Political Science, English, History, Journalism, Open Option, Psychology, Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Economics.
The PLUS (Public Leadership for Undergraduate Students) learning community develops skills essential for leadership in public service through knowledge about the public sector and developing strong written, oral, visual, and electronic communication skills. Students will participate in linked assignments between an introductory Political Science course (POL S 111) on American government and an English writing course (ENGL 250), and will share small-group experiences including field trips to public sector agencies, discussions of current events and literature related to public service, and presentations by student support staff focused on student success, health, and resiliency.
Students will have an opportunity to register for this learning community during orientation and class registration times.
All Data Science majors and students in Open Option are eligible to join.
The Data Science Learning Community is designed to assist Data Science majors in their transition to Iowa State University by providing a support framework of knowledge, resources, and people. All Data Science majors will enroll in the same DS 110 orientation course and will have other clustered courses with members of the learning community. Students have close connections with a Data Science peer mentor in the orientation course and other meetings designed to assist in learning about data science, group interaction skills and academic problem solving in order to increase success and retention.
Students will have an opportunity to register for this learning community during the class registration portion of summer orientation.
First-year students majoring in Advertising or Public Relations, and Open Option students
learning community serves first-year students who plan to major in advertising or public relations. It will help them become better
consumers, creators, and brand storytellers, and it will promote connections with
other students in the major, as well as with faculty and staff in the
Greenlee School. A second learning community in the Greenlee School
serves students planning to major in journalism,
and the two Greenlee learning communities will have opportunities to
interact, especially through social events.
All students will be
enrolled in one of two sections of JL MC 110 set aside for the learning
community. Most will also find themselves in class together in JL MC 101
and ADVRT 230 or PR 220.
This learning community will also introduce
participants to opportunities for working with student media, clubs, and
other organizations that will foster and showcase their skills during
their four years in the Greenlee School.
If you are pursuing a major in Criminal Justice, consider joining the Criminal Justice League Learning Community! You will join a group of about 35 first-year students in two shared classes and a seminar where will learn about your major, crime and the societal and criminal justice response to it, on-campus resources and activities, and future careers. You will connect with faculty and students both in and outside the classroom through activities like lively in-class discussions and fascinating field trips to local criminal justice agencies. You will imagine your future career and the steps necessary to achieve your goals by visiting Iowa State’s career fairs and discovering possible internship and job opportunities. You will collaborate with an academically successful peer mentor, who is a junior or senior in the Criminal Justice major.
Register for this learning community during summer orientation and class registration.
This learning community is for new Linguistics majors as well as any student who is interested in language and how it works, seeking especially students in World Languages and Cultures, International Studies, U.S. Latinx Studies, Computer Science, Software Engineering, Data Science, and Open Option.
The Science of Language Learning Community is a non-residential learning community for students who are interested in languages, linguistics, and language science. The goals of SOL are to foster community among undergraduate linguists, develop critical thinking skills around language, broaden linguistic understanding of language as a science, and to help students become aware of possible future directions in these fields. As part of SOL, students will take three linked courses together: LING/WLC 119 Introduction to World Languages, ENGL 214 Introduction to Technical Communication, and LING 101 Introduction to the Study of Linguistics. SOL fulfills multiple LAS requirements including up to 6 credits towards Arts and Humanities requirements as well as International Perspectives.
New students will have an opportunity to register for this learning community during orientation and class registration. Transfers and Change of majors can sign up during fall class registration by contacting the coordinator.
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.
Majors Eligible to Join: All Open Option, Pre-Health, Pre-Med, and Pre-Law students are eligible to join.
The HOME Learning Community is a first-semester program designed to support exploring students. The program provides a structured process for students to explore majors and careers while creating a home at Iowa State. Students receive support from connections with peer mentors, academic advisers, and faculty.
Benefits of HOME include:
Provide you with a structured framework through which you can successfully explore three majors or careers.
Connect you with information, resources, and people that can support you through the exploration process.
Give you opportunities to practice and therefore develop confidence in your ability to make decisions.
No residential options are affiliated with the program
Signing Up: Students will sign up during Orientation. Please ask your advisor for more information.
First-Year Software Engineering students are eligible to join.
The Software Engineering Learning Community is a non-residential, course-based learning community program for first year software engineering students. Students will take a set of required courses with other software engineering students. In the fall semester, students will take a first-semester course, S E 101: Software Engineering Orientation. The goal of this course is to provide an engaging learning environment for first semester freshmen to learn policies, procedures and expectations at Iowa State University. Students will find resources for personal and academic success, as well as learn about educational requirements. Students will also be enrolled in common courses and participate in structured activities.
During spring semester, students will participate in S E 166: Software Engineering Careers. The goal of this course will be for students to learn of the career opportunities for Software Engineering majors and interact with potential employers. Students will continue to take common courses and participate in activities.
Students will have an opportunity to register for this learning community during June Orientation.
”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 and an ISUComm Foundations 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.
Primarily for Biology and Genetics majors, but open to all students interested in exploring careers in the life sciences, including Biochemistry, Environmental Science, and Open Option.
BIOL/GEN113X is taught in the Spring to students in their first year at ISU (freshmen or transfer students).
BIOL/GEN114X is taught in the Fall to students in their second year at ISU (sophomores or recent transfer students).
Note: students are not required to have taken BIOL/GEN113X in order to enroll in BIOL/GEN114X.
Do you want to:
Get to know new friends in a small classroom setting (40 students or less) while exploring careers in the life sciences?
Make connections with peer mentors who are knowledgeable and who remember what it was like to be new at Iowa State?
Develop academic and professional skills that will enable a successful Iowa State experience now and launch you into your future?
Have the ability to shape your learning community experiences based on your own interests and goals?
Participate in small group activities that engage you with students and professionals who are already pursuing careers that interest you?
You can achieve all these things and more by meeting for just two hours per week throughout the spring and/or fall semester in these low-effort, high-reward, one-credit, pass/not pass (P/NP) courses!
BIOL/GEN113X – 1cr, P/NP, Spring:
This course will help you discover where your interests lie within the life sciences, with a particular focus on Biology and Genetics. It will provide you with opportunities to explore different career paths through interactions with more senior students, faculty, and leaders outside academia. Activities will include workshops to develop professional skills, visits to labs on campus and conversations with the faculty, graduate students, and staff, and field trips to facilities both on and off campus (e.g. the ISU Research Park). It is also a great way to find study buddies for first-year life sciences courses and create long-lasting connections with other students who share similar interests with you.
BIOL/GEN114X – 1cr, P/NP, Fall:
This course is split into four sections, each of which gives students the opportunity to explore and get hands-on experience in a specific topic within the life sciences. Options include:
Save Planet Earth. An environmentally-themed section where students learn and connect via hands-on sustainability and conservation projects, as well as field trips to research sites around Ames.
Helping People: The Health Care Career Spectrum. Learn about the myriad of healthcare-related career options and meet with practicing professionals.
Exploring the Secret Life of Cells. Learn how basic cell biology research in different organisms can help us improve our world in areas such as medicine, agriculture, and technology. Experiences include hands-on lab activities and visits to research labs around campus.
Decoding the Genetic Mechanisms of Metabolism and Aging. Obtain authentic research experience and learning opportunities using cutting-edge genetic and cell biology approaches. Interrogate cellular metabolism, aging, and age-related diseases.
Bonus: Join study teams for Principles of Genetics and Organic Chemistry I
Students will have an opportunity to register for this learning community during class registration.