Students who are interested in building friendships and forming study groups quickly, creating a convenient class schedule, making connections between content in different courses, working closely with faculty, developing teamwork and leadership skills, and increasing their opportunities for academic success, should enroll a learning community.
Learning communities are one of the high impact practices at UTEP. In a learning community, students register for UNIV 1301 and one or more linked core courses and attend those classes together as a small common cohort of students. Learning communities combine the unique advantages of UNIV 1301 with the added benefits of building social and academic networks with their peers in two or more classes. The faculty in the learning communities work to create integrated assignments, activities, and experiences that explicitly link the courses and may even incorporate co-curricular experiences that relate to a joint theme.
Recent themes include:
- The American Dream
- Thinking Historically, Writing Academically
- Social Justice and Activism
Students who participate in Learning Communities will
- form academic and social communities with their peers
- make interdisciplinary connections by applying the ideas, strategies, skills learned in each course to the other course, reflecting on these ideas to lead to new insights
- strengthen their academic performance by engaging in critical thinking and problem-solving
- form academic networks with instructors, through conferences, review sessions and other interactions with their faculty team
Through this close interaction with faculty, staff and peers, learning community students develop a sense of belonging to the UTEP community and begin recognizing their UTEP Edge. As one former learning community student wrote: “The learning community helps make it possible to succeed in not only one class but two while setting you up for success throughout your college career.”