All transfer students in their first semester with a major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).
The purpose of the CALS Transfer residential learning community is to assist new students in making a successful academic, social, and personal transition to Iowa State University. Activities include guest speakers, agriculture tours and social activities. Students in the CALS Transfer learning community will also enroll in a common section of ENGL 302 (Business Communication). The learning community will have a transfer student peer mentor that will support students with the transition to Iowa State University.
Housing in Frederiksen Court, the University owned apartments, is required for transfer students who participate in this learning community. CALS Transfer men and women are housed in separate 4 person (1 per bedroom) apartments.
To sign up for a residential learning community simply click on the “Learning Community” tab when filling out your Department of Residence contract on AccessPlus. You can go in and update or change your learning community preference information at any time up until the deadline without losing your “priority date.” Registration for ENGL 302 takes place during transfer student orientation.
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 Jahmai Fisher, 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
”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.
The Program for Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) is a supportive community dedicated to making STEM equitable and welcoming for all. The goal of WiSE is to provide the network and resources WiSE students need to excel in their studies, approach their career with confidence, and become advocates and leaders. Female students in a STEM major are automatically in WiSE.
This course equips WiSE students with skills needed to persist and thrive in their chosen STEM major at Iowa State and beyond. Students explore experiences of diverse women leaders in STEM fields, engage with peers across STEM fields, and develop community in small groups with peer leaders. This course also fulfills the U.S. Diversity requirement.
*this includes women who are cisgender, trans, of trans experience, etc.
All women in STEM are automatically in WiSE and will receive our newsletter, The Hoot, to their Iowa State email. Follow us on social media (@wise_isu) for the latest events and programs. Students are encouraged to stop into the WiSE Office at 218 Carver for studying, snacks and conversation!
First-year students majoring in Biology (Liberal Arts and Sciences, Agriculture and Life Sciences)
The Biology Learning Community, Biology Education Success Teams (BEST), is designed to support first-year students entering the Biology Program. The BEST Learning Community seeks to help navigate students through their first year in the Biology program and facilitate lasting connections with peers, program faculty, and staff, both in and outside the classroom.
All BEST members will be invited to participate in various social events throughout the fall semester. Upperclass peer mentors provide advice and direction and are involved in leading activities in the Biology orientation course. Our social programming increases opportunities for interaction between students, faculty, and staff during events, trips, and picnics. It is our hope that after participation in the BEST Learning Community, students will feel a strong connection to the Biology program, feel more comfortable approaching and interacting with faculty and staff, know and utilize ISU resources, and demonstrate academic success during their time here at Iowa State.
How to sign up
First-year students in Biology will be registered for BEST during their summer orientation advising appointment.
Any major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
ACES is a residential learning community with space for 25 men and 25 women. Activities include meals followed by informal talks by guest speakers, visits to area agribusinesses, tours of special interest facilities on campus, study groups, and service projects, and social activities.
ACES men and women are housed on separate floors in Maple Hall, with an upper class ag student peer mentor living among them on each floor.
To sign up for a residential learning community simply click on the “Learning Community” tab when filling out your Department of Residence contract on AccessPlus. You can go in and update or change your learning community preference information at any time up until the deadline without losing your “priority date.” Sign up for the learning community course(s) takes place at summer orientation.