Penn State's Discover House featured in new monograph

"Organizing for Student Success: The University College Model," a new monograph published by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, includes a section devoted to Discover House, Penn State’s special living option for exploratory students. Written by Eric R. White, executive director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies and associate dean for advising, the article showcases Discover House as a living-learning community for first-year students and highlights both its inception in 2000 and growing importance as a unique initiative for students investigating majors.

The Discover House article represents one of several university case studies in the monograph that feature creative means by which institutions of higher education are dynamically engaging with the undergraduate curriculum.

“In addition to the usual social and informational programming,” White said, “D-House includes academic advising and special events to help students choose academic majors and appreciate the value of general education.”

For example, students living in Discover House often schedule the same special sections of general education classes; attend events, lectures and performances together; and participate in volunteer and service activities as a group. They live and learn as a community and explore the University’s many majors under the guidance and program coordination of assigned academic adviser, Laura Brown.

Overall, "Organizing for Student Success: The University College Model" studies more than 50 colleges and universities and their organizational structures, initiatives and best practices. Twenty case studies from 15 different campuses provide a comprehensive perspective on institutional practice.

Further details about Organizing for Student Success are available at Information about Discover House, a living-learning community sponsored by the Division of Undergraduate Studies, is available at

Last Updated June 17, 2014