIC Residential College is all about diversity. I would go as far as to say regardless of what major you are you can make a difference here in EPIC.

I am living proof of this because I myself am a nutrition/dietetics major. We live by the “think wrong concept” which I would think to some extent would indicate a theme of diversity. We have biochemistry majors, psychology majors, physical therapy, (you get the hint) the list goes on and on.

So don’t let your major stop you from being part of EPIC Residential College.  We have diverse majors, diverse people with diverse personalities. That is our makeup here in EPIC and it all comes together to work out pretty well I might add.

Are you nervous about fitting in? Don’t worry, I was too. No need to be concerned. You will find who you mesh up the first week you are here, especially when you get in your teams. Not only do we have diversity in students we are diverse with our projects as well.

We are approaching the end of the first full school year of EPIC Residential Colleges inception and since that time we have done a few different activities. We have done a create your own app contest, a best game at tailgate contest, recruitment/retention ideas and community enhancement projects and I see no end to the activities during my time here.

Step away from the normal college life and do something that’s fun and different at the same time.

Come find your niche, all students welcome!!!

Seneca – EPIC (Part 2)

EPICThis time I am going to talk about how the time is spent for a student in EPIC. Being in EPIC we have worked on some major community as well as school enhancement projects.

I can honestly tell you that during presentations of our projects you can tell the amount of hours that went into the creation of these projects. Even with school being a top priority, a lot of time and energy is spent to make these ideas come alive.

The dedication and teamwork is by far the best I have ever seen in my college career thus far. Looking to be a part of a winning team? EPIC is the way to go.

As an EPIC student you are allowed to “think wrong” or think outside the box in order to make a difference the may impact others in a way you may have never imagined.

My favorite project thus far has been our recruitment/retention project last semester. We had eight teams total. Four were given recruitment and asked to come up with ways to improve it and 4 were given retention. My team got retention. Needless to say I was a little tumped at first on how I would go about it. But after a few weekends of research and team meetings we came up with an idea.

From that time on our goal was to improve and see how we could adapt it this school as well as make it seem like a plausible solution. After we had come up with a possible way to implement it we did 2 surveys of random students, the first survey was kind of a get to know  our population and the second survey to the same students was a simple yes or no question of if our idea would indeed help with retention. Off the top of my head I can’t remember the specific percentages but I know that the majority of the students said yes.

So we put together a PowerPoint and prepared for our presentation. My belief level in our idea was through the roof now not only because I had experienced something similar to it before but the more research I did the more I saw the possibility of it acttually working.

We gave the presentation and got 1st place in the first round which allowed us to present our idea to the president of the university. I tell you what an honor.

We got third place in the last round but still left with a prize. That is just one prime example of the hard work that goes into making this and all the other projects work.  I am excited about the other projects coming up in the near future.  The definition of EPIC is success… in EPIC proportions.

Jackson – EPIC (Part 2)

EPICOne of the core focuses of academics at UCA is integrity for students and their work.

Academic Integrity here is basically a huge accountability system that keeps students honest in their work.  Teachers hold students to high standards and do not tolerate cheating of any kind.  This includes plagiarism.

One of the resources provided to students at UCA is the Writing Center, which has writing-majors available to help students with their work.  This way, students have an opportunity to have guided help in writing and revising their work, without plagiarizing.

Residential Colleges provide advocates who are trained on academic integrity.  Part of this training focuses on academic honesty and confidentiality.  In this, students can seek help from an advocate and trust them not to share where they are struggling in class.  UCA students are given so many opportunities for help elevating their work to the highest standards.

Seneca – EPIC

Hello future students this is Seneca.

I am a sophomore at University of Central Arkansas. I am going to describe to you in a few paragraphs when and Why I UCA.

Coming to school was a scary event for me indeed…After coming from what seemed like a dead end job and hoping to find my niche. Surprisingly enough, I found more than that through UCA. I not only found my dream major and possible future career I found EPIC Residential College and it has been the best discovery for me in a long time.

I am a nutrition major so though my major isn’t necessarily connected to EPIC (Entrepreneurship, Public Scholarship, Innovation and Community),I have been able to succeed both in and out the classrooms as well. I have always had confidence in my ability to succeed but never really much imagination. EPIC helped me to discover my creativity while also putting it to positive use and strive to ascertain not only success through the projects we do but success in the classroom, to work harder than ever before to make the grade. Through EPIC I have been able to do both, to have my cake and eat it too as the saying goes.

Why do I UCA? Because of EPIC Residential College. The main program in EPIC that has helped me thus far was our recruitment/retention project.  Each team was given either one of those ideas and we were to come up with ways to improve it. I have to be honest at first and for a while I was afraid to come up with any ideas, but soon I found myself getting excited about the prospect of keeping students here and it started to raise my belief level. My team and I were able to band together and through research and numerous man hours came up with an idea that we could be confident about and get behind and support.

EPIC allowed me to be realistic yet different at the same time. I took the same all I gave to the project, put it into my studies and I have been able to increase the time spent studying for tests with more success, but also I am able to better focus on the task at hand whether it be a paper or homework assignment. I could not have done it without EPIC. Speaking from experience being in EPIC is so worth the time and effort because it will help you succeed, not only in the program or in your academic careerl, but in life.

Jackson – EPIC


My name is Jackson Bagby. I am a Junior Pre-Medical Biology Student. I have been a resident of both STEM and EPIC and was a mentor during my second year living in STEM. I am also highly involved in undergraduate research on cancer, part of several RSOs (Registered Student Organizations), active in student ministry, and am a member of Beta Upsilon Chi, one of the many fraternities on campus.


When looking at UCA’s Residential Colleges, it is easy to see that there are a ton of great opportunities with all kinds of benefits. One of the most heavily favored of these benefits by the students who choose to join a Residential College is the ability to take classes in the residential hall.

This means that you can essentially roll out of bed and walk to one or more of your classes without ever leaving the building! I took both General Education (such as Philosophy and Music Appreciation) and Biology Major-specific classes (such as Chemistry and Biology) in STEM as a freshman and a Sophomore.

Academic Support

From an educational standpoint, Residential Colleges work to facilitate students’ academic endeavors in many ways. In UCA’s Residential Colleges, Mentors/Academic Advocates are hired and trained to help students with schoolwork and class projects. While they do not do the work for the students, they are available as tutors for many GenEd and major-specific classes.

One of the great things about these advocates is that if they are unsure how to help the student themselves, they are able to network and get the student plugged into a tutor who can help. These mentors are a HUGE asset to students’ academic success and UCA does a phenomenal job with choosing and training them!

Community Engagement

Residential Colleges are not all work and no play, though! There are always opportunities to get involved within the community, and sometimes earn a little money on the side! In the EPIC Residential College, students are encouraged to participate in projects that are designed to give them experience in critical thinking regarding business and leadership ideas.

This past year, students worked with a local multi-million dollar company to design and develop mobile applications. In another project, students were able to strategize plans for recruiting students to join UCA and develop ways to keep them in school to finish a degree. This project was done in cooperation with UCA’s President and Provost, both of whom genuinely care about each and every student. These projects were turned into competitions and winners received gift cards as prizes!

UCA’s Residential Colleges are truly designed with us students in mind. I have completely enjoyed my three years’ experience as a student and the benefits seem to never end. I STRONGLY encourage that you look into applying for one of the Residential Colleges here, so that you too can have an amazing college experience!!