Learning Communities aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

Despite the hype prior to entering college, learning communities don’t deliever

In the spring before freshman year, all incoming freshmen have to complete several modules relating to housing and classes. 

One of the things you’re told to preference is your Learning Community. According to the CNU website, a Learning Community is “a group of 15–30 students who take between two and four classes together and build strong relationships. 

Students in most LCs not only take classes together, but also live near each other.” Sounds great, right? And it would be great… if Learning Communities were real. 

As an incoming freshman, I was excited by the idea of living near people who would be taking many of the same classes as me. 

I thought I would be on a hall with people whose majors and interests were similar to mine, so you can imagine my disappointment upon discovering the reality. 

Instead of 15-30 students taking two to four classes together, my “Learning Community” seems to consist of about 6 of my hallmates who are in a 90-person lecture class with me. 

The class is so big, I wasn’t even aware one of my hallmates was in it until almost a month into the school year. 

My suitemate (who is supposedly in the same Learning Community as me) is only in one class with me that none of our other hallmates are in. The only other class I have with someone from my hall is a leadership course with my roommate, who is technically in a different Learning Community.

At first, I was puzzled. Every information brochure I’d read, every tour I’d been on, every orientation session I’d sat in had all sung the praises of the Learning Community. 

I thought maybe I’d somehow misunderstood what a Learning Community was supposed to be. However, the more I spoke to other students, to upperclassmen and even to RAs, I learned that I was not confused, but that Learning Communities were simply not real.

What is baffling is the fact that the school keeps pretending that Learning Communities exist. It seems to be a well-accepted fact here that Learning Communities are non existent. 

No student I’ve spoken to, freshman or otherwise, has ever once mentioned a Learning Community. Even ResLife appears to be understanding this fact: a question on the Residential Feedback Survey was, “Are you aware that you are a part of a Learning Community?” 

I don’t think anyone answered yes. So my question is, why is CNU still insisting that Learning Communities are a part of student life? Is it to entice unwitting prospective students into choosing CNU? To ease the minds of parents, worried about their child’s success in college? 

Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: Learning Communities are simply not real, and it’s time to stop pretending they are. 

CNU needs to formally get rid of Learning Communities, as they aren’t helping anyone now. Learning Communities serve no purpose for the school currently because they don’t exist. 

The façade that CNU has created of an idyllic community of freshman living and taking classes together has begun to crumble away, and it’s time to tear it down altogether.

~Peri Costic, Staff Writer~

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