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What is a Learning Community?

Students at Penn State Berks

A Learning Community is a group of 20-25 students who are enrolled in two or more of the same courses that are linked by a common theme or focus. They may vary by the type of classes that are linked together, the themes connecting the linked classes, and the degree to which course material overlaps between classes.

As a first-year student entering Penn State, you will have numerous options - academically and socially. Learning Communities create a structure in which you can explore, analyze, and discuss these options with faculty, staff, and other first-year students. Learning Communities provide you with opportunities for deeper understanding and integration of course content across classes and provide you with opportunities for more interaction with your classmates and faculty.

The Learning Communities designed for first-year students are composed of several distinct communities which are unique -- but similar. Unique because each community reflects the interests of the individual students and faculty who belong to it. Similar because students within a community:

  • take two or more classes together,
  • share knowledge and responsibilities,
  • share co-curricular activities, and
  • have a closer connection with each other and their faculty.

Learn about our Summer Adventure Learning Communities.