Learning Communities

Barbara Schulz Smith, Coordinator

As part of Westminster’s commitment to develop new models of teaching and learning, several interdisciplinary learning communities are available to first-year students. These interdisciplinary courses are designed to help students:

  1. Develop critical, analytical, writing and presentation skills, and
  2. Establish strong relationships with other students and with faculty, and
  3. Adjust to college.

Learning communities at Westminster link two classes together with a common theme. Typically, at least one of the classes also fulfills a liberal education requirement. Sometimes, a course is paired with an INTR course which is a course designed for first-year students as a seminar class that focuses on issues of college life. The majority of learning community classes are designed for first-year students and are NOT upper division (300-level) credit.

Learning communities are taught primarily by full-time faculty members. This is one of the bonuses of learning communities. Students get to meet and interact with professors who have chosen to teach first-year students as part of their teaching responsibilities at Westminster.

If you entered Westminster during the Fall of 2006 (or after this date) as a first-year student, you will need to take at least one learning community during your first year here. These interdisciplinary classes vary widely on theme and topic areas. By way of example, learning community classes have included the pairing of Psychology and English Composition, Speech and Philosophy, Anthropology and the Arts, and Business and Statistics. Many additional choices are offered each semester. Current learning community (LC) class offerings are listed in the class schedule and on the Westminster Learning Community website.

Note: Students who do not pass one or both courses contained within a first-year learning community are not required to repeat the learning community experience but will be required to successfully pass any liberal education category represented by courses within the learning community.