LEAP out of bed, go to class in your pajamas

Freshman Chauntel Hansen rolls out of bed at around 10:30 a.m. Less than 10 minutes later, she is sitting in class in her pajamas, ready to listen.

Hansen, a psychology major, is just one of many freshmen who take classes in the new LEAP house. Dedicated this past September, the house is less than 50 feet from the freshmen Residence Halls.

“It’s so convenient, you can wake up like, 10 minutes before class and still be on time,” Hansen said.

Hansen and her classmates often arrive to class wearing pajamas and slippers. This is possible because the house has a living room in which classes are taught.

Kris Koford is a professor in the LEAP program, which is designed to ease the transition from high school to college for freshmen. He teaches classes in the living room of the house with a small kitchen behind him. “It’s kind of homey here; it’s comfortable,” Koford said.

Upstairs, the house has a lounge for students to study in and an office for Koford. The house’s kitchen is also used for LEAP events.

Before the LEAP program received its own house, Koford taught LEAP classes at the Heritage Center for three years.

Koford said he had problems with attitude and attendance there.

He said it was hard to teach students in their own territory with a busy cafeteria right above the classroom.

Koford said his LEAP house classes are more like the classes he teaches on lower campus-students are on time, and they pay attention.

Classes give students an opportunity to meet other freshmen who live in the Residence Halls, said Carolyn Bliss, director of the LEAP program.

Many students from Koford’s class walk to the Heritage Center together after class and eat lunch.

Between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday, the LEAP house is open for any student in the program or in the Residence Halls to come and study in or use.

Professor Koford or a LEAP peer adviser can help students work on homework and other projects.

The LEAP house was once used as an officer’s house. When the newer Residence Halls were built, the house was uprooted and placed next to the Heritage Center.

The LEAP program brought the building up to code this past summer and dedicated the house in September. Bliss hopes that in the future there will be more opportunities for students to fulfill general education requirements in classes held near the Residence Halls.

Next semester, two beginning theater classes will be taught in the house as well as the LEAP course’s second semester.

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