What is a Learning Community?

Learning communities are groups of students who share common academic goals, have similar academic goals and/or share interests and attitudes. Students in a learning community take two or more classes together and meet regularly to collaborate on classwork and participate in activities outside of the classroom. Faculty teaching courses in a learning community schedule activities that support course work; peer mentors are available to help students have a successful first semester. Research has shown that students who participate in learning communities earn higher grades, build friendships quicker and graduate at a higher and timely rate.

Many first time freshmen are placed in learning communities designed specifically to support their major. Some undeclared students are placed in learning communities designed to help students discover the right major. Some learning communities are designed around a theme that may be of interest to students in many different majors.

Please visit the “Choose a Learning Community” page to learn about each learning community we offer and let us know which ones you are interested in joining using the “Submit Inquiry” link on the upper right of this page. Space is limited in our learning community program – letting us know of your interest is the best way to ensure we reserve a place for you. Please note that, even if you do not choose, you may be placed in a learning community based on your major or undeclared status.

Not placed in a Learning Community?

Not all students are placed in a learning community. We may not have a specific community available for your major or, the learning communities you are interested in may already be fully enrolled. If that is the case, your Fall schedule will include two or more Linked Courses. For linked courses, the same group of students are enrolled in two or more courses together. Although the linked courses usually do not focus on a theme or major and do not include co-curricular activities, linked courses still help students build friendships faster, create study groups and succeed! You will also be placed in a Pioneer Success Seminar, a special course designed to help first semester students get a great start in college. Through the PSS, you will also have access to a peer mentor, just as students in a learning community do.