Relationship with Academic Life at UConn

The core curriculum (CC) of Learning Community courses exists to help serve as the foundation upon which every first and second year student can build their academic successes. The CC aids students in developing the following:  academic skills, relationships with faculty staff and peer mentors, and a spirit of inquiry.  As students have taken the skills and connections formed within the Learning Community Program and applied them to the broader UConn community they have been meet with noteworthy achievements ranging from, becoming a University Scholar, a McNair Scholar, a Leadership Legacy participant to being a recipient of the SURF Award, the SHARE Award, the IDEA Grant as well as prestigious university and national scholarships.

Academic Skills: Students will develop critical & creative thinking, as well as information, technology, and resource literacy. Students will learn to express themselves effectively through writing, and speaking. 

Relationship with Faculty, Staff, and Peer Mentors: Students will develop professional academic relationships with faculty, staff members, and peer mentors within the first year, and continue to develop positive academic relationships throughout their time at UConn.

Spirit of Inquiry: Students will explore their academic passions and areas of curiosity. Students will set and reach academic goals, demonstrating knowledge, including awareness of how knowledge is most efficiently acquired and applied. Students will demonstrate academic knowledge and skills both within and beyond their academic course work.

Learning Community core programming is comprised of two parts:

  1. UNIV Course Suite: Learning Community Seminars, Learning Community Service-Learning, and the Advanced Learning Community Seminar
  2. Possible Additional Courses: English 1010 or English 1011, other general education classes

UNIV Course Suite:

Learning Community Seminars
A component of the First Year Experience (FYE) program, this course is intended to acquaint students with the university and expand their learning experiences in order for them to adjust to the new expectations they will face. Course involves assignments that will provide opportunities for students to enhance their academic and interpersonal skills. Course Structure:
One credit course that will meet once a week. Instruction will consist of lectures, discussions, and interactive workshops. Open to freshman and sophomore students only.

Key Course Learning Outcomes:
LO1: Students will recognize the diversity of our world and practice basic skills needed to actively and ethically contribute to a globalized society.

LO2: Students will recognize their strengths and weaknesses and reflect on their personal growth as UConn students.
LO3: Students will recognize and engage with social and academic support services and enrichment opportunities offered at UConn.
LO4: Students will recognize and practice basic academic and professional skills necessary for undergraduate success at UConn.
LO5: Students will recognize the principles of critical and creative thinking, and apply them to all three realms of their first-year experience: academic, personal, and global.

Learning Community Service -Learning
Activities, discussions, and critical reflections related to service-learning, community engagement, and/or experiential learning activities specific to the theme of a learning community.Course Structure:
Students engage in a required number of service learning activities (varies by community: 20-32 hours per semester) and reflect on their work through assignments and community discussions in this one credit class. Students taking this course will be assigned a final grade of S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory). This course may be repeated for a total of 2 semesters.

Key Course Learning Goals:
The goals of this course are to engage students in activities outside of the classroom that provide a rich context for what they are learning within their Learning Community as well as across their undergraduate curriculum. Students will examine their personal values and motivations and learn what it means to engage effectively and appropriately as a member of a global community with complex societal problems.

Key Course Learning Outcomes:
LO1: Students will recognize and apply the principles of service-learning.

LO2: Students will recognize and apply critical and creative thinking.
LO3: Students will recognize and apply effective communication with diverse groups.
LO4: Students will reflect on the results of their own actions and learning experiences.

Advanced Learning Community Seminar
A variable topics course designed to help students engage with the advanced academic and enrichment opportunities unique to their learning community. Course Structure:

The instructional pattern for this one credit course is blended. It may include a series of lectures, discussion sections, discussion boards, collaborative research, and meetings, along with active projects in which the students participate. This course is only with instructors consent and is only open to sophomores, juniors, or seniors in learning communities. With a change in content, this course may be repeated twice for credit.

Key Course Learning Objectives:

LO1: Students will work with their Faculty Director in their field of intellectual interest.
LO2: Students will engage actively in the academic life of the university, in or out of the classroom.
LO3: Students will conduct directed research and/or applied work relevant to the academic theme of the learning community.

Required Curricular Elements:

Individual instructors will determine specific learning outcomes as well as the best content and assessments for their intellectual projects in the contexts of their learning communities.

Possible Additional Courses:

ENGL (1010) Seminar in Academic Writing, (1011) Seminar in Writing through Literacy
Instruction in academic writing through interdisciplinary reading or literacy reading. Assignments emphasize interpretation, argumentation, and reflection. Revision of formal assignments and instruction on grammar, mechanics and style. The Davis Educational Foundation awarded a $203,000 grant to the Office of First Year Programs & Learning Communities to enhance the integration of English Courses into Learning Communities. Since receiving the grant in the Fall of 2010 some communities have offered a Learning Community themed ENGL 1010/ 1011 course for first-year students to enroll in together. Course Structure:
Four credit course. Instruction will consist of lectures, discussions, and interactive workshops. Learning Community themed english sections are only open to freshman.

ENGL 1010/1011 is a required course for all UConn students.  Students who receive credit for ENGL 1010/1011 through the Early College Experience program or Advanced Placement credit are not required to repeat the course through their Learning Community (LC). Learning Community students can take a non-LC English if space is not available in a LC themed section.

General Education Classes
Several Learning Communities offer a general education class relevant to the theme of the community, allowing students to complete part of their general education requirements as a cohort.