About Learning Communities

About Learning Communities 

 

What is a Learning Community? 

A Learning Community (LC) is a group of students living on campus who share common interests and come together in order to explore their passion areas on a deeper level. Students live together in a residence hall, which allows them to have easy access to their peers and makes the larger Mason community feel smaller. 

Learning Communities provide a supportive, educational, and exciting experience for students and allow them to make friends who share their passions and interests. With a variety of LCs to choose from and teams of dedicated staff here to create a positive and supportive experience for students, LCs make it easier to find connection within the Mason community. 

LCs have fun and engaging activities that students will enjoy based on the interest of their specific community. In addition, students will have access to opportunities and elevated experiences. 

 

Benefits 

Benefits of LCs include: 

  • Connection with other students, both academically and socially 

  • Access to academic resources and support from tutors, campus resources, and faculty 

  • Interaction with like-minded individuals designed to engage their passion and help them learn outside of the classroom 

  • Mentoring from upper-level students in many of our LCs who have experience in the LC topic 

  • Events and programming tailored to the LC by content experts connected to that LC 

In the end, LCs bring connection to students. It doesn’t matter your passion or interest, you will find friends, mentors, and support here! 

Types of LCs

Academic

Academic LCs are directly tied to the colleges and schools at Mason, with every college and school being represented. Each individual Academic LC is a partnership between Housing & Residence Life and an academic unit to create a collaborative and holistic environment for the students engaging in that community. 

Each Academic LC has a dedicated team comprised of faculty members, professional staff, and student staff who are invested in the student experience and also share in the passion for the topic area. In addition, Academic LCs have a connected course around the topic area which allows students to not only interact outside of the classroom but in the classroom as well. 

Overview: 

  • Required connected course that engages academic study of the topic  

  • Formal partnership between HRL and an academic unit 

  • Faculty Fellow from the academic unit  

  • Off-Campus trips and topic-specific engagement 

  • Learning Community RAs serve as student staff 

  • Major/Minor requirements from the specific academic unit 

Identity

Identity LCs are about more than just having an interest in an area in that they are centered around a specific identity. Whether you identify with the particular identity, are an ally in the space, or are simply interested in learning more about identity development, you will find a supportive community here. Identity LCs have an optional connected course based on each individual student’s level of engagement and interest in exploring the identity through an academic lens.  

Similar to Academic LCs, each individual Interest LC is a partnership between Housing & Residence Life and another campus office to create a collaborative and holistic environment for the students engaging in that community. 

Overview: 

  • Optional connected course that engages academic study of the topic  

  • Formal partnership between HRL and an academic unit 

  • Faculty Fellow from the academic unit  

  • Off-Campus trips and topic-specific engagement 

  • Learning Community RAs as student staff 

  • Major/Minor requirements from the specific academic unit 

Interest 

Interest LCs are not tied to any academic units but are intended to focus on more interdisciplinary passion areas. While these LCs are solely run by Housing & Residence Life, there is a strong level of encouragement for various campus offices to engage in these communities as they see fit.  

While there are not required courses in the Interest LCs, there may be promotion of specific courses to the community that center on the topic of the LC.  

Overview: 

  • No required connected class but potential for promotion of various topic-specific classes  

  • HRL experience but encouraged partnership with other campus partners 

  • Faculty Fellow to be more broadly connected to the topic 

  • Topic-specific engagement and event promotion 

  • First-Year RAs as student staff 

 

What our students are saying 

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