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Student and Parent FAQs

Do I have to join a learning community?

No.  Learning communities are optional for all students unless you are in The Renée Crown University Honors Program.  First-year Honors students are required by the Honors Program to be in a learning community.

Can anyone participate in a learning community?

Yes!  However, there are some that are only open to students in certain academic programs.  For example, the Sport Management Learning Community is not open to students in The College of Arts and Sciences.  Please contact our office if you have questions about whether you are eligible to participate in a particular learning community.  Consult an academic advisor in your home school or college if you have questions about how your academic requirements fit within a particular learning community.

Does it cost anything to be in a learning community?

No.  It is free for students to join and particpate in a learning community.

If I join a learning community, do I have to be in it all 4 years?

No. Learning communities are a one year commitment. You could decide to join an LC for only your first year at SU or you could decide to join an LC past your first year.

I want to meet a lot of different people while in college, will living in a learning community stop me from doing this?

Absolutely not. Learning communities are the best of both worlds. You get to live with people that you have something in common with AND all of our LCs are housed in the same residence halls as all the other students at SU – so you are not isolated or separated from the rest of the students.

Are learning communities just for geeks? (I want to have fun in college)

Learning communities are for everyone!  The students in learning communities want to succeed academically and socially. This means that the students who live in learning communities are bright, want to get the most out of college, and also want to have fun.  Check out the LC Experience section for pictures, videos, and quotes that demonstrate the LC student experience.

Do learning community courses count towards my degree?

Many of the courses connected to a learning community will fit your degree requirements, but not all of them.  Please consult an academic advisor in your home school/college.

How do I pick the right one?

By knowing yourself and knowing your options.  What do you like to do?  What interests you?  What academic program are you in?

What if I change my mind before school starts?

Please let us know.  For residential learning communities, we won't be able to change your housing assignment, but we won’t require you to participate in the learning community classes, events, or programs.

What if I don't like it once I'm in it?

If it turns out that your learning community experience is not what you were expecting or hoped for, we are happy to discuss your options.  For residential learning communities, we won't be able to change your housing assignment, but we won’t require you to participate in the learning community classes, events, or programs.  However, because of course registration deadlines you may not be able to change your learning community course.

How much time will I have to commit to the learning community?

This depends on the learning community, the LC classes, and additional activities and events (usually 3-4 activities per semester).

Do I have to participate in all the activities of a learning community?

To get the benefits from a learning community, your active participation is essential. Attending the LC class, participating in the LC retreat, and other LC activities are highly encouraged.

Can I talk to a student who is in a learning community?

Sure! Please email our office at, or call us at 315-443-2079, and we will put you in touch with one of our LC students.

Can I start my own learning community?

Yes! We welcome ideas for new learning communities from students, faculty, and staff.  Please contact our office to explore the possibilities.

How are faculty and staff involved in learning communities?

The faculty and staff who work with learning communities are committed to enhancing your experience by teaching LC courses, attending programs and events, arranging guest speakers and developing supportive relationships with students in the LCs.  Frequently, these LC faculty and staff become mentors who can help you succeed in your college career and beyond.

How long have learning communities been at Syracuse?

The current learning community program began at SU in 1998 with 2 learning communities: the Whitman School of Management LC and the Honors LC.  For additional information about our history, visit our History page under About Us.