News

February 21, 2012

Education Will Continue Outside Classrooms in Living Learning Communities

Students will be occupying some new real estate this fall when the College launches its Living Learning Communities (LLCs) in College-owned houses on Monroe Street. The LLCs will be a microcosm of the residential college, where faculty sponsor and support student learning in campus housing built around a specific academic concept.

Students will be able to chose from a wide variety of Living Learning Communities including the International Students Association group hosted by John McKnight, left, dean of intercultural development, and the Interfaith Community House hosted by John Colatch, director of religious life, and Brett Hendrickson, assistant professor of religious studies.

Students will be able to chose from a wide variety of Living Learning Communities including the International Students Association group hosted by John McKnight, left, dean of intercultural development, and the Interfaith Community House hosted by John Colatch, director of religious life, center, and Brett Hendrickson, assistant professor of religious studies.

What separates the LLCs from Lafayette’s other campus living experiences is that the LLCs will be “campus classrooms,” with the members of each community planning a syllabus with the help of its faculty sponsor and sharing its activities with the whole campus community. Each LLC will have a core programming budget of $1,000 for the year with additional funds available for large-scale events that benefit the campus.

The size of each LLC can be as small or large as demand and faculty interest indicates (from three to 12), and the structure can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each curriculum. In addition, the faculty sponsors will have not only a departmental presence on campus but a residential one as well.

Students and faculty alike met the idea of Living Learning Communities with enthusiasm, says Celestino Limas, vice president for campus life and senior diversity officer. Academic departments chose to participate in the 21 different proposed communities: Anthropology & Sociology, Biology, Chinese, Classical Civilizations, Community-Based Learning & Research, Computer Science, Creative Writing, Economics and Society, Foodie, French, German, Interfaith Community House/Religious Studies, International Students Association, Kaleidoscope, Math, Monroe@ (information technology), QuEST, Spanish, Theater, Wall Street, and Women’s and Gender Studies/Association for Lafayette Feminists.

“What’s also been fantastic about the project is the support by faculty as none of the LLCs are prescribed, but instead are a result of faculty choosing to shepherd the idea,” says Limas.

With the guidance of their faculty sponsors, students will shoulder most of the responsibility for what the LLC does. Residents will plan, present, and assess various programs related to the LLC’s academic discipline that are open to other students and community members. A basic syllabus will designate the LLC’s mission, learning outcomes, student and faculty obligations, and a monthly schedule of events/activities.

Applicants must meet the same GPA and student conduct eligibility requirements as in the senior-only priority off-campus process, and students from any major can apply for any LLC that interests them. For foreign language-themed LLCs, students will need to be functionally proficient in everyday speech at a minimum, as those LLCs are meant to be an immersion experience where students communicate exclusively in a language other than English.

For an LLC to launch, it must have at least three qualified applicants. Applications are due March 1 with decisions expected by the end of the month. The faculty sponsors will work with the Office of Residence Life to select students for the pilot program.

Learn more and download an application

Also coming in 2012-13 is the Grossman House for Global Perspectives, where faculty will mentor students as they build a syllabus of events, discussions, and other opportunities dealing with globalization from an interdisciplinary approach.

In addition, departmental and specialty houses are tied to an academic department, student organization, or religious program, including:

These are complemented by special-interest housing, student-directed residential communities centered on academic and/or co-curricular interests:

  • America Through the Decades
  • Heritage of Latin America
  • Creating Harmony and Necessary Cultural Equality
  • Japanese Interest Floor
  • Mind, Body, Spirit
  • Music Appreciation Floor
  • Reeder Street Fellows
  • Treehouse — The Real Environmental Experience

posted in Academic News, Initiatives, Make Big Use of Big Resources, News and Features, Students, Top News

0 Comments

Leave a Comment