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What is a Learning Community?

Learning Communities enroll small groups of students (15-23) into a set of courses together forming an educational package that includes a built-in support network of peers.  Learning Communities provide a wide range of benefits including connections to faculty, peer mentors, campus resources, and special insights into what is required to be successful in your program of study.  Talk with your academic advisor about what your program faculty or college expects and/or requires. 

Am I required to participate in a Learning Community?

Most UC students—as many as 75% of incoming baccalaureate students—enroll in a Learning Community or similar educational structure (e.g., an arts studio or performance group) during their first year.  Nearly all students in the following colleges enroll in an LC:  NURS, CEAS, CAHS, LCB, CECH and select fields in CCM.  In addition, almost half the students in A&S take a Learning Community. 

How do I register for a Learning Community?

You will register for a Learning Community after consulting with your academic advisor during new student orientation. You will automatically be enrolled for the classes that are associated with your Learning Community once you type in the Learning Community class number that your advisor will provide. Your advisor will also go over all the important details and logistics of registering for classes.

Can I drop a Learning Community after I registered if I feel it is not the right fit for me?

Please do not drop your Learning Community without talking to your advisor! Dropping the MLTI 1011 course will result in dropping all courses associated with the Learning Community, which could have unwelcome and severe consequences.  First speak to your advisor and/or LC Peer Leader.  They will be able to help address your concerns and determine the best course of action.

Who leads the Learning Community?

Most Learning Communities in A&S, CECH, CEAS, and CAHS have an LC meeting time that is facilitated by a Peer Leader.  Peer Leaders are upper-year students who have been specially selected and matched to an LC based upon their academic and leadership capabilities.  A Peer Leader will serve as your mentor for your first year and will guide you academically, socially, and professionally.  If you don’t have a peer leader assigned to your LC, then another structure has been put into place to provide the support you need to be successful. 

Can I still enroll in a Learning Community if I have AP or PSEO credit?

Many students with advance credit enroll in a Learning Community; however, you should talk to your advisor about any AP, PSEOP, or other credit that you may have. Your advisor will be able to make any accommodations in your schedule if necessary.

How much of a commitment is a Learning Community?

Learning Communities that have an assigned Peer Leader meet twice a week for 55-minute periods. When you enroll in a Learning Community, you will be given a template from your advisor that will give you the specific time for the Learning Community meeting.  Just like any other class, it has a set curriculum for students to follow and it is built into your academic schedule. However, much of that curriculum and time is centered on reinforcing content associated with your LC courses.  Many students find that enrolling in an LC makes them more efficient learners.  In fact, on average, LC students earn higher grades and complete more hours toward their degree than do students not enrolled in learning communities.

If I do not sign up for a Learning Community for the Fall Semester, can I join during Spring Semester?

Students in Learning Communities during the Fall Semester will have priority registration for Spring Semester Learning Communities. It will be very difficult for non-Learning Community students to sign up for a Learning Community for the Spring Semester. However, if there are seats open after the continuing LC students have registered, then you can talk to your advisor about joining or changing a Learning Community for the spring.

How are students placed into Learning Communities?

Students enroll into Learning Communities based on their majors, areas of interest, and placement scores for math, science, and English courses. Talk to your advisor about what Learning Community may best suit you.

Are there Learning Communities for exploratory students?

Yes! Talk to your advisor to see which Learning Community would be best for you.

Is the Learning Community worth any credit hours or will I receive a letter grade?

The Learning Community MLTI 1011 meeting time is graded as a pass/fail, non-credit course.  It does not carry any credit hours itself, but all of the classes associated with the Learning Community—those you are automatically enrolled in as part of the LC package when you register for MLTI 1011—do.  In order to pass the Learning Community, you must fully participate in the credit-bearing associated courses, as well as attend and contribute to any scheduled LC meeting periods. Because MLTI 1011 is not a credit bearing course, a fail will not affect your GPA but will show up on your transcript as an "U." 

What are the benefits of being in a Learning Community?

Over 80% of former LC students recommend the experience to incoming first-year students. Along with incorporating the content of your associated LC courses, Learning Community meetings focus on four target learning areas. These areas include: integrative learning, intellectual and self-management skills, civic and professional responsibility, and university engagement. Students in a Learning Community also get the opportunity to network with upper-class students, faculty, and advisors.  Students report that the LC helped them stay on track at UC by providing a circle of friends and an academic support network. 

Am I required to re-enroll in my Learning Community for the Spring Semester?

Students whose college requires a Learning Community during their first year will have to re-enroll in their Learning Community for the Spring Semester. All students are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisor to determine their best plan of action.

If I am unable to join a Learning Community, what other first-year experience opportunities can I get involved in? 

Talk with your academic advisor about first-year seminars offered by your college. In addition, check out the many opportunities to get engaged in university life through student activities.  For example, you might apply to be part of the Student Government’s first-year internship program, explore social justice issues through RAPP, or join RallyCats for spirit-filled fun at sporting events.  There is an activity for everyone.  For a more complete listing of options, contact the office of Student Activities and Leadership Development (SALD).

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