Learning communities contribute to long-term student learning and growth as well as higher levels of student persistence and graduation.
Learning communities (LCs) as one of the AAC&U-identified "high impact practices" are opportunities for students to actively participate in their education. Learning communities connect students with others of similar interests or backgrounds, enrich the learning process and promote greater student success.
Creating a rich learning environment, learning communities emphasize relationships and community building among students, faculty and staff. LCs usually feature small group interaction, common intellectual experiences, and mentorship from peers and/or faculty. Students gain insight into the context for course material, develop a social network and support, are exposed to new experiences and develop their critical thinking skills.
Some LCs investigate a specific theme or issue with connected courses and experiences. Others may include a residential experience or a mix of co-curricular encounters. There is no single model for LCs because each provides a specific student experience. In any of these intentional formats, a cohort of students collaborates and contributes in building their academic and social network on campus.