Learning Communities

Learning Communities (LCs)

The first year experience at UW-Milwaukee is defined by connecting students both inside and outside of the classroom. Through the Access to Success initiative, interventions such as Peer Mentoring, Tutoring, First Year Seminars, Supplemental Instruction, and Undergraduate Research have led to greater student success and retention. It is the goal of the Learning Communities (LC) to develop a learning environment that combines effective instructional methods, co-curricular learning and events and High Impact Practices to lead to academic success and stronger connections to campus for first semester students. Once a course has been deemed a LC, it will be marketed to incoming first year students at New Student Orientation with the recommendation that all students enroll in at least one LC. Due to the rich diversity of the UWM students, it is the goal to offer a variety of LC options.

If you have any questions about Learning Communities, please contact Kay Eilers, Director of Mentoring and First-Year Student Success at kceilers@uwm.edu or 414-229-7194.

Definition of a Learning Community

  • Enroll only first-time, first-year and/or transfer students.
  • Employ high impact practices, including a team approach with mentors, instructors and possibly advisors connecting with the course and student community.
  • Establish and assess common curricular and co-curricular learning outcomes.
  • Create an academic environment that fosters a successful transition into college life.

Types of Learning Communities:

First-Year Seminars – They are smaller in size and broader in scope and intended to enhance student skills (inquiry and analysis, critical and creative thinking, oral and written communication) and engage you in reflection about the process of learning at the college level. More information can be found at http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/freshmanseminars/.

Intro to Profession – A course all students in a specific major or school/college are required to take their first semester. It may introduce student to the discipline as well as the school/college expectations.

First Year Impact Section – A first year only section or lab that is part of a larger lecture class. A FYIS may also be a course that is denoted as freshmen only in the schedule of classes.

Paired Courses – Two different courses with the same students and shared content.

Transition Courses – Transition courses help students transition to college life by learning more about study skills, career exploration, financial literacy, information literacy, and pathways to success.

Living Learning Communities – Students in Living Learning Communities take one or more courses together and live in a residence hall together. A separate process occurs for LLCs and you should indicate your LLC preference on your housing contract. Visit the LLC site for more information.

Learning Community Documents:

Learning Community Syllabus Examples

Learning Community Course Agreement

Living Learning Communities (LLC)

What is an LLC?

An LLC is a group of students with a common interest that live on the same floor and take at least one class together. They are assigned a Resident Assistant and a mentor typically with the same major or interest. LLCs are available in Cambridge Commons, RiverView and Sandburg Halls. More information about the Residence Halls is available at www.UniversityHousing.uwm.edu.

When do LLCs occur?

LLC activities and classes occur throughout your first year at UWM. You have access to field trips, events, lectures and networking opportunities with faculty in addition to a smaller class size and more individual attention.

Why should I join an LLC?

  • Meet students with similar interests to study, eat and hang out
  • Get involved on campus and gain leadership experience
  • Meet a diverse group of students
  • Challenge yourself to learn more
  • Get to know faculty and staff
  • Apply what you’re learning in and outside of the classroom
  • Join study groups, receive additional tutoring and supplemental instruction
  • Increase service learning and volunteer opportunities
  • Learn more about topics of interest
Want to learn more about LLCs? Check out www.LLC.uwm.edu or email Kay Eilers at kceilers@uwm.edu.