Psychology Freshmen

The learning community gives new students a way to meet peers and professors in psychology and to have a support system to help through this new chapter in life! Overall, the learning community was an amazing experience and it’s something I recommend to every new psychology student! -Sydney, 2015-2016 community member, 2018-2019 peer mentor



Majors Eligible to Join

First-year majors in psychology.

Program Description

The Psychology Freshmen Learning Community is designed to assist first-year Psychology students in making a successful transition to college. Instead of taking the required orientation course, Psych 111, learning community students will take Psych 112, Psychology Learning Community Seminar. Psych 112 is a two-semester, one-credit seminar led by a faculty member.

The goals are to provide an environment where students can connect with each other and with faculty, learn strategies that foster personal development, and develop critical thinking skills as they explore important psychological topics. Psych 112 includes orientation sessions that cover academic program planning, campus resources, and research conducted by current ISU faculty members, in which students can participate, beginning their sophomore year. The seminar also includes a variety of topics relevant to psychology. Depending on the instructor, the esminar themes may include “Introduction to Careers in Psychology”; “The Psychology of Happiness and Well-being”; "A Bright Future for Every Child: Overcoming the Effects of Poverty on Children"; or "Study and Communication Skills for Pscyhology." The seminar includes readings, discussions, class activities, and self-discovery exercises. In the spring semester, students engage in active learning in the community with several hours of volunteer work.

Students will work with upper-level Psychology majors who will serve as peer mentors. The peer mentors will link students to resources within the department and across the ISU campus, provide academic support, and facilitate social activities within the learning community. Students will enroll together in classes that fulfill degree requirements. 

Students take Psych 112 together in the fall and spring. In addition, in the fall, learning community students take several other courses together, including Introductory Psychology (Psych 101, if needed) and the Introductory Psychology Lab (Psych 101L), as well as English Critical Thinking and Communication (Engl 150; if needed). In the spring, students take Introduction to College-level Research (Lib 160); Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition (Engl 250); and Moral Theory and Practice (Phil 230) together. All of these courses are required for graduation. Special small enrollment learning community sections of Engl 250 and Phil 230 provide academic background for in-depth discussion of issues related to the material covered in the Psych 112 seminar.

Living Options

You will have the opportunity to live together on the same floor in a residence hall, which makes it easy to organize study groups, social activities, and informal get-togethers.  Half or more of learning community members chose the residential learning community option.  You may also live elsewhere, but still participate in all other components of the learning community.

Signing up

To sign up for a residential learning community, simply select your learning community preference when filling out your Department of Residence contract in the Housing portal. You can go in and update or change your learning community preference information at any time up until the deadline without losing your “priority date.”

You will have the opportunity to register for the learning community seminar (Psych 112) and join the learning community during orientation. For questions about eligibility and registration, contact Undergraduate Psychology Advising at


Photo of Carolyn Cutrona

Dr. Carolyn Cutrona

Photo of Karen Scheel

Dr. Karen Scheel

Carrie Richie