Princeton’s residential college system provides students not simply with housing and dining options, but advising and other resources to assist them in taking advantage of all that Princeton has to offer. There are currently six residential colleges whose goal is to “create a strong sense of community, collaboration and mutual respect, and to support individual initiative and personal growth;” and “to help students develop such core values as honesty, integrity and fairness, and to encourage creativity, curiosity, collegiality, resourcefulness, a capacity for leadership and a sense of responsibility for their own well-being and the well-being of others.”*
While all first- and second-year students are required to live in one of the six residential colleges, juniors and seniors have additional options for housing and dining. Regardless of where they choose to live, upperclassmen retain a link to a residential college, and interaction among all class years is encouraged.
Each college is supervised by a senior faculty member, the head of college, who provides vision and direction for the social and academic activities of that community. Each head of college is assisted by a full-time staff consisting of a dean, director of studies, director of student life, college administrator, and college secretary.
The dean and director of studies oversee all students’ academic progress, coordinate faculty and peer academic advising, and provide individual academic advising and support to all students resident in the college, as well as to upperclassmen affiliated with the college. In addition, the director of studies coordinates the academic programming in the college throughout the year. The director of student life supervises and works with the residential college advisers (juniors and seniors resident in the college), each of whom is assigned to a "zee-group" (advisee group) of first-year students and sophomores. The director of student life is also responsible for counseling students on nonacademic matters, adjudicating disciplinary matters, and supporting students' well-being as individuals and in community. The college administrator oversees the budget of the college as well as the management of all college facilities.
Faculty fellows--several dozen faculty members associated with each college--are encouraged to participate in all aspects of college life. In addition, each college has a resident faculty fellow who lives and eats in the college and is an active member of the community. There is also a group of resident graduate students who live in each college, serve as mentors, and help to coordinate programming with undergraduates in informal settings. First- and second-year students thus have access to a wide cross-section of faculty and fellow students to guide them in their academic and social lives through a variety of college-based programs.
*Report of the Working Group on Campus Social & Residential Life, 2011