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About Learning Communities

inspiring authentic learning through community

About University of Saskatchewan Learning Communitieslearning communities legend

At the University of Saskatchewan, a Learning Community (LC) is a small group of students who share common courses, interests, and/or residence. LC students gather in a weekly LC Hour, guided by two student Peer Mentors, and together explore the dynamic potential of their local and global communities.

Weekly LC Hours aim to (a) engage students in academically enriching discussions and self-directed learning, (b) facilitate community engagement within, between and beyond their Learning Community, and (c) enhance academic and professional skills. Each LC develops a unique character of its own and advances a deeper understanding of people, issues, and ideas.

 


Values

  • Mentorship: the mutual exchange of maximum understanding
  • Collaboration: reciprocal learning aimed at reaching consensus or achieving a common goal
  • Leadership: inspiring the balance between freedom and responsibility
  • Multidisciplinarity: applying one's discipline in more than one direction & focusing on issues and problems through the lenses of 3-4 different perspectives
  • Humility: to recognize the limits of our knowledge, to continue to ask questions, and to be open to contrary evidence
  • Self-Directed Learning: the motivation and freedom to seek new knowledge that is both personally meaningful, and develops one's sense of global citizenship
  • Critical Thinking: understanding a problem or issue from multiple perspectives, and bearing in mind that knowledge is never gained through any single perspective alone
  • The Social Good: a commitment to a future where short term, local behavior and long term, global values converge
  • Reflective Practice:  definition TBD by the 2013 Peer Mentors


Goals

1. To increase a sense of connectedness; among first year students,

  • between students and peer mentors
  • between students and professors
  • between students and Alumni
  • between students and their college/university communities
  • between students and their civic community
  • between disparate courses students take
  • between distinct disciplinary perspectives students consider.

2. To increase a sense of directedness; among first-year students toward,

  • program and career goals
  • self-directed, democratic learning


About LC Hours

Whether you are in a first-year learning community, an interest-based learning community, or a meta-learning community, you will meet weekly with your Learning Community (LC) to:

  • Learn as a group: Have you ever had the answer on the tip of your tongue but just can’t seem to communicate it? Group learning refines your ability to communicate; increases creativity, innovation, and collaboration; and makes studying for exams much more effective.
  • Build community: Learning Communities evolve organically – from the individual to the whole. This is your chance to establish new norms, shape the environment in which you live, and leave your LC Legacy.
  • Explore your interests: Have you ever had a conversation with someone whose life’s work you admire? Have you ever been surprised by something that piques your interest? Learning Communities encourage you to think about your interests in a new light.
  • Enrich your academic experience: Increase your exposure to new perspectives and challenge yourself to make connections between disparate ideas. LC students have the opportunity to examine complex problems and issues from multiple points of view, thereby sharpening their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

 

Opportunities for all

  • experience the mutual benefit of mentorship
  • discover a new sense of community
  • share your interests, passions, and/or research with a diverse group of learners and the wider community
  • engage in meaningful interactions and collaborations with students, faculty, alumni, staff, and the wider community
  • add a unique line to your resume or CV

for more information, contact:

Joel Fonstad
Coordinator, Academic Transition and First-Year Enrichment Programs
t: 306.966.8057 | e: lc@usask.ca