A Learning Community gives you the advantages of a small college learning environment with the resources of a major research university. In Learning Communities, small groups of students with similar interests work closely together in a "community of learners." Students, along with advanced student mentors and a faculty advisor, study, socialize and problem-solve together. Most likely, your entire group would take a course together, or  you might all live on the same floor of a residence hall.


High Impact Practices

Dr. George Kuh is the Director of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois, and the Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus at Indiana University.

According to Dr. Kuh, certain kinds of college experiences provide superior learning opportunities for students. These experiences are called “High Impact Practices.” Success in college is much more than a grade point average or a degree – it is about learning.

Learning Communities are especially effective because we learn more when we learn together:

“More than anything else, being an educated person means being able to see connections that allow one to make sense of the world and act within it in creative ways.  Every one of the qualities I have described here—listening, reading, talking, writing, puzzle solving, truth seeking, seeing through other people’s eyes, leading, working in a community—is finally about connecting.”

[William Cronon, “Only Connect: The Goals of a Liberal Education,” Liberal Education 85, no. 1 (1999): 12]

What makes these learning environments so effective?  They deepen students’ connection to the subject matter.  Because they provide students with both independence and support, they are often deeply motivating for students.  And they provide opportunities for students, faculty, and peer mentors to interact together.

Some examples of Learning Communities are:

APEX Scholars-  Academic Pathways of Excellence

Check out this video about our APEX Scholars Learning Community featured on PBS: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365596327/

Motown & The Global Community - College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of English

studentThe Motown & Global Creative Writing Learning Community is an exciting and engaging way for WSU undergraduate students and recent transfer students to work creatively with other WSU students from many different academic areas of study in an English Department creative writing class. No experience required. Students can participate in either the Fall or Winter terms (2016-17) in English 2510 (Detroit living authors on Detroit Music). No prerequisites required. This class allows students the opportunity and space to create, study and experiment with different genres of creative writing and art, and a rare opportunity to work with nationally and internationally acclaimed visiting writers. Both classes are taught by award winning writer and veteran WSU Professor M. L. Liebler. Visiting writers will include writers and artists like Elmore Leonard, Rodriguez, Wanda Coleman, Xi Xu, U. S. Poet Laureate and WSU graduate Phillip Levine, and many others. This LC is linked with ENG 2510 (CRN 15263) for the Fall 2016 semester. 

Comerica Scholars - Academic Success Center

The Comerica Scholars learning community is a program that fosters high academic achievement in students who have a history of academic success in high school. We accomplish this goal through individualized meetings with faculty and peer mentors, customized goal-setting, and a connection to campus resources. Students also gain support through our first year Transition Seminar as well as a career education course taught by the Academic Success Center (ASC) staff. This LC is linked with COM 1010.

View a full list of current Learning Communities.