Fall 2002 is the first semester SDSU has offered a learning community for nursing, pharmacy and dental majors.
Learning communities in the SDSU residence halls are a way for students with similar majors to learn and live together, Brown Hall Resident Director April Stevenson said.
The university has several communities for different majors to help students while they are pursuing their degree.
Communities for programs like engineering, agriculture-biology, and honors students have been open for at least a year to any students within that major, and now three health profession learning communities exist on campus.
The major difference between the health professionals group from all the other communities is that it is only open to freshmen, because how well they do in their first year of school may determine if they make it into the rest of their program, Stevenson said.
Students who applied to SDSU last year as health professional majors were sent information asking them if they wanted to be a part of a learning community.
“Learning communities are groups of people that have the same interests academically. They provide them the opportunity to live with and work with the same people that are in their field academically outside the classroom,” Stevenson said.
Molly Lennon, coordinator of the health professionals learning community, came back to the residence halls for her senior year to help with the program. She learned about the position from the Nursing Student Association because they worked with the residence halls to set the program up.
“I’m a resource for the freshmen to help them succeed. It’s kind of weird being a senior back in the dorms, but it’s nice helping the freshmen out. They’re all new students, so they’re kind of making that transition into college, learning and developing study habits,” Lennon said.
Lennon said the only drawback she experienced was that the halls are often noisy.
Freshman nursing major Ashley Lavoie said she decided to join the community to help her keep her grades up. She said the disadvantage she saw was that there isn’t much diversity in the people you meet, but said she still enjoys the atmosphere.
“There is so much right here on your floor. We have a computer lab so you don’t have to go across campus,” she said.
Along with a small computer lab on their floor, students also have access to a small library.
The only requirement to stay in the community is participating in at least three scheduled events with the community, like job shadowing, field trips, or study sessions.
#1.887877:663641948.jpg:study.jpg:Freshman GeneralEngineering Major, Eric Staebell, make use of the Learning Community?s quiet setting to keep on reading for his classes. For many the Learning Communities give new students the oppurturtunities for help in succeeding druing the early transition periods from high school to the intensive load of college studies. :Theanne Tangen