Welcome to the website of the Russell Scholars Program (RSP), USM’s nationally-recognized residential learning-community. In RSP, students attend small USM Core classes team-taught by RSP faculty in addition to pursuing major courses of study outside of RSP. Above all, in RSP you can make friends quickly, easily meet with your professors, and feel at-home in a small learning-community within USM. According to a recent Russell Scholar, one major advantage of the program is its “closeness of community with a large support group to assist academically.” RSP is not an honors program, it is a success program open to all students admitted to USM as degree candidates. The first year of college is the most challenging year for most students. We are very proud that approximately 90% of all first-year Russell Scholars return to USM the following year as successful sophomores. Many returning sophomores choose to continue taking courses in RSP; however, there is no obligation to remain in the program after freshman year.
"I met such a wonderful bunch of people so quickly. I really enjoy the classes. They're small, close-knit, and comfortable. RSP has made my first year at college unforgettable.”
- Freshman undeclared major
All first-year Russell Scholars live in Woodward Hall, a co-educational residence hall centrally located on the beautiful Gorham campus. Russell Scholars classrooms, a computer lab, and RSP faculty offices are all located on the first floor of the residence hall for your convenience. As a Russell Scholar, you will work with your own faculty mentor who will provide you with individualized academic support.
There are frequent gatherings of the Russell Scholars and their faculty for discussing ideas and students’ issues in a relaxed setting. Optional field trips and special events in the arts, humanities, and sciences are regularly attended by the Russell Scholars and their guests. Beyond the first year, Russell Scholars have an optional out-of-state or out-of-country learning experience at little extra cost for which they receive full academic credit.
Membership in RSP is voluntary, and once you are admitted to RSP, you may take as many or as few RSP courses as you wish. Many students remain active in RSP through their senior year and are recognized at Commencement and professionally for graduating as a Russell Scholar. Regardless of your academic major, and if you have an above-average-to-excellent academic history, you may qualify to become a Russell Scholar. Membership requirements are:
1. acceptance to USM as a full-time residential student,
2. have a strong desire to succeed, and
3. have enthusiasm for working with others.
About the Program
Each Russell Scholar is assigned a faculty mentor who will helps the student through the process of selecting courses and identifying learning opportunities during his/her academic career.
Ongoing assessment indicates that approximately 90% of fist-year RSP students return to USM as successful sophomores. RSP students also consistently earn academic credit, participate in university life, and express satisfaction with their university experience at a level higher than students who are not in RSP.
All first-year Russell Scholars live in Woodward Hall, a coeducational residence hall centrally located on the beautiful Gorham campus. Making friends is easy to do in RSP. Russell Scholars’ classrooms and faculty offices are located in the residence hall for the convenience of students.
Graduating Russell Scholars will be proficient in the following skills identified as essential by educators, professionals, and business leaders:
Field of Competence
Russell Scholars will be recognized on their transcripts and at Commencement for their successful completion of an intensive program of learning that:
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