July 14, 2017

Sorting Hat Ceremony Assigns Juniors, Seniors into Academic Houses

July 14, 2017 | About 200 BSN students learned on June 27 the groups they’ll be spending time with outside the classroom to complete community service projects and get to know fellow classmates and faculty members in the College of Nursing’s baccalaureate program.

Called a Sorting Hat Ceremony, it derives its name from Harry Potter, a popular novel series by J.K. Rowling in which a magical hat determines the house to which each Hogwarts student will belong.

CON faculty, staff and administrators watched as junior BSN students had their names called out, learned their Academic House and received a group t-shirt from senior members of their troop. The Academic Houses are made up of about 25 to 35 junior and senior BSN students, and two CON faculty members. The houses promote social interaction among the students and peer mentorship between the faculty and students.

“Evidence tells us that if you can get students to connect socially with their peers and their faculty, they have improved academic outcomes,” said Ashley Davis, MNSc, RN, an academic coach in the College of Nursing. “We also know that mentorship is essential to the profession of nursing.”

Academic Houses, sometimes also called Learning Communities, have been used at colleges and universities for centuries to encourage student engagement and involvement. UAMS’ College of Nursing is the first nursing program in the country to implement academic houses.

“Medical schools throughout the country have seen great success with academic houses and we are thrilled to be the first nursing program to adopt this initiative,” said Davis.

The project was funded by an intramural grant from the College of Nursing and will be scientifically evaluated and presented at the state and national conferences later this year.