What are Learning Communities?
Learning Communities are an opportunity for students to live on a floor together in a residence hall and take classes together centered around a particular major or theme. Learning Communities are also known as academic residential communities. Faculty are heavily engaged with each community, providing students with opportunities for intellectual conversation, further connection to discipline, research options, internship possibilities, and outside of the classroom learning. Options for Learning Communities include Careers and Majors Exploration, Diversity and Global Citizenship, Engineering and Innovation, Ethical Leaders in Business, Health Sciences, Honors, Leadership and Social Change, Life Sciences, and Micah.
What are the benefits of Learning Communities?
Studies show that students are more successful when their academic experiences are integrated with other aspects of their lives. Students who participate in a learning community boast a higher rate of academic transition, sense of belonging at the university, and smooth social transition. Additionally, since faculty are heavily engaged with each Learning Community, students are able to hold deeper conversations about content, learn from faculty expertise outside of the classroom, and open doors to more research, internship, and mentor opportunities.
What are the expectations of students that participate in Learning Communities?
While there are no distinct requirements for students in Learning Communities, students are encouraged to participate in the activities and programs focused on the theme of the Learning Community. Community experiences offered will not just focus on the theme of the Learning Community but will also provide a variety of social and educational programs to assist with a student’s first year transition to the university. Making the transition from high school to college can be difficult. As you experience new freedoms, learn new routines and face new academic and personal challenges, a Learning Community can help you begin your college career on the right track. We encourage each student to become a partner in their education by becoming an active leader and learner within the Learning Community.
I don't have a major--should I still think about participating in a Learning Community?
Absolutely! The Careers and Majors Learning Community offers an additional opportunity to take advantage of content geared toward helping you select a major or career. If you have an idea of what you might like to major in, you might select a Learning Community which focuses on that field and you'll have the chance to find out if this is a career you're interested in pursuing.
If I take classes with my Learning Community, do I have to take all of the classes in the group?
Yes, courses must be taken together as a full set. However, Learning Communities leave room for you to take additional classes as well during your first semester. You'll select these classes when you meet with your academic advisor during your SLU 101 visit.
How do I sign up for a Learning Community? When do I sign up for a Learning Community?
The easiest and quickest way to sign up for a Learning Community is through your Housing Application. The Housing Application is available for new students on November 1st and you are able to make changes to your application and Learning Community preferences through May 1st. If you are unable to sign up or if you'd like to make changes to your preferences after May 1st, contact the Learning Community team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also make changes and sign up at SLU 101, summer orientation, but space is limited, so sign up early!
Do I need to fill out an application to be part of the Learning Community Program?
For most of our Learning Communities you do not need to fill out an application ourside of the appropriate information on the housing application. However, Micah and Honors do require a few extras. To be part of Micah you'll need to complete a supplemental application. If you'd like to be in the Honors Learning Community you'll need to apply and be accepted to the University Honors Program.
What if I want to change my Learning Community preferences?
You can simply edit your housing application until May 1st to change your preferences for Learning Communities. Editing your housing application does not affect your priority date. If you want to make changes after May 1st, you can contact us directly or let us know during your SLU 101 visit.
Do I have to live in the residence hall where the LC is housed?
Yes. Living in a Learning Community requires that you live on the floor with that community. If you have an extenuating circumstance that requires you to live in a certain arrangement, please let us know as soon as possible so that we may accommodate your request.
I already have a roommate, how can I be in a Learning Community and keep my roommate?
Both you and your roommate should sign up for the Learning Community. You can indicate your roommate request on your housing application. It is important that both you and your roommate indicate each other using your 9-digit SLU IDs (starts with 000).