Arches Learning & Living Community

Watch a Video about the Arches Learning & Living Community:


What is the Arches Program?

"The Arches Program was the ultimate ice-breaker for my freshman year at Manhattan College. Not only did I have the opportunity to participate in an active living and learning community with my peers, but also I had the chance to familiarize myself with the various service opportunities throughout the Bronx and beyond."

—Paige Hughes ’16, Urban Affairs Major

The Arches program is a learning and living community for freshmen. Students live together in a residence hall and take one class each semester of their freshmen year that is specifically designed for the Arches program, which incorporates cultural excursions and service projects. In addition, special events and activities are offered to Arches students, so they can bond, develop a sense of community, and create lasting friendships with peers, faculty and coordinators. 

Exploring NYC and Discovering Its Multicultural Richness

What better way to understand multicultural perspectives than by exploring one of the most diverse cities in the world! The Arches classes take advantage of New York City and its many cultural opportunities by visiting communities and people from a variety of social, economic, racial and ethnic backgrounds and by making excursions to cultural events. Some past events have been:

  • Performances at Lincoln Center
  • Broadway and off-Broadway shows
  • Visits to museums and other local art institutions
  • Exploring New York City historical landmarks

Academic Community

Arches faculty are dedicated to creating an intellectually engaged learning community. The classes offer a stimulating environment, as well as inner reflection on what students encounter in the program and how it impacts them. The opportunity to actively engage and connect with your professors is a major factor in the Arches program. Smaller-than-average class sizes and increased out-of-class opportunities allow for more interaction between students and professors. Watch a video project from an Arches class »

Making a Difference in the Lives of Others

As part of the program, Arches students take part in community service projects with their classmates. It’s a great opportunity for students to make a difference in the lives of others while also being able to reflect upon their own beliefs and philosophies. It’s also a perfect way to integrate classroom knowledge within the framework of everyday life and to foster meaningful discussions with peers and professors. 

Some past service projects have included:

  • Volunteering in local soup kitchens and food pantries
  • Working at senior centers
  • Working with at-risk youth
  • Cleaning up local parks
  • Renovating religious community centers

A Day in the Life of an Arches Student

Take a look at photos from recent Arches programs and excursions:

Why Should Students Join Arches?

The Arches program gives students a richer and more fulfilling first-year experience. If you are interested in being part of a strong community, exploring NYC and its multicultural richness, and helping to make a difference, as well as have the desire to develop strong bonds with your professors and classmates, then this is the program for you. You get more because you are a part of something that is more. And the best part of all is that there is no extra cost to you. You just have to join early, as space is limited. 

Apply for the Program

Only those who have committed to attending Manhattan College can apply to be part of The Arches community. Due to the popularity of The Arches program, applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first served basis.


For more information, please contact:
Dianna Cruz, Assistant Dean, School of Liberal Arts
Phone: (718) 862-7956