In collaboration with Wright State’s degree-granting colleges, University College provides over 50 Learning Communities to more than 1,000 first-year students who share academic and social interests.
- Wright State is one of three “linked” learning community programs identified as exemplary and notable in Exploring the Evidence: Initiatives in the First College Year, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, University of South Carolina, 2008 (p. 77-81).
- Research on Wright State’s success with peer educators in learning communities and supplemental instruction, including a comparison of grades in gateway classes, was presented at the 30th Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience in February, 2011.
- Students who participate in Wright State Learning Communities have higher GPAs, persist and graduate at a higher rate compared to those students who do not participate in Learning Communities (Overview of WSU Learning Communities, 2014, with data from WSU Institutional Research).
What's a Learning Community?
A Learning Community is a small group of first-year students who take two or more classes together.
- Students in a Learning Community receive personal attention as part of a supportive college family.
- Each Learning Community consists of 20 to 25 students who share similar interests or majors.
How will you benefit from joining a Learning Community?
- Make friends faster: build a network of friends with classmates you see several times a week
- Learn about campus programs and services
- Adjust to college faster
- Earn a higher GPA than those students who do not participate in Learning Communities
- Lower your stress levels during the first semester in college
What classes do students in Learning Communities take together?
- Most Learning communities are seminar-based. Students in seminar-based Learning Communities take a First Year Seminar together with one or more general education course(s) (Sociology, Psychology, English, etc.) that is linked to that seminar.
- A few Learning Communities are program-based. Majors such as computer science, dance, engineering, music, and theatre have natural Learning Communities as part of their program and designate the courses students take together.
- A few Learning Communities are honors-based. Students who have accepted an Honors Program-funded scholarship earn credit for three Honors courses when they successfully complete all components of an Honors Learning Community.
What's a First Year Seminar?
A First Year Seminar is a college course that involves active learning. Generally the First Year Seminar course meets twice a week. Some examples of topics covered in First year Seminars include:
- Time management exercises
- Student life panel discussion
- Beer goggles exercises
- Academic integrity skits
- Service learning projects
- Out-of-class study groups
- Student-led reviews before exams
- Note-taking & how to study exercises
- How to understand college professors
- Small group discussion
- Field trips (Freedom Center, Art Institute)
- Wright State University athletic events
- Photo scavenger hunt
- Wheelchair basketball
- Diversity appreciation
- Low ropes course
Who leads the First-Year Seminars?
Faculty, Staff and Peer Mentors are part of an instructional team that help facilitate learning outcomes for the First-Year Seminar.
When should you enroll in a Learning Community?
Wright State's tradition is for all freshmen to enroll in a Learning Community their very first semester/term at Wright State. The Learning Community will make your transition to college smooth and enjoyable, so it will be most beneficial in your first term.
What Learning Communities are available for you to join?
Wright State offers fifty different kinds of Learning Communities, based on common academic, vocational,professional or even sports or recreational interest. Examples include:
- Business Majors
- College Success
- Engineered for Success - for Honors students
- Leadership & Service Learning
- Nursing Intensive
- Residential Living-Learning Community for students living on-campus
- Sports & Society
- Student clubs & Campus Involvement
- Undecided Students exploring careers & majors
How do you sign up for a Learning Community?
- When you register for Orientation for fall term, you will fill out a survey that will allow you to indicate your Learning Community first, second, and third preferences.
- Some sections fill up fast, so select your Learning Community preferences and attend Orientation early. An advisor will add additional classes to complete a full-time schedule when you come to campus for Orientation.
- If you are beginning classes in Winter, Spring, or Summer Quarters, contact University College at (937) 775-5750 for information on joining a Learning Community.
For more information about Learning Communities, contact the First-Year Programs office at (937) 775-5780.