Need-to-know basics about the Learning Communities program
Glossary of Terms
FIG? LC? RHC? Read through the glossary below to give you a handle on what everyone is talking about.
Learning Communities (LCs): Groups of students who live in the same residence hall (usually on the same floor(s)) around a common theme. Many students in LCs take courses in common, though the curricular component is not required. Students in LCs live and study together, attending a variety of co-curricular programs and often engaging in service projects together. View the current list of Learning Communities here.
First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs): A FIG is a group of 2-3 courses that reflect the greater theme of the associated Learning Community. The FIG is a sub-groups of 20-24 students inside Learning Communities enrolled in common. Such courses may be directly linked by curricular priorities and faculty collaboration, or they may be linked almost entirely by theme or topic, with little-to-no faculty collaboration. In most cases, FIG classes are offered in the fall. Ultimately, both LCs and FIGs strive for the same thing: to establish a community of learners who pursue answers to similar intellectual questions. View the current list of FIGs here.
SLU has three different types of FIGs, with varying degrees of faculty involvement. In each case, all the students in a FIG enroll in 2-3 freshman courses in common, though classes/sections may or may not be restricted to FIG students alone. In large lecture courses, for example, FIG students comprise just one cohort inside the larger (non-FIG) class.
- Co-Enrolled FIGs: Classes linked loosely by theme of the Learning Community, providing students an opportunity to take classes in common. Faculty collaboration is minimal.
- Co-Enrolled FIGs with linked U101: Classes linked loosely by theme of the Learning Community. Minimally, Faculty share course design and materials with University 101 instructor, who builds connections between the classes and the LC.
- Linked FIG Classes: Classes linked more deliberately by collaboration between faculty. Faculty teaching in the FIG all work together to link aims/activities across the classes and to enhance students' learning across disciplines.
Stakeholder: Each Learning Community has their own stakeholder group. Stakeholders consist of FIG instructors, interested faculty, professional staff (RHCs or Career Counselors, for example), and student staff (Resident Advisors).
RHC (Resident Hall Coordinator): Professional staff member who lives on campus within the residence hall. The person who will call together the stakeholder meetings.
RA (Resident Advisor): Student staff living on the floor of the Learning Community and charged with facilitating programs or events within the residential community that integrate the theme.
LC Mentor: In addition to the LC RA, returning students may provide leadership to the LC via an LC Mentor position. The LC Mentors are sophomores, juniors and senior students who return to the learning community in a leadership role and provide peer mentorship to incoming learning community students. This position works with the learning community RAs to provide social and academic opportunities that help the learning community gain awareness of on-campus resources, connections with faculty and staff on campus, and connections with Saint Louis University. Furthermore, this position helps recruit sophomores back to the currently established learning communities and act as additional stakeholders focused on the betterment of the learning community program.