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Prospective Students

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a learning community?

A learning community (LC) is a small group of students (20-40) who take a common set of courses together or share a common experience around their academics. In most learning communities, students are co-enrolled in two or more classes. Typically, a learning community is structured around a theme, major or topic of interest. Learning communities draw like-minded students together and provide an opportunity to build community, enhance learning, and foster connections with faculty and staff. Some learning communities are also living-learning communities, which allows for students to live on the same floor or in the same building.

Learning (and living) together creates opportunities to build relationships, connect the classroom to the campus and establish academic networking and success skills.

Leaning communities have been associated with increased student retention and higher GPAs.

How much does it cost to be in a learning community?

There are no additional fees to participate in a learning community. Standard housing and tuition rates apply.

What if I already have credit for one of the the classes?

If you already have credit, or for some other reason cannot take one of the classes associated with the learning community, then you will not be eligible for participation.

Will the classes count towards requirements in my program?

Yes (with two exceptions). We screen learning community requests very closely. In general, students will not be accepted into a learning community if the classes will not apply towards their degree. That's why some learning communities are only available to students in certain majors.

However, there are a few exceptions.

1. If you change your major after you have been accepted into a learning community, it is possible that the classes may not be applicable in your new program.

2. The ASPIRE learning communities include the class Strategies for Academic Success (TRDIS-120). While this is a credit-earning class, the credits do not apply to any degrees on our campus. However, the tuition for this class is waived for those who qualify for the ASPIRE program.

If you are accepted into a learning community which includes a class that does not meet a requirement for your program, this information will be disclosed to you.

Please note that learning community classes are only part of your class schedule. You will meet with your advisor during the first year Registration and Orientation to discuss your schedule and register for all of your classes.

How is being in a learning community different than the "normal" college experience?

The Learning Community connects you to a small group of people with common academic interests. It doesn't mean more work or harder classes. But it does provide opportunities to get to know faculty and staff a little better by participating in field trips, out of class get-togethers and/or community service projects.

You're likely to become friends with the people in your Learning Community because you'll see them more frequently and in some cases you may live near them. The Learning Community will not dominate your college life and isolate you from others. It will complement the diverse activities and people you're going to experience here.

How are learning community classes different than non-learning community sections?

In many ways they are the same. The curriculum content (what you will learn), in the LC course sections, is not different from other sections of the same course.

Each learning community varies but some of the adaptations, that might make your LC class unique, include:

  • Smaller sections (fewer students)
  • Collaboration between instructors on assignments (i.e. an assignment in once class might be related to the topic you are exploring in the other LC class)
  • A tailored focus that matches the LC theme
  • Incorporating out of class activities like field trips, service projects and guest speakers

Please note that learning community classes are only part of your class schedule. You will meet with your advisor during the First Year Registration and Orientation to discuss your schedule and register for all of your classes.

It is more work? Is it harder?

No. Learning communities are not designed to be harder or easier. The curriculum content (what you will learn), in the Learning Community course sections, is not different from other sections of the same course.

You might find that the Learning Community classes "feel" easier because:

  • They are geared towards a theme or subject that is interesting to you
  • You have friends in the class to sit with, study with and get help from when you need it
  • You develop a connection with the instructor

What if I want to request a roommate that is not eligible for the learning community I want to be in?

That's perfectly ok. Roommate requests will be honored.

If I'm in a learning community will I still meet other people?

Yes, of course you will. Being in a learning community will not dominate your college life and isolate you from others. It will complement the diverse activities and people you're going to experience here. You will take classes outside your community, live on floors with students outside the program and become involved in other parts of campus life. You're likely to become friends with the people in your Learning Community because you'll see them more frequently and in some cases you may live near them. So, when you have questions, need to get in a study group or want to grab lunch, you will always know someone to call.

How do I sign up?

There are three ways:

1. Complete this Enroll Me Now form.

2. Indicate your interest on the First Year Registration and Orientation survey.

3. If it's a residential learning community, select it as your floor option on the Housing Survey.

I Still Have Questions?