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Iowa State University

Learning Communities

Why Join a Learning Community?

  • Make the big campus smaller -- helps you make a fast, smooth, and easy transition to Iowa State
  • Get to know people and make friends in your major or area of interest right away
  • Develop a supportive network with other students, peer mentors, and professors
  • Connect your learning in multiple classes
  • Learn about the possibilities in your major


Receive the benefits of working with a peer mentor

Many of the learning communities have peer mentors (a.k.a. upper-division students in that major) who work with members of the learning community. Peer mentors often coordinate out-of-class activities, ranging from study groups to social events. They also provide a voice of experience and can consult with individual students too.

"Having a peer mentor was extremely helpful. She was always available to answer major-related questions, questions about Iowa State, and just listen and be a friend." -- Lisa

"Having a peer mentor kept us on track and made us aware of all resources available to us." -- Emily

What we've learned about ISU LCs

We've found that students who participate in LCs are more likely (than non-participants) to remain at Iowa State and they are more satisfied with many aspects of their academic experience, including their overall experience at ISU.

Also, LC students have reported greater satisfaction with their opportunities to interact closely with faculty, participate in study groups, apply their learning to real world problems, and work with other students.

What students say about LCs

"I think it really helps academically. I have people I can study with, people with the same study habits who are focused and want to get good grades in class."
"It really helps when you're starting out. You don't know anybody on campus or in your major. You form friendships with different people. I've stuck pretty close with a bunch of the girls in same major and we get together outside of class. One of them, I plan to live with next year."
-- Laura (quote taken from Inside Iowa State article)

"For the WISE Learning Community, they hire grad students to tutor the main courses once a week, like physics, chemistry, math, and that really helped me a lot." "The peer mentor was really good. She helped me plan the next semester of classes. She also does one-on-one meetings to ask if she can help with anything. " -- Pylin (quote taken form Inside Iowa State article)