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 seven 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 seven 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, assistant dean for studies, assistant dean for student life, residential life coordinator, college program administrator, and college office coordinator.
The dean and assistant dean for 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 assistant dean coordinates the academic programming in the college throughout the year. The assistant dean for 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 assistant dean for student life is also responsible for counseling students on non-academic matters, adjudicating disciplinary matters, and supporting students' well-being as individuals and in community. The college program 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