All multicultural students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are eligible.
The FOCUS Learning Community is a multicultural peer mentorship program that is designed to support incoming students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The program provides academic, social, and professional connections to aid in the successful transition to college. Students will participate in enriching activities that will help them develop a strong sense of community.
Benefits of FOCUS
Receive one-on-one guidance from a peer mentor
Successfully navigate your first-year experience
Increased opportunity for academic success
Attend fun monthly social events to build community and strong connections
Develop a strong network of peers to support you through your academic journey
No residential options are affiliated with the program.
Contact Audrey Kennis, firstname.lastname@example.org, to learn more about the program and how to get involved.
"The best part of being in a learning community is the mentor/mentee connection that you can make and getting to know other students in the same boat as you." - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student
New transfer students in Psychology are eligible to join.
This semester-long learning community assists students in their transition to Iowa State and the Psychology department through opportunities to connect with peers, faculty, and resources on campus during their first semester. Students in the Psychology Transfer Learning Community enroll in the common course Psych 112, Section C, which is designed specifically for students transferring from other colleges or universities to Iowa State University (other new students will take either Psych 111 or other sections of Psych 112 for new freshmen). Completing this course and its related activities allows students to make meaningful connections with other psychology students, better understand departmental and college requirements, learn about opportunities and careers related to Psychology, and familiarize themselves with campus resources and services.
Students will also work with upper-level Psychology majors who will serve as peer mentors. The peer mentors will link students to resources within the department and across the Iowa State campus, provide academic support, and facilitate social activities within the learning community.
Students are able to join the Psychology Transfer Learning Community at the time they sign up for classes by adding Psych 112, Section C to their schedule. Contact the Psychology Advising Office for help to add the class.
All new students who identify as men of color are eligible to join.
The purpose of the Men of Color Leadership Development Course is to assist new students (who identify as men of color) in their transition to Iowa State University both academically and personally.
This spring semester course aims to foster a sense of belonging, promote engagement and encourage self- responsibility. The course will expose students to campus resources, allow them to attend various events on campus and interact with faculty/staff at ISU and community members. The course will also provide space for discussions related to experiences of men of color on college campuses and in society, generally and Iowa State University, specifically.
Students that participate in the Men of Color Collective will be contacted to verify interest in participating in the learning community.
All students in any major are eligible to join Leadership ISU.
Leadership ISU is a leadership focused Learning Community designed to help students develop capacity for practicing leadership on campus and impacting organizational and community-based change in our world. This community is partnered with Campus Leadership Development (LD ST 270), a course designed for students who want to get involved on campus, work with community partners, and develop a professional network to advance their career trajectories. The Student Activities Center is a critical partner providing key connections for students in this learning community to lead the amazing possibilities for students at Iowa State. This learning community provides highly interactive experiences that create opportunities for students to be leaders on campus, shape change in their communities, and establish a professional network leading to success at Iowa State and after graduation.
Campus Leadership Development (LD ST 270), is divided into two parts: 1) dynamic lectures, and 2) small group experiences within the community. Small groups are facilitated by Peer Mentors, corporate executives, and community partners to ensure a broad leadership experience. This course provides students with learning opportunities that are grounded in working with community organizations (e.g. The United Way, Boys and Girls Club, Ames Community School District, etc.) to create social change. Students who successfully complete the course will demonstrate capacity for practicing leadership and leave with a professional network directly linked to their career success. Create a foundation for an awesome Iowa State experience by focusing on leadership and joining the Leadership ISU learning community!
As a result of successfully completing this course, students will be able to demonstrate the following linked to the critical competencies and capacities for leadership effectiveness:
Knowledge and application of the leadership theory and practice for social change
Agency for service-learning and community development
Ability to articulate knowledge and behaviors for advancing personal, team, and societal values
Effective communication practices aimed at organizational and community advancement
Ability to engage in and lead Iowa State University and community-based initiatives and organizations
Ability to create professional networks for the advancement of career trajectories
Students that register for the LD ST 270 sections 1-3 will be participating in the learning community.
”Students who join learning communities have a special opportunity to connect with classmates---form study groups, serve as sounding boards for one another, and even develop lasting friendships throughout their four years at ISU. Seeing the same familiar faces in two classes every week creates a comfort level many college first-years don't experience, and finding comfort in the classroom setting inevitably leads to smoother learning and more permanent retention of vital communication skills that translate to the workplace."
Majors eligible to join
Students of any major (including Open Option) who register for English 214 and English 250.
Students will learn about the background, practical application of, techniques of, and demand for technical writing and web design/usability in the U.S. and worldwide. Through written, oral, visual, and electronic communication skills, they will complete summaries and rhetorical analyses related to topics in technical communication. They will also delve into visual website design and rhetoric and learn to analyze and evaluate visuals both in terms of their messages and in their creation as TComm deliverables. Finally, they will master argumentation, acting as mediators in debates centered around technology, its use/misuse in the workplace, and its presentation in writing and multimedia. Because all students enrolled in this section of English 250 will also be taking the same section of English 214, this will encourage a sense of community and create shared learning opportunities. Within this single learning community, students can satisfy an Arts and Humanities requirement, an ISUComm Foundations requirement, and a US Diversity requirement! Students will also gain a greater understanding of technical communications as a field, potentially adding it as a major, second major, or minor. Tech Comm was recently rated the 14th best job in the U.S. by Career Cast and other sources, meaning that majors in English and related fields are becoming more and more lucrative as the demand for strong communicators rises!
Students will have the opportunity to register for this learning community during spring registration and June Orientation.
Any first-year majors who’ve met the qualifications for entry into English 250.
Writing Gender is a learning community open to students of any major (including Open Option) that links a section of WS 201 with a section of English 250. Students will learn about the contemporary status of women and gender diversity from social, economic, historical, political and literary perspectives. Through writing, oral and visual communication skills, they will analyze the intersection of gender, race, class, nationality and sexuality in the US and globally. Because all students enrolled in the section of English 250 will also be taking the same section of WS 201, this will foster an additional sense of community and collaborative learning experiences. Within this one learning community, students can satisfy an Arts and Humanities requirement, an ISU Comm requirement and a US Diversity requirement. Students will also gain more insight into the nature of a major or second major in WS.
Sign up will take place during Orientation. Please ask your adviser for details.
Open Option students - First year and transfer students
Do you want to:
Find new friends on campus in a small classroom setting (40 students or less) while exploring majors and careers in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics?
Make connections with previous Open Option students who are now sophomores, juniors, and seniors?
Participate in small team activities that involve meeting with students and professionals who are already pursuing majors and careers that interest you?
We can achieve all of these things and more by meeting for just two hours per week throughout the fall semester.
During Orientation, you will have the opportunity to sign up for the section that best suits you, and don't worry - if your interest change as the semester progresses, you can get help switching to the section that best suits you!
Here are the options:
Save Planet Earth. An environmentally-themed learning team where students connect via a hands-on Monarch butterfly conservation service-learning project.
Helping People: The Health Care Career Spectrum. Students will learn about a multitude of healthcare-related career options and have the opportunity to take a tour of a cadaver lab and meet with practicing professionals including a physician and a pharmacist.
Calculators, Keyboards, and Information Systems. This section explores career paths that involve mathematics, statistics, computer science, and software engineering. Activities include meeting with a forensic scientist and representatives from local companies such as Siemens and Workiva to explore internship and career opportunities.
Striding Through STEM. This section is a great way to find study buddies for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses, develop good study habits, and meet with upperclass students who have successfully passed STEM courses. This section also provides the opportunity to explore potential career paths that can combine passions and bridge interests through interactions with upperclass students, faculty, and leaders outside of academia.
Course: LAS 103D (1 cr.)
Students will have an opportunity to register for this learning community during June Orientation. See your adviser for more information.
Freshmen and transfer students in Environmental Science
Science of the Environment and Sustainable Systems (SoESS) Learning Community is a two-semester, academically-linked residential learning team oriented toward meeting the scholastic and social needs of entering and continuing Environmental Science freshmen and sophomore students. The SoESS learning community aims to provide an engaging environment designed to foster student-to-peer, and student-to-community interactions by involving students in well-designed academic, community volunteer, and social activities pertinent to the fields of environmental science and environmental sustainability.
Incoming students majoring in Physics and Astronomy.
Studying physics is both exciting and intellectually challenging. The Physics and Astronomy Department is at the forefront of figuring out how the universe works, with faculty and students engaged in revealing the core mechanisms of biological systems, to the understanding the most explosive events in the life and death of stars. Our goals for physics undergraduates is that they develop a firm understanding of physics through their course-work, student research, field trips, and meeting with visiting scientists. To ensure students are welcomed into the department’s intellectual life, we have created a Physics + Astronomy Learning Community. The Learning Community is a place where beginning students can discuss physics, both current research topics as well as their coursework, interact socially with faculty, partner with peer mentors who can lend advice, and form strong bonds of friendship with like-minded physics students on field trips to regional national labs. The Learning Community is centered around Phys 199 “An Introduction to Physics” and members of the LC will be in the same section of their calculus course so they can build strong connections between their mathematical skills and physics.
"Esprit de Corps" definition: devotion to one's society, fraternity, team-spirit, fellow-feeling. This special undergraduate program will give you the opportunity to explore a music major in a uniquely supportive environment with mentoring from successful upper classmen, meetings with professors outside of class, and a comprehensive orientation program. You will have access to free tickets to attend professional concerts at Stephens Auditorium and other regional theatres and will find a close-knit support group to help you with such courses as music theory, music history, ear-training and sight-singing.
Eligible students should notify the Music Office (294-3831) or the Learning Community Coordinator.