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Living and Learning

Understanding Our Defined Communities 

The Defined Communities at Bentley provide an enhanced environment of learning.  Each community provides dedicated spaces for students with similar interests and passions to live and learn around a central theme or academic focus. 

Student living in a residential Defined Community will:

  • Live in a space with peers who are passionate and motivated by common interests
  • Each community partners with a faculty and/or staff member from across campus who also shares interest in that specific community.
  • Enjoy dedicated space for themed programming, studying, and engagement opportunities
  • Take advantage of “skipping the line” during housing selection, by applying for housing and receiving their designated housing assignment before the rest of their class (upper class residents)

Additional Information

  • First year Defined Community participants will move in one day early (Tuesday, August 20th) and participate in a half-day leadership retreat focused on bringing their community together. 
  • 4 of the First Year Defined Communities (Social Justice, Arts, Thrive: Wellness, and Blueprint: Leadership) have a shared First Year Seminar Experience and will be assigned both to the floor and and registered by Academic Services to a specific theme based seminar. 
  • Community Partners - Partners are made up by staff and faculty from across campus who have chosen to support each of our defined communities.  Some staff or faculty choose to support our communities based on their similar academic expertise or office’s direct connection to the community.  Other offices and departments choose to support our Defined Communities as additional ways to provide guidance and mentorship to the student body.  Whatever their motivation, the community partners offer students direct one on one support and can be critical connection points for students as they move through their Bentley experience.  


First Year Defined Communities

Brave: The Social Justice Community, located in Miller Hall, is designed for any student interested in engaging in meaningful, intentional, and open discussion on identities and societal issues.  Students within this community will attend events with speakers, participate in floor programs, visit the surrounding community, and interact with prominent faculty and staff to enhance their knowledge on various topics of race, religion, sexual identity, socio-economic status, gender, and gender identity. This community is designed to be a "brave space" for students to challenge themselves and engage in thought-provoking topics and viewpoints. 

Community Partner: Kiana Pierre-Louis, J.D., Lecturer, Law, Taxation, and Financial Planning and The Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Located in Miller Hall, this community is open to all students interested in exploring their creative side while at Bentley.  Students living in the Arts Community will hae the opportunity to foster and strengthen an artistic community on campus while connecting with like-minded people!

Community Partner: Dr. David Szymanski, Associate Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences

Located in Slade Hall, Blueprint is focused on challenging first-year students to identify who they are as leaders and how they want to be involved on Bentley's campus. Students here have an opportunity to explore their career, leadership and engagement goals by connecting their academic work with hands-on experiences in their community.

Community Partner: Stephanie Cohen, Program Coordinator, Office of the Dean of Student Affairs

Honors First-Year Experience, located in Slade Hall, is home to first-year students looking to connect with classmates and peers in the Honors Program. This community provides an opportunity to make strong friendships, lean on one another for academic support, and maximize additional opportunities in the Honors Program. The Honors lounge houses its own printer, TV, gaming system, and space to relax and study.  

Community Partner: The Honors Program & Academic Support Services

The Thrive Community is located in Slade Hall and is devoted to exploring the five distinct areas of holistic wellness: Career, Social, Financial, Physical, and Community.  Residents joining this community will be given opportunities to evaluate their own well-being and implement tangible action plans to become healthier individuals. With access to the racquetball court and fitness studio within Slade Hall, residents do not even need to leave the building to get a good workout in! 

Community Partner: Center for Wellness and Health Promotion

Located in the Trees Complex, this community provides a space for women to interact with and live among other women who share passion for gender issues.  Participants will have an opportunity to share their story and hear others, and foster an environment of mutual empowerment.  Through intentional programming, conference participation, and various other opportunities residents of the floor will not only be prepared to join and embrace the business world, but will realize and utilize the contributions women offer to the local, national, and global community. 

Community Partner: Center for Women and Business


Upper Class Defined Communities

Global Living Community 

Location: Orchard North

The Global Living Community (GLC) - The Global Living Community is designed for students looking for an intercultural living and learning experience and who share a passion for global citizenship and exploration. Whether you have studied abroad, travelled, live, or have lived internationally, or are generally interested global perspective. Students within this community will be provided additional opportunities to engage with students from different cultures and backgrounds, attend presentations hosted by departments on campus such as the Center for International Students and Scholars and the Education Abroad Office, and have opportunities to share and explore their own cultures. 

** Students applying for this community should expect to host a minimum of one exchange student each semester.

Service-Learning Community

Location: Kresge Hall

This community available to rising sophomore residents. Students are not required to have prior involvement with the Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Center at Bentley in order to be considered, however, students who have an interest around issues of social justice and service are heavily encouraged to apply. Through intentional programming, class participation, and opportunities to be a part of an active service-focused community, residents of the floor will not only be prepared to join and embrace the business world, but will utilize the skill of service in their local, national and global communities.

Academic Expectation: Student living on the floor will be required to enroll in SL 299 – Service Learning, Diversity and Leadership.  This course will explore the role of individuals and society in working toward the collective good.  Issues of power, privilege, socio-historical context, and political economy will serve as foundational lines of analysis throughout the course. 

Please note that this is a full academic year assignment (as 1.5 credits offered per semester). Students that are planning to study abroad in the fall or spring semester are not eligible to apply.  The class will take place Wednesday evenings at 5:00pm and registration directions will be sent upon acceptance into the community. (SAMPLE SYLLABUS)

Community Collaborations: Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Center

Emerging Leaders Community 

Location: Fenway Suites

This Community is available to rising sophomore residents. Residents will optimize their experiences on their paths towards becoming effective and engaged student leaders. Following a leadership development plan, residents will develop their leadership identity, learn essential leadership skills and lessons, network with leaders from around campus, and participate in on and off campus programming opportunities. 

Community Collaborations: Student Programs and Engagement 


New Upper Class Defined Community Fall 2019

Honors Upper Class Experience

Location: Falcone North

This community is designed for upper-class residential honors students looking to continue a close relationship with the honors program at Bentley University.  This community will continue to provide space within the hall for programming, study opportunities, and space to connect with other upper-class students living within the community.  Residents taking part in this program will also have opportunities to engage in mentorship activities with students living in the first year Honors community.  Connections with faculty from the Honors community will aim to create space for success as students begin to think about or work on their Honors Capstone.