What is a Learning Community?

At Iowa State University, learning communities are small groups of students who generally take one, two, or three courses together and may live in the same residence hall. Other characteristics are listed below. Since learning communities often have several of these characteristics, be sure to explore all the possibilities to find the right choice for you.

  • Contact with students who have similar academic goals
  • Common courses
  • Common place of residence
  • Career exploration
  • Introduction to university resources
  • Peer mentoring
  • Faculty mentoring

What types of Learning Communities are offered?

There is a wide variety of learning communities to choose from... some are focused on a specific major while others include people from many different majors... some have their members live together (or near each other) in a residence hall and others do not. Learning communities appeal to a wide variety of students and their interests!

What types of activities do Learning Communities do?

  • Study groups -- informal or formal gatherings with your classmates
  • Career exploration -- field trips, guest speakers, etc.
  • Hands-on experience and service-learning -- applying classroom learning to real world situations
  • Social activities -- attend sporting events, plays, or speakers on campus; have dinners with each other and professors; just hang out with each other
  • Community service projects -- get involved and help the community

How much time does it take?

Being in a learning community should not take any more time than you would expect to spend as a successful student at ISU. It can help you manage your schedule and time by providing you built-in opportunities for study groups and building connections with your classmates.