Who should enroll in a learning community?
Really, everybody should be in one. Learning communities are the future of college education. They work particularly well for those students who have placed into one or more basic skills classes, but they have also proven to be very effective in helping students learn more and earn better grades in transfer level courses.
What are the main benefits of enrolling in a learning community?
Students in learning communities end up forming stronger connections to their classmates and instructors than students in traditional classes. They also generally earn better grades, drop less classes, finish college more quickly and even enjoy their education more. All of these claims are backed up by twenty years of studies focusing on the benefits of this type of instruction.
How does it work?
Basically, your learning community will consist of two (sometimes more) linked classes. All of the students in one class will also be enrolled in the other class. To facilitate this, learning community classes are often scheduled on the same days and back-to-back, many times in the same room. Also, two instructors plan assignments that will combine elements of both classes.
Are there any special requirements to joining a learning community?
No. As long as you meet the course prerequisites (if any are required) you can join whatever learning community you like.
How do I enroll in a learning community?
Simply register for the classes, as long as they’re open. Keep in mind that if you're registering for one learning community class, you must also be in its linked class. The links are usually pre-programmed into the Citrus computer system, so in most cases registering for one class will automatically put you into its partner course.
How can I tell which courses are learning community courses?
In the online class schedule, learning community classes are designated.
Does the learning community count as just one class?
No, each class still provides you with the usual amount of units. For example, if you were to join a learning community that combined English 101 and Sociology 201, each of those classes is worth three units, so the learning community would be taking up six units total on your schedule.
If I join a learning community, can I be in just one of the classes and not the other?
No. For the program to be fully effective, all enrolled students must be in both of the linked classes.
What if I join a learning community but then want to drop one of the classes?
You would automatically be dropped from the other class as well.
Can I be in more than one learning community at a time?
Sure, as long as your schedule allows it.
Will I receive the same grade for both classes?
That depends on the individual instructors and the way they've structured their learning community. Some instructors prefer to keep their grades separate; others design assignments specifically to count for both courses at the same time. Your learning community’s grading policy should be made clear on the course syllabus.
If I join a learning community in the fall, what happens in the spring when I want to take the next level of each course?
In most cases, that learning community would "roll over" into the spring. In other words, the same two instructors will continue the learning community, moving to the next level for each class. For example, if you enrolled in an English 099/Counseling 160 learning community in the fall, and if you passed both courses, you could continue with that learning community in the spring, when the courses advance to English 101/Counseling 145. The same instructors will be continuing where they left off in the fall.
What if I'm in the fall learning community but can't continue into the spring?
That's okay. There are no requirements to continue – but many students do, since they've grown familiar with their instructors and fellow students in the fall learning community.
How long has this program been going on at Citrus?
Citrus' Learning Community program started in 2006 with a single paired course. Since then, the program has expanded its number of offerings each semester.
What do the students who have been involved in Citrus' Learning Community Program think?
See for yourself. The results of last year's Learning Community Student Survey are posted on the College Success website.
What if I have more questions?
The Citrus Learning Community Faculty Coordinator is Carsten Dau. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (626) 852 8091.